Adult, Community and Further Education Board

The Adult, Community and Further Education (ACFE) Board's role is to plan and promote adult learning, allocate resources, develop policies, and advise the Minister for Training and Skills on matters related to adult education in Victoria.

About the ACFE Board

The ACFE Board is a statutory authority under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006. Through the Board, the Victorian Government provides funding to community-based organisations, known as registered Learn Local providers, and CAE and AMES Australia, for delivery of education and training programs to a broad range of Victorians over compulsory school-leaving age – young people, older people, people with special needs, people from diverse cultural backgrounds – with a special focus on people who have had limited prior access to education.

Programs are designed to be flexible to meet learners' needs and support them to return to study, improve their literacy and numeracy skills, gain a qualification, broaden their employment options and learn new skills. As part of the wider Vocational Education and Training sector, Learn Local providers deliver programs in a range of industry sectors and across the spectrum of qualification levels.

Learn Local providers provide a unique, community-based context for learning. They have a genuine focus on the individual needs of learners and the flexibility to meet their learning requirements. For this reason Learn Local is particularly suited to meeting the needs of adult learners of all ages who wish to undertake programs that assist them to gain qualifications and employment.

Learn Local providers are governed by voluntary committees of management whose members are drawn from the local community. They may be small operations with a particular education focus such as basic literacy, or larger, more complex organisations offering programs ranging from basic education to diploma-level qualifications.

The community basis and diversity of the organisations is one of the great strengths of Learn Local. There are more than 270 Learn Local providers spread across Victoria. These organisations are often the only access point for adults to learning in the area.

The Board works jointly with the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority and the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority.

For more information, see:

Contact the ACFE Board

All communication to the ACFE Board should be sent to:

ACFE Board
C/O - Manager, ACFE Planning and Secretariat
Engagement, Participation and Inclusion Division
GPO Box 4367, Melbourne VIC 3001

Alternatively, you may email the ACFE Board at: acfe@edumail.vic.gov.au

ACFE Board Strategy 2020-25

The Adult, Community and Further Education Board leads adult community and further education in Victoria and oversees Victorian Government funding to the Learn Local sector. This strategy establishes a blueprint for the Board and the Learn Local sector for the six years from 2020 to 2025.

Other ACFE Board publications and research reports are available on the ACFE Publications and Research page, see:

ACFE Board Gifts Benefits and Hospitality Policy

The ACFE Board Gifts, Benefits and Hospitality Policy states the requirements for responding to or providing offers of gifts, benefits or hospitality. The policy and register applies to:

  • ACFE Board Chairperson
  • ACFE Board Deputy Chairperson
  • ACFE Board members
  • Regional Council members.

To read the policy, see:

To view registers, see:

ACFE Board membership

The Board has 12 members, including a Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson. Members of the Board are appointed by the Governor-in-Council on the recommendation of the Minister for Training and Skills. The composition of the Board reflects the breadth and diversity of adult education in the community and its links with government, industry and the community sector.

Maria Peters - Chairperson

Maria Peters has been involved in the adult education sector for more than 30 years and was most recently the independent Chairperson of the Future Opportunities for Adult Learners in Victoria reference group.

She is a leading figure in the Australian vocational and tertiary sector, who has held a wide range of management, leadership and governance roles.

Maria joined Chisholm Institute in 1987 as a sessional teacher in the adult community education and foundation field, and has provided 30 years of continuous service to communities the Institute serves, becoming a highly respected leader in vocational education and training at a state, national and international level.

As Chisholm's Chief Executive Officer from 2010-17, she has been driven to improve participation and ensure strong student and industry outcomes.

As a recipient of the Lynne Kosky Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2017 Victorian Training Awards, Maria was recognised for leading significant educational innovation within the vocational education and training sector.

In 2018, Maria was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Education from Swinburne University of Technology for her outstanding leadership and commitment to vocational education.

Raoul Wainwright - Deputy Chairperson

Raoul Wainwright has a background in public policy, industrial relations and community services.

He is a legal officer for the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union. Raoul holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts, has held ministerial advisory roles and has been a member of local government.

Raoul has longstanding experience in working with government at all levels and is committed to improving access to educational opportunities for all Victorians.

Dr Ron Wilson PSM

Ron Wilson

Dr Ronald Wilson, PSM is an education and training consultant with more than 20 years' experience in the Victorian VET sector; with roles in senior management, Indigenous education, and corrections education in TAFE.

He has worked as a consultant with Learn Local providers and supported their development of sustainable business models and operational systems.

Ron was awarded the Public Service Medal in 1996 for introducing vocational training into Victoria's adult and juvenile corrections systems.

He is the President of the Australasian Corrections Education Association and a board member of Adult Learning Australia.

Sally Brennan

Sally Brennan

Sally Brennan is an experienced education consultant with a particular emphasis on community development and adult community education. She has extensive experience in the Learn Local sector, including 22 years as Chief Executive Officer of Upper Yarra Community House (now Cire Services), and in representing peak bodies at state and national levels.

Sally has worked with all levels of government creating and maintaining local and regional services, engaging with communities, and working with industry and education providers to improve learning outcomes for disadvantaged and vulnerable learners.

She is currently principal adviser in regional development at Swinburne University of Technology. Sally has qualifications in adult development, including a Master of Education, and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Michael Grogan

Michael Grogan is the State Director of Victorian, South Australian and Tasmanian branches of the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre.

Previously Chief Executive Officer of Sutton Tools Pty Ltd, Michael sits on the board of Manufacturing Skills Australia and is Director of DMTC (formerly known as the Defence Materials Technology Centre).

He chairs the William Ruthven Secondary College School Council and is Director of Evolve in Focus.

Margaret Lewis

Margaret Lewis has wide-ranging experience on community boards and committees including Goldfields Local Learning Employment Network, Bendigo Trades Hall Council, and the Victorian Branch Council of the Australian Education Union.

Margaret is currently a board member of Castlemaine Health, Remembrance Parks Central Victoria, Planning for Sustainable Animal Industries Implementation Reference Group, and Joyces Creek Cemetery Trust in addition to other non-government bodies and committees.

Margaret has extensive experience in education, having been a teacher for 25 years and a Principal for 18 years.

John Maddock OAM

John Maddock, OAM has extensive governance and senior executive leadership experience in the tertiary and adult education sectors, including as Chief Executive Officer of Box Hill Institute, the Gordon Institute of TAFE and the CAE.

His governance experience as a non-executive director in the education sector includes the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority Board, Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC) Board of Trustees, Deakin University Council, Monash University Faculty of Education Board, Innovation and Business Skills Australia, Australian Training Products and eCoach boards.

John is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a member of the Victoria Polytechnic Vice Chancellor’s Advisory Committee at Victoria University.

He was awarded the Australian Sports Medal for volunteer services at the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

In 2013, John was made a Member of the General Division of the Order of Australia for significant service to vocational education and training, and to the sport of basketball.

Dr Win Scott

Win Scott is a consultant with extensive experience in the vocational education and training sector. She was Chief Executive Officer of Sunraysia Institute of TAFE until her retirement in June 2016.

She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Education in 2016 by La Trobe University, and holds a Master of Educational Management.

Win is the Chair of the Mallee Regional Partnership and Deputy Chair of the Regional Development Advisory Committee.

She is also a member of other regional and local boards. Before joining the TAFE sector, she was a restaurateur in Bendigo.

Penny Wilson

Penny Wilson

Penny Wilson has extensive government, community, and private sector experience.

As Senior Partner at SHK Asia Pacific, she specialises in executive search and business transition in government, not-for-profit, and regulatory settings.

Penny has held senior roles in public service and is the former Chief Executive Officer of both the Responsible Gambling Advocacy Centre and the Victorian Council of Social Service.

A long-standing volunteer in adult learning programs, Penny was Chair of Learn for Yourself, a Learn Local provider.

Penny has qualifications in social sciences, communications and business management, and she is an experienced non-executive board director.

Dr May Lam

Dr May Lam

May Lam has held senior executive positions in several non-government organisations focused primarily on research, policy, and strategy. Her longest serving role was for Jobs Australia—a peak body that provides policy, strategy, financial and business planning advice to its community-based members. She served there as Manager of the policy team and, then as Deputy Chief Executive Officer.

Her most recent role was as adviser on governance and social impact at Jesuit Social Services.

In 2019, Dr Lam served as a Commissioner in the National Youth Commission into Youth Unemployment and Transitions.

She holds a Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Education from the University of Melbourne.

Claudia Fatone

Claudia Fatone is the Chief Executive Officer of the Fitzroy Legal Service.

Prior to joining Fitzroy Legal Service, Claudia was the Sector Development Manager with the Federation of Community Legal Centres. In this role, Claudia supported community legal centres with organisational development, funding, human resource management, professional development and training, and accreditation.

Claudia's work experience prior to the Federation of Community Legal Centres role included recruitment, HR and sports management. A Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Claudia is also a Board member of the Victoria Law Foundation and the Federation of Community Legal Centres and a former Director of Cricket Victoria, Melbourne Stars and Melbourne Renegades. 

James Atkinson

James Atkinson has a life-long commitment to the preservation of Indigenous culture, language and customs, and the regeneration and continued advancement of his community. He also has 35 years' experience across a range of Aboriginal Services and government departments.

James is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with the Aboriginal Community Elders Service (ACES). Prior to joining ACES, James was Director, Strategy and Development, Victorian Aboriginal Health Service; CEO Rumbalara Aboriginal Cooperative; and previously has held senior positions in the Department of Education and Training.

James has a strong academic background in public policy and management, extensive experience in leadership and management focusing on the strategic planning, staffing and complex stakeholder management for Aboriginal organisations, and Indigenous education in early childhood, TAFE, and the school sectors.

James has significant involvement in state/federal government and community advisory groups, such as the Institute Public Administration Australia - Victorian Aboriginal Advisory Committee and Victorian Professionals Indigenous Network, Australian Indigenous Training Advisory Council; Collingwood Reconciliation Action Plan; and extensive connection and engagement with organisations focused on certainty of access to services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, such as the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency, Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Inc, Rumbalara Aboriginal Cooperative, Yorta Yorta, Bangerang nations.

ACFE Regional Councils

The ACFE Board has eight Regional Councils across Victoria, each with a minimum of five voluntary members who are appointed by the Minister for Training and Skills.

​Regional:

  • Barwon South Western
  • Gippsland
  • Grampians
  • Hume
  • Loddon Mallee

Metropolitan:

  • Eastern Metropolitan
  • North Western Metropolitan
  • Southern Metropolitan

Role

The role of the Regional Councils is to:

  • provide expertise and local knowledge about adult education needs
  • advise the ACFE Board on regional priorities
  • implement plans and policies that promote and support adult education provision
  • recommend resource allocations to Learn Local providers in their regions in line with priorities and guidelines established by the ACFE Board.

The ACFE Regional Councils are supported by staff in the four Department of Education and Training Regions, see: Contact Us - Further Education, Training and Apprenticeships.

Applying for membership on ACFE Regional Councils

The ACFE Board welcomes expressions of interest from across the community for membership on all of the eight Regional Councils of ACFE across Victoria. The ACFE Board is interested to hear from people who can be a voice for their community in a regional forum that aims to ensure that the region's adult education needs are known and addressed.

Members are appointed by the Minister for up to three years on a voluntary basis and are asked to commit to regularly attending Council meetings and participating in other events or activities as they are able.

For more information or to complete an application please see:ACFE Regional Council Information and Application Pack (docx - 165.83kb).

For learners

For providers