The 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.
The Adult, Community and Further Education (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 300 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:
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, Ms Peters was recognised for leading significant educational innovation within the vocational education and training sector aimed at improving participation and ensuring strong student and industry outcomes.
In 2018, for her outstanding leadership and commitment to vocational education Ms Peters was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Education from Swinburne University.
Dr Ron Wilson PSM - Deputy Chairperson
Dr Ron Wilson OAM is an education and training consultant and has more than 20 years of experience in the Vocational Education and Training sector in Victoria including senior management, Indigenous education, and corrections education in Technical and Further Education.
He has worked as a consultant with a number of 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 in Victoria’s adult and juvenile corrections systems.
Ron is a member of the Eltham High School Council and Friends of Eltham Copper Butterfly.
Sally Brennan is an education consultant with a background in community development and adult community education, following 20 years as Chief Executive Officer of Upper Yarra Community House.
Sally has qualifications in community development and a Master of Education.
Sally has experience working with all levels of government, creating and maintaining local and regional services, community engagement, and working with industry and education providers to improve learning outcomes for disadvantaged and vulnerable learners.
Helen Coleman OAM
Helen Coleman OAM was a Councillor and two-time Mayor for the Nillumbik Shire Council where she worked closely with Learn Local providers, local learning employment networks, and schools.
Helen has qualifications in community development and a Bachelor of Social Science and experience working in both paid and voluntary roles in the legal profession for State Members of Parliament, and consulting in the volunteer and community development sectors.
Helen has wide-ranging Board experience with not-for-profit and government boards.
She is a board member of Women’s Health Victoria, former President and now Metro Vice President of the Australian Local Government Women’s Association, Deputy Chair of the Northern Metropolitan Partnership, and a member of the Ministerial Council for Volunteers and Environment Volunteers Expert Panel.
Helen is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a graduate of the Cranlana Programme.
Michael Grogan is the Victorian/South Australian Director 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 a Director of the Defence Materials Technology Centre.He is involved in the Vocational Education and Training in schools sector and is on the School Council of the Northern College of the Arts and Technology.
He chairs the Inner Northern Local Learning Employment Network and the William Ruthven Secondary College School Council.
Helen Kennedy has extensive experience in leadership and community development, specifically relating to Aboriginal wellbeing.
Ms Kennedy has held senior management roles within the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation and was responsible for the effective and operational management support of eight health programs.
Ms Kennedy has also been responsible for the management of over 45 staff including those providing allied health services to at risk members of the Victorian community.
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 of the Australian Education Unions State Council.
Ms Lewis is currently a board member of Castlemaine Health, Remembrance Parks Victoria, Planning for Sustainable Animal Industries Implementation Reference Group, and Joyces Creek Cemetery Trust in addition to other non-government bodies and committees.
Ms Lewis also has extensive experience in education, being a teacher for 21 years and a Principal for 18 years.
John Maddock OAM
John Maddock OAM has vast corporate governance, senior executive leadership, and management experience in the tertiary and adult education sectors, including Chief Executive Officer at both Box Hill Institute Group and the Gordon Institute of Technical and Further Education.
He is an Honorary Senior Fellow of Melbourne University Graduate School of Education LH Martin Institute and a member of the Victoria Polytechnic Vice Chancellor’s Advisory Committee at Victoria University.
He also provides consulting services.
John is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and currently holds non-executive director positions with Innovation Skills Australia, Australian Training Products and eCoach.
He was awarded the Australia Sports Medal for volunteer services with the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
In 2013, John was made a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia for significant service to Vocational Education and Training, and to the sport of basketball.
Dr Menon Parameswaran OAM
Dr Menon Parameswaran OAM has a background in natural resource management, agriculture, teaching and research, business studies, and community liaison and engagement with culturally and linguistically diverse communities and disadvantaged learners in the Vocational Education and Training system.
He is a Board Director of the Primary Care Connect Community Health Service in Shepparton and has chaired and worked as a member of both industry and government peak committees.
Menon is a retired Senior lecturer of the University of Melbourne, a former advisor and consultant at the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority, and a former Senior Lecturer and research manager at the Victorian College of Agriculture and Horticulture.
Menon was a member of the Victorian Multicultural Business Advisory Council from 2004 to 2009.
He has more than 30 years of experience in education and community forums and has received awards and commendations for his work in environmental and community issues.
Dr Win Scott
Dr Win Scott is a consultant with extensive experience in the Vocational Education and Training sector, most recently as Chief Executive Officer of Sunraysia Institute of Technical and Further Education until her retirement in June 2016.
La Trobe University awarded her an honorary Doctorate of Education in 2016, and she 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, including the Multicultural Commission Victoria Loddon Mallee Advisory Board.
Her background before joining the Technical and Further Education sector was as a restaurateur in Bendigo.
Raoul Wainwright has a background in public policy, industrial relations and community services.
He recently resigned as Manager of Communications and Policy at the Victorian Public Tenants Association where he was responsible for policy development and communications, and managing stakeholder relationships with government, peak associations and the media.
Mr Wainwright holds a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Arts and has held ministerial advisory roles and been a member of local government.
Mr Wainwright has longstanding experience in working with government at all levels and is committed to improving the access of educational opportunities to all Victorians.
Penny Wilson has extensive government, community, and private sector experience.
As Principal Consultant with SHK Asia Pacific, she specialises in executive recruitment 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.
Contact the ACFE Board
All communication to the ACFE Board should be sent to:
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 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.
- Barwon South Western
- Loddon Mallee
- Eastern Metropolitan
- North Western Metropolitan
- Southern Metropolitan
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.
We are currently seeking applications from people who may be interested in vacancies occurring from now until December 2018.
For more information or to complete an application please see:ACFE Regional Council Information and Application Pack (docx - 165.83kb).