1. President's report

There is still no glimpse of warmer weather on the horizon here in Victoria, which means it is great weather for rugging up and taking stock of the things we can do to better ourselves as researchers, teachers and students. As I teach in enabling programs, I have the luxury of being able to speak explicitly about the soft skills that are important for learning and teaching and today we dealt with that old chestnut, ‘independent learning’. I will be the first to confess two things about this term, 1. I’m not exactly sure what it means, as it seems to include everything! and 2. I am NOT an independent learner much of the time.

After looking online and asking many questions about this term, I have learnt that it refers to a set of different skills that seem to merge together to make us independent learners. It is the person who has organisational skills, the person who has written and communication skills. Independent learners need to manage their tasks well, have self-awareness and confidence in their ability. All things that we try to instil in our VET students, the big issue is, students don’t display these skills all of the time (neither do many teachers mind you), so what are we to do with this information? Take it for what it is. We try to be independent learners, but really aren’t ones. We merely strive to be the best we can be, and it is in the striving that it really matters.

So, the next time you miss a deadline or struggle to hold up to your own rigid regime, remember that you are like everyone else, in that you are striving to be the best example of who you are. The same can be so for many of our students. I say this while I try to remember my own striving and movement towards the teacher/student I would like to be.

Lastly, I have really enjoyed the PL forums we have had this year thus far, but would love more input. If you are thinking you have something to share, or even a topic you’d like to see covered, please feel free to contact us with your suggestions.

VALBEC President

2. Valbec Membership

VALBEC Membership

You can join or renew online.


If you join in August, September or October, deduct 50%. Renewal falls due the following February.

Members receive:

  • Fine Print three times a year – a high quality journal for discussion and debate about good practice, theory and policy issues. Feedback and contributions are actively sought from members about content and issues.
  • eVALBEC – our e-mail communication keeping members informed of professional development activities, general committee activities and more up to date policy changes.

  • Discounts for the Annual Conference and other VALBEC statewide professional development.

  • Issues-based forums.

  • Focus on significant policy issues impacting on the field.

  • Free numeracy resources.

    3. Professional Development

    "How Coping Skills can help and hinder students in adult education" 

    A VALBEC (Victorian Adult Literacy and Basic Educational Council) Professional Learning session presented by Linno Rhodes.

    We all have coping skills or strategies - some of them serve us well, others, not so much. This interactive workshop will guide you in understanding your own and others’ ‘go to' behaviours and actions when the going gets tough. The focus will be on the adult Language, Literacy. Numeracy and Digital (LLND) skills + classroom.

    Linno Rhodes works in community-based adult education and is on the ACAL committee and Fine Print (the VALBEC journal) editorial committee.

    She is an International Specialised Skills Fellow where her research centred on adult literacy and the relational sciences.

    We look forward to seeing you there.
    VALBEC PL Forums Team

    Who:   Linno Rhodes
    : Wednesday, 9th August 2023, 5.30-6.30 pm AEST
    Where: Zoom
    Cost: VALBEC Members Free; non-Members $25


    4. Digital Literacy

    PowerPoint software

    One valuable tool that significantly improves the ability to engage with a diverse group of students is instructional design through PowerPoint software. Utilizing this software, you are able to create captivating animated GIFs (graphics interchange format ) to enhance the learning experience. These GIFs prove to be effective in simplifying complex concepts, adding visual appeal, and fostering active participation in the classroom. Through interactive and visually stimulating presentations, you can witness a notable increase in student comprehension and enthusiasm for the subject matter. The combination of instructional design principles and animated GIFs provides a dynamic and inclusive learning environment, which allows you to connect with a wide range of students and cater to various learning styles. Here is one of the examples:

    5. Resources

    Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP)

    This site has the new AMEPOnline resource - free for all - at 3 different levels with issues relating to settlement in Australia.


    It also has English Ready Booklets - for Course in EAL students and teachers.


    6. Fine Print

    In the upcoming issue of Fine Print (coming to members’ mailboxes this month) Sarah Deasey has put together a fabulous compilation of online sources for building critical literacy. As a special bonus, we’ve created a Padlet of all the links she mentions so you can access them from your device and join the conversation by adding your comments: https://bit.ly/FinePrintCriticalLiteracy

    7. Numeracy News and CGEA update

    Next CGEA Champions meeting is on Tuesday 12th September 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM. 

    Please contact Chris Tully at ChristineTully@melbournepolytechnic.edu.au to be added to the CGEA Champions meetings.

    8. Special Dates

          9. Employment Opportunities

          CGEA teacher at Ravenshall. Please contact Dianne Mahoney Acting Education Manager  Corrections Education Centre Bendigo Kangan/Kangan Institute  Mobile:  +61 434 994 211 or email dmahoney@kangan.edu.au for further information.


          eVALBEC is the monthly electronic newsletter of (VALBEC) the Victorian Adult Literacy and Basic Education Council and is sent to about 1000 practitioners on the first of each month (other than January). It is also available in the ‘News’ section of our web site


          The activities, goods and services mentioned in eVALBEC are not endorsed by Valbec in any way. People should make their own judgment about the suitability of each item.

          How to submit items: https://www.valbec.org.au/evalbec

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