I rise to make a statement on the Centre for Adult Education’s annual report for 2006. The Centre for Adult Education (CAE) provides learning opportunities to the Victorian community through an extended range of programs and services. The centre receives state government funding through the adult community and further education (ACFE) division to provide accredited courses designed to help adults complete their secondary education or begin or change their career direction.
It is imperative that an organisation such as the Centre for Adult Education be available and accessible to mature-age students in Victoria. The centre believes, as I do, in the power of learning to transform lives as well as to transform communities.
I congratulate the CAE for another successful year with increased student and course numbers and a positive financial outcome. I also wish to thank and congratulate the council for being a finalist in the innovative service delivery award for 2006. In 2006 over 35 000 students with over 61 subject enrolments attended the CAE, with the delivery of 1.5 million student contact hours.
I would also like to highlight a couple of other areas that are worth noting. The Centre for Adult Education’s Wurreker action plan was implemented in 2006 to increase the participation of indigenous students in education and training, and it delivered eight workshops to 45 Koori learners in job-application skills and in how to obtain a drivers licence.
The centre was also at the forefront with its disability action plan, and through its equity and access unit provided 36 students with just under 5000 contact hours. It also had a further 590 Auslan interpreter contact hours, and that allowed a deaf student to achieve success in the second and final year of their yoga teaching qualification at a diploma level. I think we just take for granted all these sorts of things, but it cannot be underestimated how they change the lives of individuals in our community with varying degrees of abilities and indeed racial backgrounds.
The Centre for Adult Education is the largest provider of adult and community education in Victoria. It specialises in workplace learning, corporate lifestyle packages and professional development activities for adult education practitioners. It also attempts to balance — and I would argue it does it quite well — the needs of individuals and the community, as well as keeping an eye on industry trends.
I think many of us have personal stories in respect to the adult education centre from having attended classes ourselves — whether it be on reading, cookery or travel — and the interaction that goes on between the students and the formation of lifelong friendships that are developed cannot be underestimated. In fact when the annual brochure comes out, it is not difficult to sit there, go through it and think, ‘What can I do?’. It is a really tough selection, because you have so many gems to contend with and make choices over. Just going through that brochure, I believe, instils a sense of lifelong learning in our community, whether or not you end up enrolling in a course.
I again congratulate the Centre for Adult Education and its board of directors, staff and students on a stellar year and on its continuation of being the premium leader in adult education and a significant contributor to informal learning in Victoria.
The centre’s main objectives, which are spelt out in the annual report for 2006, were financial stability and to be a leader in adult education. I believe that in all respects these objectives were achieved and indeed surpassed at the conclusion of 2006.