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MEMBER newsletter February 2013

An abbreviated version of this newsletter is provided to nonmembers.

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In this issue

1. From the EO

2. VCAL Induction Day • Feb 22

3. 'Connecting Conversations' VALA 2013 Conference • May 31st

4. Membership renewal now due

5. NCVER - 2 new publications

6. YACVIC publication

7. VALA Resources - coming soon to a computer near you!

  • VCAL First - A starter kit for all those new to VCAL

8. Free Lesson Plan - How To Engage Your Students In The First Week of Class

9. Congratulations!  SKYS (St Kilda Youth Service)  - WINNER Outstanding Learn Local Organisation for 2012

10. VALE – Sally Leavold

1. From the EO

ADam WhitbreadA big, big welcome back to all in the Applied Learning galaxy.  I do hope that your break was a good and restful one. The year ahead promises to be a winning ride for Applied Practitioners. To help get us onto the starting grid for 2013 don’t miss out on the upcoming VALA VCAL Induction Day on Friday Feb. 22nd; essential fuel for teachers new to VCAL. Around the bend in Term 2 the VALA Conference is in its new position in the calendar: May 31st. Get your paper in and you could be stepping into a whole new light as one of our featured presenters. Further down the track we go off-road again in the VALA Safari series. In the meantime look out for more exciting Webinars and resources hand-tuned especially for our members. So hold on tight, and get set for a full–on year of Applied Learning action.

Adam Whitbread

2. VCAL Induction Day

Induction DayNew to VCAL? The VALA VCAL Induction Day, Feb. 22nd, is your essential starting point for 2013.  Developed in conjunction with and proudly sponsored by the VCAA. The VALA VCAL Induction day is designed as a comprehensive overview and introduction to all things VCAL.

Sessions on Literacy, Numeracy, Work Related Skills, Personal Development Skills, Quality Assurance and Assessment, Designing a VCAL Program, How to Develop an Integrated VCAL Program, Completing an Assessment Task Template and much more!

Don’t miss the VALA VCAL Induction Day

Book here now: Numbers strictly limited.

3. 'Connecting Conversations' VALA 2013 Conference • May 31st

2013 VALA Conference

How do you connect with others in your sphere?

This year’s Conference explores the new territories that we create through our Communities of Practice.  In a landscape where resources are scarce but information is everywhere, how do we focus, sort and share the really useful things that contribute to our effectiveness as teachers and learners?

The Conference is a special gathering of like minds and offers valuable opportunities such as :-

  • The chance to connect with experienced practitioners
  • Takeaway ideas for programs and planning
  • Resources from some of the best writers in the field`
  • Networking with others who can support you with similar ideas
  • The latest research on topics such as VET, Community Education and more.
  • Useful examples of successful networks using new technologies

And you can join this conversation now! VALA is inviting people to outline what connections and ideas they would like to make through the conference. What types of workshops and topics do you want? Let us know and we will endeavour to deliver what you want to know more about and the resources you need. We are always keen to encourage new ideas at the conference so contact Adam with your big idea

Call for papers

Presenters note: The call for the papers is now open.. please get them in as soon as possible. Closing date is Feb 28th

Submit your idea for a workshop

Student Project Marketplace

But that's not all....introducing the 'Student Project Marketplace'

This year VALA is proposing a new and exciting role for young people to play in our annual conference. For the first time, we plan to include VCAL students as part of our group of expert presenters. If you are a VCAL school or organisation that has an outstanding VCAL story to tell or project to share we want to help you to make a noise about it at the conference!

In a special afternoon session called the 'Student Project Marketplace' we want to see 6 VCAL groups showing off their projects. 6 VCAL groups consisting of 3 students and 1 teacher will be invited to present their work at the Marketplace. Each group will need to create a table display, do an oral presentation and join a Q&A with our audience.
All participating groups will be given an area to display photos and objects related to their project. Power will be supplied for those wishing to show slides or video (however you must supply your own computer and projector). The projects will be profiled on the VALA website after the conference.

Sound like something you and your students can handle?...then get in contact with us!
To discuss your proposal, email adamc@vala.asn.au with the subject heading 'Student Project Marketplace'.

2013 VALA ConferenceNew conference date

Note the new Conference date Friday May 31st! With more time to plan, we are aiming high this year and want to push the format and content of the event to make it the most stimulating one yet. Watch this space for more updates.


4. Membership renewal now due

VALA logoVALA member benefits include

  • Access to member-only Resources section of the website (new password)

  • Special discount for the 2013 Induction Day Friday February 22nd, 2013

  • Special discount for the 2013 Conference on Friday 31st May, 2013

  • Discount on all professional development activities

  • Member only newsletter (non-members get an abbreviated version)

  • Resources and webinars

  • Phone a friend. Need someone to talk to? Can we help? Call Adam W on 0488 440 482 or email adamw@vala.asn.au

  • Regular updates on VALA Projects and Initiatives.

  • Join the discussion. VALA members get to have their say on what matters to them – be a part of the Applied Learning conversation.

An invoice will be sent to all members.

Renew online

Non-members can subscribe now.

5. NCVER - 2 new publications

NCVER logo

Title: Cultural dimensions of Indigenous participation in vocational education and training: new perspectives

Authors: Alfred Michael Dockery Publication date: 5 February 2013

This study provides new evidence on the inter-relationships between Indigenous Australians' association with their traditional culture and their engagement with vocational education and training. It builds on previous work to develop a 'richer' measure of the concept of cultural attachment. This report discusses the links between cultural identity and current participation in education and the benefits Indigenous Australians derive from education and training.

Title: Research messages 2012

Authors: NCVER Publication date: 5 February 2013

This publication is a collection of summaries of research projects published by NCVER in 2012. The publication also has an overview essay that captures the themes and highlights from the research for the year, including:

  • the value of completing qualifications and skill sets
  • trends in the labour market (skills mismatch, skills shortages and foreign labour mobility)
  • pathways within and between VET, higher education and work
  • the educational experiences of school students
  • challenges faced by training providers and the broader tertiary education sector.

See them here

6. YACVIC publication

Youth Affairs Council logo

New Publication: Two Way Street

Two way street: Young people informing improvements to schools and youth services.

  • A synthesis of 72 relevant studies in which young people were participants,
  • In-depth qualitative interviews with 78 young Victorians who had experienced significant barriers to educational engagement.

Based on the experiences of these young people, the report identifies approaches that can be taken in school and youth service settings to prevent disengagement and enable better involvement of all young people in learning and other pathways.

See it here

7. VCAL first logoVALA Resources - coming soon to a computer near you!

VCAL First - A starter kit for all those new to VCAL

VALA in conjunction with the VCAA will soon be launching this exciting and relevant resource. More than a just a handbook, VCAL first is an electronic resource, that will feature examples of award winning practice in VCAL from across the state. Updated semi annually over the next 3 years, VALA is proud to be able to bring this practical and informative new resource to our community.

Watch out for more news on VCAL First at the VALA Induction Day!

8. Free Lesson Plan - How To Engage Your Students In The First Week of Class

playmeo logoHit the ground running with Mark Collard's excellent ice-breakers & fun group activities - perfect for new VCAL classes. Mark has generously offered a FREE 60-minute lesson plan jam-packed with lots of his wonderful new playmeo activities to VALA members to get the year off to a cracking start.

Get a free lesson plan

See more at playmeo

... and Mark Collard will join us at the VALA Induction Day 2013

9. Congratulations! SKYS (St Kilda Youth Service) - WINNER Outstanding Learn Local Organisation for 2012

SKYS was named the winner of the Outstanding Organisation category at the 2012 Learn Local Awards held at Federation Square at the end of 2012.

This award was presented by the Minister for Higher Education and Skills, the Hon. Peter Hall, in recognition of SKYS innovative and exceptional delivery of flexible learning opportunities for young people.

2Faze is a Community VCAL alternative to mainstream school education. It offers flexible and relevant learning options for young people who have often struggled to stay engaged in school. Students can study Foundation, Intermediate or Senior VCAL Enrolments for 2013 are open now.


SKYS group accepting award >
skys logo Learn Local logo

10. VALE – Sally Elizabeth Leavold

VALA was saddened to hear of the passing of Sally Leavold who played a significant role in the early days of VALA as Founding President.

Sally Leavold

“Sally was an inspirational and committed educator, a brave leader who stepped up when she believed in the cause. She was not  afraid to take risks to promote the fledgling work of VALA and over time was instrumental in ensuring that the work of VALA met professional standards whilst being cutting edge in implementation”. 

Karen Dymke and Andrew Williamson

From the Guestbook

“The Committee of Management and staff of the Capital City LLEN are deeply saddened by the passing of our long serving Public Officer. Sally was a lovely woman, generous with her time, intellect and care to both the staff and board of the LLEN as well as being dedicated to furthering the engagement of at risk young people back into education. Sally will be sorely missed”.

Capital City LLEN

“….She was whip-smart, funny, dedicated and very kind. She will be sorely missed by very many of us RMIT folk”.

Chris Raab

“Sally, you will be dearly missed as a treasured and trusted colleague but even more so for the warm person that you were to all who knew you.”


Frances Coppolillo

Did you know Sally?

Guestbook here