Issue 3  |  SEPT 2016
•  What's been happening at 26TEN
•  Investing in workplace literacy pays
•  Get involved in the health literacy network
Not long until 26TEN Week!  We'll be highlighting digital literacy
Centrelink, LINC Tasmania and 26TEN partnership - lifting adult literacy
Reading bug egg project - gets people reading
435 member organisations and supporters have taken action and joined 26TEN.
93% of surveyed employers say they see the impact of
low literacy and numeracy in their workplace.
Australian Industry Group
48% of Tasmanians do not have the literacy and numeracy skills they need
for life in a technologically-rich world.
A national TV show, one Ministerial and two Vice Regal visits, a festival launch and a panel!
26TEN had events all over the state in July and August and was named as an effective program on national TV. 

Insight into literacy on SBS with Jenny Brockie
SBS Insight highlighted the everyday challenges faced by Australians who have low literacy and numeracy. In a recent show titled ‘Reading between the lines” they noted that even though 44% of Australian adults have gaps in their literacy and numeracy they remain largely hidden to the people who confidently read, write, do maths and communicate. 26TEN assisted the SBS Team with information and put them in contact with 26TEN grant recipients, Houston’s Farm. 

26TEN was mentioned as being an effective program on the episode. The show focused on the stories of people with low literacy and numeracy and the difficulties they have doing everyday things like getting a job, reading contracts and knowing what dose of medicine to give their sick child. 

Jenny Brockie, SBS - Insight

Jade Paul and Tony Baker from Houston’s Farm spoke about the success of the 26TEN program in lifting literacy and numeracy. It has been beneficial both for the individuals involved and the company. Listen to Jade's story here.

The show is well worth watching if you want to understand more about adult literacy in Australia:

Minister for Education visits Break O’Day to launch 26TEN Community
The Minister for Education, Jeremy Rockliff, visited St Helens to launch the Break O’Day 26TEN Community in July. The Community has a 26TEN grant and will focus on building literacy and numeracy skills and a more resilient community. 

The Minister met with learners, volunteers, mentors and service providers. He was told that strong local partnerships including the Break O’Day Council, LINC Tasmania’s Literacy Service, Neighbourhood House, District High School and service clubs of St Helens have formed a group known as THRIVE: Transforming Health Relationships Innovation Vocation Education. This group aims to empower Break O’ Day people to lead meaningful lives and create successful futures.

26TEN grants for communities and employers open 19 September 2016.

Minister for Education, Jeremy Rockliff, launches Break O’Day 26TEN Community

The Governor visits a range of 26TEN programs
The Governor of Tasmania, Professor the Honourable Kate Warner, and Mr Warner visited Houston’s Farm to find out how their 26TEN grant has made a difference for employees and the company. They met people who are building their reading, writing, maths and communications skills.They also heard how Houston’s is rewriting standard operating procedures in plain English. 

Jade Paul, a team leader in the processing factory, talked about how literacy and numeracy support from his employer has helped him both at work and at home. Anthony Houston, a Director and member of the Board talked about how improving skills benefits both the employees and employer.  

The Governor and Mr Warner also visited Glenorchy LINC to see how 26TEN works with LINC Tasmania to boost literacy and numeracy. They met Mark who is using software with his tutor to improve his reading. They also joined English conversations groups with learners from Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, West African countries and Afghanistan. The Governor and Mr Warner said that they now have stories they can take on their visits to other places around Tasmania to let people know about 26TEN and LINC Tasmania’s programs. 

26TEN grant recipient - Houston's Farm - Cambridge, Tasmania

Festival of Learning in Devonport. 
26TEN is a major sponsor of the first Festival of Learning being held in Devonport this month. Malcolm Wells, 26TEN Coalition member, was a guest speaker at the launch. Malcolm said that the 26TEN Coalition and the Devonport community, with their Live and Learn Strategy, share an understanding of the need for all of us to work together to support life-long learning, so we can meet the demands of modern life. 

The Festival is a celebration of lifelong learning and people are invited to ‘have a go’ at any of the 35 events on offer. 

26TEN is holding two free events. The first is the 26TEN adult literacy awareness workshop that explains the impact of low literacy on our community and talks about what we can all do to help. It's being held at Devonport LINC on 13 September 2016.

The second event is a free plain English workshop to be held at the Spreyton Bowls Club on Monday 26 Septemper. You can learn how to make written information easier to understand and take along your own documents to work on. 

For more information on both events visit: Remember, if you would like to host a free workshop email 26TEN:

Research Week panel: becoming Australia's healthiest population
Sue Costello, Manager 26TEN, was on a panel discussing the topic “What will it take for Tasmania to become Australia's healthiest population by 2025". It was held in Launceston by the University of Tasmania last month as part of Research Week. Adult literacy was discussed as a key component of preventative health. Improving people’s skills in reading, writing and maths means they are able to better look after their health. Dr Norman Swan, presenter of the health report on Radio National, facilitated the panel and said the research is clear that a well-educated society is a healthier society.

Investing in workplace literacy pays

That employers reap rewards from workplace literacy and numeracy programs is something we already know. You may have read about the 26TEN grant at Houston’s Farm in a previous article. For a business director’s perspective listen to Anthony Houston’s evaluation of their project to build skills at's-Story.aspx

Employers know low literacy and numeracy has an impact on their business
Last month, the 26TEN Coalition met with Michael Taylor, National Manager of Workforce Development at the Australian Industry Group. This is Australia's peak industry association representing the interests of more than 60 000 businesses. 

Michael talked about how employers know they need to build literacy and numeracy skills. 

“Ai Group surveyed more than 400 companies across the manufacturing, construction, services and mining sectors. We found that 93 per cent of surveyed employers experience the impact of low levels of literacy and numeracy in their workforce,” said Michael. 

“The impact results in inadequate completion of workplace documents or reports, time wasting and material wastage. It’s a skills gap that drains productivity.”

Showing employers the benefits of literacy and numeracy training in the workplace
26TEN Coalition members were interested in the work the Ai Group has done to measure the return on investment on foundation skills training in four case studies around Australia, including TasWater. It showed there is a significant return for employers with benefits such as members of the workforce needing less supervision, making fewer mistakes and having fewer safety incidents. Find out more at

Want to get involved in the health literacy network?

Low health literacy means that many Tasmanians have difficulty finding their way through the health system and understanding health information. This can lead to poor management of health conditions, increased time off work and increased health costs.

In Tasmania, momentum is growing to tackle this issue. Last year, a health literacy forum was held in Launceston and a health literacy network was established. The network is supported by 26TEN and now has over 180 supporters. It aims to raise public awareness of health literacy and to engage people in health literacy activities and practices. 

By providing information, tools and resources to support organisations and individuals, the network is building a health literate Tasmania. Shown below is a practical example of how improvements can be made so that health information is easier to understand.

See how information in the first poster has been beautifully simplified in the second to meet the goal of encouraging pregnant women to be tested for diabetes.

First Poster

Second Poster

13 Sep 26TEN adult literacy awareness workshop - free Devonport Festival of Learning
19 Sep 26TEN grants open for employers and communities
26 Sep Plain English workshop - free Devonport Festival of Learning
11-13 Oct 3 all day workshops for literacy practitioners, Devonport
24-28 Oct 26TEN Week:  Read, write, count - online
24 Oct Reception at Government House to thank members and supporters
26 Oct
26TEN Tasmanian Council for Adult Literacy event

Not long until 26TEN Week! We'll be highlighting digital literacy

We celebrate 26TEN week from Monday 24 October and invite all our members and supporters to celebrate with us. Along with some special events we have planned, we also encourage you to plan your own celebrations.
Our theme Read, write, count – online, highlights the increasing expectation that we engage with programs and services online. It reminds people that to get online we need literacy and numeracy skills as well as digital skills. We will also be reminding people that it is never too late to learn and your local LINCs will be running courses and competitions to encourage digital learning. 

Expect to hear more about 26TEN Week in the coming weeks. 
Last year, LINC Tasmania and 26TEN built on work started by Centrelink and RMIT University to strengthen relationships between Centrelink offices and their local LINCs.

Together, we developed and delivered training in literacy awareness for Centrelink staff, so they can better support their clients and refer them to LINC for literacy support. The partnership is working well.

Melinda Thomas, Community Learning Coordinator, has experienced this in her previous role at Bridgewater LINC and now at Rosny.

“I’ve been impressed with the difference two organisations can make in lifting adult literacy levels when they work together. We now have a regular flow of people coming to Rosny LINC as a result of referrals from Centrelink,” she said.

“Through literacy awareness training we help Centrelink staff identify their clients with low literacy and show them how to help the clients follow written instructions.

What’s also worked well is inviting Centrelink staff to Rosny LINC to show them around and give them an understanding of the services and programs we offer. Now, all new staff at Centrelink Rosny visit Rosny LINC to tour the site, meet key staff and gain an understanding of the programs and services on offer.”

Rosny LINC has also given Centrelink staff a flyer for their clients which shows a map of how to get from Centrelink in Rosny to Rosny LINC.
Successful reading bug egg project gets people reading

Congratulations to 26TEN Community, Circular Head, for winning an award in the 2016 Local Government Awards for Excellence for the reading bug egg project.  26TEN Coalition Chair, Daryl Quilliam is also Mayor of Circular Head and accepted the award on behalf of the community. 

He reflected on the project’s role in lifting literacy in the region and the impact on parents, particularly fathers, who realised the importance of reading to their children each day.

“As it progressed, the longer you thought about it, the more you realised how important it was,” he said.

“It captivated the attention of people to a huge extent. It’s great that our community was recognised for a huge effort of everyone pulling together and getting on board.”

Read more about the project here:

Free workshop anyone?

26TEN offers two free workshops for members and supporters to build skills of people who write at work.

Literacy awareness - 1 hour

The literacy awareness workshop answers the questions people have about adult literacy and numeracy in Tasmania:
  • Why do people have problems taking messages, following instructions or taking the right dose of medicine?
  • What is functional literacy and how do we measure it?  
  • What is being done to help?   
  • What is functional literacy and how do we measure it?
Plain English - 3.5 hours

Using plain English can increase productivity and satisfaction in the workplace by reducing errors and supporting clear communication. Our 3.5 hours workshop teaches the principles of plain English and gives you time to practise on your own material.

For more information:
What is leadership?

The 2016 TasCOSS Conference poses that question about leadership and explores how every one of us can lead change in our communities, workplaces and to governments.

Find out more and register:
We live in a great state with many exciting opportunities. But too many adult Tasmanians are held back because their reading, writing, numeracy and speaking skills aren't strong enough for the demands of daily life and work.

26TEN aims to change this. We help businesses, community groups, government, educators, and individuals to work together so all adults have the skills they need.

Our name represents the 26 letters of the alphabet and ten digits we use for counting - the tools for life.

26TEN Team
Christina Roscoe, Kate Lowe
Allison Mitchell, Jennifer Dunbabin, Sue Costello
(03) 6165 5512

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26TEN · Level 3 91 Murray Street · Hobart, Tas 7000 · Australia

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