Learners, teachers and education providers from across Victoria have been recognised for their outstanding efforts in community education at this year's
Victorian Learn Local Awards.
The awards recognise more than 300 Learn Local providers delivering pre-accredited and foundation level training in Victoria.
Learn Locals boost confidence
Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services English Program Coordinator Robyn Spandonide from Quarry Hill won the Victorian Learn Local Practitioner Award for her work with refugee women through the Starting Work in Australia Program.
Robyn says she was surprised and thankful to win the award. 'I was thankful that multicultural services were being recognised and I felt lucky to be surrounded by a dedicated team,' Robyn says. 'Every success is due to a whole team effort.'
The program improves students' conversational English and informs them about employment obligations and rights in Victoria. More than 70 per cent of the students who completed her course in 2017 have since found employment.
Robyn says her job is 'really fun' and she loves seeing her students increase their confidence. One of her highlights was taking her students to Bendigo on the bus. A student thanked her for teaching her how to catch a bus so they could do it independently in the future. Robyn gave a shy student with intermediate English skills the task of interviewing Bendigo residents. After successfully completing the task, Robyn says the happy student said 'Wow, people understood me and I could respond!'
'For me, it's really rewarding that so much can grow,' Robyn says. 'The confidence brings change and influence.'
The winner of the Ro Allen Award Recognising Pre-accredited Learner Excellence is David Hayes from Kew.
David turned his life around after taking part in a workplace technology course at Kew Neighbourhood Learning Centre.
Before he studied the course, David felt socially isolated after a long period of unemployment due to caring responsibilities.
David learned valuable office computer skills like using Microsoft Office, touch typing and how to use social media. He says he became more confident, made new friends and built professional networks.
After volunteering with KewNLC, the centre offered David a part-time job. Next year, he plans to enrol in a Certificate IV in Disability so he can become a disability support worker.
Two new categories were presented for the first time. The Victorian Learn Local Young Pre-accredited Learner Award, which was presented to Aymee Schofield from Sale.
Aymee was unemployed and dreamed of a career in nursing. By chance, she saw an ad for the Kick Start you Career in the Health Sector course.
Aymee experienced a variety of areas in a hospital environment including nursing, allied health, administration, food services and cleaning.
The Kick start your Career in Health course, delivered by Noweyung Ltd, also won the Victorian Learn Local Creating Local Solutions Award.
The Victorian Learn Local Collaboration Award went to Manningham Learns, a strategic alliance of five neighbourhood houses in Melbourne east.
The Prepare for Work - Service Stars program, delivered by Kensington Neighbourhood House, won the Victorian Learn Local Pre-accredited Pathway Program Award.
Learn Local providers make a huge difference in their communities. They help people who need extra support to turn their lives around with programs for people of all ages and from all walks of life.
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