1. President's report

What an exciting time to be involved in Adult literacy!?

These events will either be running or have finished by the time you read this, but we have had Adult Learning Australia (ALA) launching Adult Learners Week with an exciting program which you can see here, and the Australian Council of Adult Literacy (ACAL) running their conference in Adelaide titled ‘Dynamic dialogues, vibrant literacies: reflect, connect and grow’. The flavour of both events highlight the idea of coming together after what has been a difficult time in education, and it is that spirit that helps to develop us further as educators. Adult literacy week in particular has been instrumental in increasing awareness through media and community engagement, policy change and empowerment.

Adult learners deserve to be seen and it is councils like VALBEC where these bodies can come together to discuss the issues that they are facing. But it does make me think about the ‘pre’ learning cohort of VALBEC, and the meagre amount of funding that they tend to receive. Community programs and houses do a lot for adults who are curious about their own learning, and it is from there that we end up inspiring individuals to begin their lifelong learning journey. Funding in these areas could boost the health of all educational institutions as students move through their education. This potential domino effect is maybe not thought about as often by policy makers and funding bodies and it should be.

A few things to ponder as you go about your day. Keep fighting the good fight and remember that the work that you do truly makes a difference in people’s lives. 

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. Conference

    ACAL 2023 Conference  Adelaide  Thu Sept 7 and Fri Sept 8

    The Australian Council for Adult Literacy (ACAL) is pleased to announce the 2023 ACAL Conference, to be held in Adelaide on 7 and 8 September.  This year’s conference titled: "Dynamic Dialogues, Vibrant Literacies: Reflect, Connect, Grow," will provide a forum for adult literacy professionals from across Australia to come together to discuss and share ideas on the latest trends and issues in the field.

    See the full program here

    Register here

    4. Professional Development

    Teaching Literacy at Loddon Prison

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

    Helen’s students are prisoners – In her presentation she will explain the structure and complexities of delivering CGEA literacy classes within a prison context.

    Education in prison is called ‘Edjo’ and is voluntary. Helen will discuss the practicalities and complexities of teaching in this dynamic environment - engagement and retention, obstacles, content, assessment, student-based learning, etc.

    Helen Lucas has been teaching adult literacy for over twenty years, primarily in community settings. She has been teaching literacy at Loddon Prison, a medium security Corrections facility for men in Castlemaine for three years.
    She is also a writer; her work includes poetry, short stories, children's books, a play, and teaching resources. Alongside her teaching and writing, Helen convened a monthly poetry reading for the Shire of Nillumbik for seventeen years.

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

    Who: Helen Lucas
    : Tuesday, 12th September 2023, 5.30-6.30 pm AEST
    Where: Zoom
    Cost: VALBEC Members Free; non-Members $25


    5. Digital Literacy


    ClassroomScreen is an excellent tool that can be effectively utilized for blended, online, or in-person teaching scenarios. The tool offers a range of features that enhance engagement and interactivity within the classroom. Even in its free version, ClassroomScreen provides a robust set of functionalities that can greatly benefit both educators and students. Some of the notable features include:

    • Background options for theme customisation, atmosphere creation, motivate students and for enhanced engagement.
    • Text and drawing tools which allow real time notes, and announcements
    • Ability to insert resources before the session so you can structure lessons with a variety of content for effective learning. This feature could be used to create a flipped classroom.
    • Insert media on the board for visual engagement, multisensory learning, storytelling and interactive learning
    • Time the activities in real time
    • QR codes to share links
    • Random name picker for equitable participation, engagement, inclusivity, fairness…
    • Timers for gamification and so much more…

    6. Resources

    Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP)

    On 1 July 2023 the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) launched an updated AMEPOnline, a free English language learning website available to anyone, anywhere and anytime.

    You can access AMEPOnline on your mobile phone or computer, whether you are enrolled in AMEP or not.

    AMEPOnline now offers a new and wide range of contemporary, engaging, interactive, audio and video activities, to support English learners across five English levels, including beginner levels.

    The Teachers Resources page on AMEPOnline offers additional resources to support teachers and learners, including the English Ready paper-based teaching and learning series.

    AMEPOnline also contains one Australian Citizenship module, three more modules will be released in late 2023. The four modules are based on the four parts of the testable section of Australian Citizenship - Our Common Bond (OCB). Australian Citizenship modules are intended to support English language learners engage with the OCB content via character storylines, videos, visuals, translation and interactive learning activities. The Citizenship module includes key words translated into 10 common AMEP learner languages.

    You can find a help video and a feedback function on the homepage, we welcome feedback on your experience during this beta testing phase over the coming months.


    7. Fine Print

    Nominations for the 2023 Learn Local Awards have been extended to September 8, so now is a great time to read the latest issue of Fine Print for our wrap-up of the 2022 awards and Sarah Deasey’s story about Felimon Asel, who won the Pre-accredited Learner (Skills and Work) award.

    If you don’t have a copy handy, you can read these stories here.

    Last month, we shared the links from our Critical Literacy Resources article. Now you can read the full story here.

    8. 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.

    9. Special Dates


      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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