March 2018 | VALBEC | Web version

In this Issue

1. 2018 ACAL Conference hosted by VALBEC

2. Workshop your ideas for the ACAL Conference

3. 2018 Annual General Meeting and Forum

4. Professionalising our Practice through Research

5. Resources

6. Next edition of Fine Print

7. VALBEC membership renewal now due

8. VALBEC Facebook page

1. 2018 ACAL Conference hosted by VALBEC

Learning in Diverse Communities • Strengths, Reflections, Questions

ACAL Conference hosted by VALBEC

September 12, 13 and 14, 2018 • Melbourne

Call for presentations

2. Workshop your ideas for the ACAL Conference

The ACAL conference is a wonderful opportunity to meet and workshop with peers.

Perhaps you have a presentation idea, however not sure how to begin? Talk with experienced conference presenters for some guidance.

Why attend?

If you are thinking about presenting but just not sure, come along for a chat about your ideas.

If you have a burning question and need it answered to move forward with your presentation then join us and ask away.

Perhaps you are a first time presenter and would like to talk about your idea and have some input from others before you respond to the call for papers.

We would love to see you and are happy to answer any questions on Monday, March 5 at 12.30pm AEDT


3. 2018 Annual General Meeting and Forum

Wednesday, March 21, 2018, 6.00pm, dinner afterwards at own expense

St Georges Restaurant, Melbourne Polytechnic, 77 St Georges Rd Preston

Members and friends of VALBEC are invited to the Annual General Meeting of the Council and a presentation by Karen Dymke: Professionalising our Practice through Research.

More about the AGM and nominations

4. Professionalising our Practice through Research

As part of the VALBEC AGM

The Adult Learning sector is a highly specialised sector with significant demands. It has long been regarded as the pointy end of educational need. Yet, as a field it has not always enjoyed the acknowledgement, funding or research meted out to other educational sectors. Karen Dymke and Cate Thompson have recently returned from a study tour to Europe through the International Specialised Skills Institute and the Department of Education and Training, Higher Education and Skills Group, International Vocational Training Fellowship.

Karen DymkeKaren Dymke will share her findings from the trip on her particular focus, the Professionalisation of Adult Educators. She will also share her insights from John Hattie's ground-breaking research on Visible Learning, which has identified what has the greatest effect to progress student learning and achievement.

Of particular interest, will be the newly available text, 'Teaching Literacy in the Visible Learning Classroom' that Karen will provide a preview and commentary on how it may apply in adult learning contexts.

Karen has worked across a range of sectors with a unique breadth of knowledge, balance and expertise that she brings to her current roles at Thoughtfulworks as consultant, facilitator and coach.

RSVP and dinner payment

5. Resources

40 Stories of Adult Literacy Learners

Happy birthday VALBEC

Stories provide us a valuable insight into the minds and experiences of others so that we can learn, empathise and stretch our knowledge and imagination. When adult literacy learners share their stories it is not only a very empowering activity for them as individuals but also provides insightful understandings for the adult literacy practitioner.

As part of VALBEC's 40 year celebrations, we will collate 40 stories of adults literacy learners from around the country and world. So take time out this year to read and watch some adult literacy stories to remind you and inspire you in your practice. If you have a story you would like to share as part of this series please email the details and a link to

Adult Literacy Stories from Tasmania - 7 Stories

Island magazineEarlier this year Island magazine made freely available one of their magazine editions from last year that showcased seven essays from people who have struggled with their reading and writing. Rosalie Martin from Chatters Matters, 2017 Tasmanian of the Year, who also gives some insight at the end of each story, curated this collection.

The stories themselves are from Tasmanians from various backgrounds with different experiences who have grappled with reading and writing. Each of their stories shows the battles they have gone through and the difference that learning to read and write has made in their lives.

Rosalie and Matthew Lamb from Island magazine came together after making the connection of the significance of citizenship and reading.

Provided by Meg Cotter, Co-President

So click, download and READ now!

Rock, paper scissors - making better decisions


Catalyst – Episode 1, The Secret to Making Better Decisions, January 20th 2018 ABC

For its first 2018-episode, Catalyst provided a succinct, entertaining introduction to mathematical logic and the power of algorithms for everyday activities. The Secret to Making Better Decisions takes a light-hearted approach to its presentation but doesn't skimp on providing good detail, examples and demonstrations of the logic problems.

As a card-carrying maths phobic, I enjoyed it a great deal only tiring as the number of examples kept coming. At 58 minutes, it is a bit long but does offer clearly separated segments that could be relatively easily repeated in the classroom.

A few examples that might appeal:

And this is where the meaning of algorithm came in – '… simply a set of logical instructions that lead to a desired outcome. Directions are an algorithm that lead to a particular place.' This then leads into the use of algorithms for orienteering.

Other examples include the use of maths to decide which queue you should join at the supermarket, how warehouse workers use algorithms to get their work done and how a program called Watson is helping a Melbourne fashion designer do some rather lovely work.

iView episode, transcript and other maths links

Rhonda Pelletier, VALBEC Committee

6. Next edition of Fine Print

The first edition of Fine Print for 2018 will be delivered to VALBEC members in April when you can look forward to a range of thought-provoking articles on policy, practice and theory.

The editorial group is now looking towards edition two and would love to hear from you if you have an idea for an article or want to tell us about someone whose excellent practice deserves to be shared in a 'Beside the Whiteboard' or 'Provider Profile' interview.

You can get in touch by email to

7. VALBEC membership renewal now due

Members receive

Renew now

8. VALBEC Facebook page

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