Celebrating Learning - Dec/Jan 2016 - Edition 24
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Welcome to the latest edition of Celebrating Learning, the bimonthly newsletter of the Brimbank Community Learning Strategy 2014-2017.

Highlights of this edition include: 2015 On Track data, a feature item on Community West's Learning Link program and some recent good news media articles on schools in Brimbank, including Sunshine College's recent Excellence in Education Award. Congratulations Sunshine College!

To share information about learning in Brimbank, check out the Learning & Information Exchange - an online community noticeboard to share upcoming learning events and programs.

For those celebrating, we hope you have a peaceful festive season and look forward to working with you in 2016!

In this issue:
2015 On Track Data
What's On

Feature: Learning Link
Learning Information
Learning News

Brimbank Libraries
Research & Resources
On Track is a Victorian Government initiative which surveys school leavers who have left school in the last six months to track their post school destinations. 61.8% of all Brimbank students who left school in 2014 participated in this year's survey.

A snapshot of Brimbank students who completed Year 12 or equivalent in 2014:
- 81.7% are in further education or training, compared to 77.0% Victorian average
- 52.4% are enrolled in university, compared to 53.2% in Victoria. This is down from 56.9% in 2014
- 23.8% are enrolled in certificates or diplomas, compared to 16.3% in Victoria
- 11.8% are employed, compared to 17.0% in Victoria. This is up from 8.5% in 2014
- RMIT continues to be the leading university for Brimbank school leavers

A snapshot of Brimbank students who left in 2014 before completing Year 12 or equivalent:
- 22.8% are enrolled in certificates or diplomas, compared to 25.8% Victorian average
- 17.7% are enrolled in apprenticeships or traineeships, compared to 28.2% in Victoria
- 27.8% are employed, compared to 23.7% in Victoria. This is up from 21.0% in 2014
- 22.8% are looking for work, compared to 15.6% in Victoria
- 8.9%
are not in the labour force, employment or training, compared to 5.5% in Victoria

Take a look at some easy to read Brimbank-specific tables here

Visit the On Track website to read the full Brimbank report

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Talk to VU about your preferences

You don’t need to know your final destination to take the next step. Discuss your ATAR with a VU Course Adviser in person, via chat, over the phone or stop by VU's Change of Preference Expo.

Change of Preference Expo
For information about courses, fees, scholarships and student life. Meet academic staff, VU Course Advisers and current students in person at the Expo, Wednesday 16 December, 4-7pm at the VU Footscray Park Campus.

Need course advice?

Victoria University Course Advisers will be available for face-to-face appointments, by phone, online chat or via its Facebook page from Monday 14 December to Friday 18 December, 9am - 5pm and Monday 21 December, 9am - 12pm.

For more information about VU events or expos Tel 1300 842 864 or E

Wominjeka 2016

The 2016 Wominjeka program has just been released, presenting art, music, performance and activities that deeply reflects Indigenous culture in Melbourne's west, and Australia.
Wominjeka will run from Friday 15 January - Sunday 17 January at Footscray Community Arts Centre.
To see the full program, visit the FCAC website.

The University of Melbourne holds a series of free public lectures on most weeknights. The Free Public Lecture program raises public awareness and promotes community debate on a range of issues of local and global, as well as academic and social significance. Find the full program here.

Entries are now being accepted for the 2016 Ada writing competition, open to writers who live, work or study in the western suburbs of Melbourne.  
The competition closes on Tuesday 8 March 2016. Winners will be announced at the Williamstown Literary Festival in June 2016. Read more here!

The Hope Prize

The Brotherhood of St Laurence has established The Hope Prize - a new national short story competition to encourage Australian writers to tackle a subject that is all too often hidden from public view or reduced to clichés. Whatever the genre, the story submitted must convey the experience of people facing hardship in their lives.
First prize is $5000 and an award of $500 will also be made to an emerging writer under 18. Entries close 31 January 2016Read more here.


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In February 2015, Community West Victoria initiated the Learning Link School Partnership Program, partnering with four local schools to deliver English language classes for parents. The program targets parents who face difficulties with English language and literacy and seeks to address the challenges schools face engaging with parents because of language or cultural barriers.
Learning Link is delivered as a fully accredited English as an Additional Language (EAL) course, tailoring the activities to suit the needs of the parents, with a focus on school and local community involvement. Upon completion of the course, parents are able to obtain an Accredited Certificate or Statement of Attainment, which can be used towards their employability and/or further studies. 
Feedback from the program has been positive, highlighting increased self-confidence and involvement with the school community events and their children’s education: In our English class we listen to the teacher.  We are learning English and do spelling, reading, speaking, listening and writing. It is good to learn at the same school as our children.  We learn more about the school. I am very happy to come back to class next year.” – Akuet, parent from Marian College
In 2016, Community West Victoria is expecting to offer the program in more schools in the Brimbank area and extend the program to the Moreland region. For more information, please contact Vivian 

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Record number of scholarships awarded for 2016

Western Chances awarded a record number of scholarships to young people across Melbourne’s west this year. 596 secondary and tertiary students have received scholarships ranging from $300 to $1500 for items that will help them continue their studies and fulfil their dreams. Visit the Western Chances website for more information about the scholarship program.

Sunshine College wins the Lindsay Thompson Award for Excellence in Education

Minister for Education, James Merlino, presented Sunshine College’s maths team with the Lindsay Thompson Award for Excellence in Education. The team was selected from the nine category winners on Friday 30 October – World Teachers’ Day in Australia.

The team, which also took out the Outstanding School Advancement Award, has delivered dramatic improvements in student engagement and results through a data-driven team teaching model tailored to each student’s abilities. Local and global interest has seen the college share its expertise at national forums and international education conferences. Read the Premier's full media release here. Congratulations Sunshine College!

Reading and Literacy Strategic Framework

The Reading and literacy for all strategic framework was launched in October, jointly developed by State Library Victoria and Victoria’s network of 47 municipal library services and regional library corporations. It provides an overview of current library programs, identifies guiding principles and shared priorities for action, and establishes a robust approach to evaluating the impact of public libraries on Victorians’ reading and literacy levels. 

New scholarship fund for VU

Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard has launched a new scholarship fund for Victoria University students honouring two inspirational women from the West. The Kirner-Kosky Scholarship Fund bears the names of Joan Kirner and Lynne Kosky, who shared a commitment to education and public service through their long and highly respected careers.

In addition to offering scholarships for students from the West, one Kirner Scholarship and one Kosky Scholarship will be awarded each year to two young women from the West studying at the university and will include mentoring from a female community leader.
Nominations for the Victorian Young Achiever Awards are now open! The Awards aim to recognise, encourage and reward the positive achievements of young Victorians up to and including 29 years of age. 
Nominations close on Friday 11 December. Visit the Awards Australia website for more information.


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St Albans Secondary College scoops fashion awards
Star Weekly

"St Albans Secondary College design students know how to turn a head or two. The school stole the show at last week’s Fashion Awards Australia, taking out the school cup for their daring designs, including this dress and matching feathered head gear. It’s the fifth year the school has won the top gong."

Show, not tell: video modelling helps problem classroom behaviours
Sydney Morning Herald

Sunshine Harvester Primary School's students aren't household-name TV stars, but some of them are featuring on their own TV show. The school-based show features segments of video modelling, a behaviour-modification tool in which videotaped subjects model behaviours and skills that they, their peers and a wider audience can watch, learn and imitate.”

Schools Plus makes tax deductible donations available to public schools
Sydney Morning Herald

"Donations to the most needy public schools in Australia will now be tax-deductible, giving thousands of disadvantaged schools across the country the same access to philanthropic funding from wealthy donors and corporations that once traditionally benefited private schools."
New Centre For Vocational And Educational Policy
Victorian Government Media Release, 6 November

"Minister for Training and Skills Steve Herbert has today launched a new research centre at The University of Melbourne focused on student pathways in upper secondary education and beyond. The new Centre for Vocational and Educational Policy (CVEP) will research pathways within secondary education and then from secondary education into higher education, vocational education and training (VET), work-based training and the labour market."
One in four Australian students drop out of high school, study finds
The World Today, reported in ABC News

"A study has found a quarter of Australian school students are not finishing Year 12, and that completion rates are much worse in remote and economically disadvantaged communities."


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The annual Summer Reading Club at Brimbank Libraries is back for 2015/16! Underwater worlds, alternate universes, epic adventures, mythical creatures and so much more await discovery in this summer's program, Lost Worlds - what will you uncover?

The Summer Reading Club: Lost Worlds will officially run from Tuesday 1 December, 2015 - Sunday 31 January, 2016. Register for the Summer Reading club at any Brimbank Library. Registrations close Monday 25 January, 2016. For more information, visit  the Brimbank Libraries website.

The Summer Read, now in its ninth year, is Victoria's leading program promoting reading for pleasure by adults. The program features a selected list of 10 recommended titles, written by Victorians, about Victorians or set in Victoria.

Brimbank Libraries have the selected items in stock to borrow.  During the program, readers visiting Brimbank Libraries can enter the draw to win a prize, simply by recommending another great book to read. The program runs from 30 November 2015 - 14 February 2016. For more information, visit the Brimbank Libraries website.

Rosetta Stone language learning software uses images, text, and sound to teach words and grammar by spaced repetition, without translation. The program is free of charge and available to use on all Brimbank Libraries' public PCs at our five branch locations. Enquire on your next visit to get setup.

Bring a rug, hat, sunscreen and morning snack. Children of all ages welcome. Find maps of each of the parks on the Brimbank Libraries website. In case of bad weather or extreme heat contact your local library.

Brimbank Council Gardens
Friday 4 Dec 2015, 10.30am
Isabella Williams Memorial Reserve
Tuesday 8 Dec 2015, 10.30am


Kevin Flint Reserve
Wednesday 13 Jan 2016, 10.30am
Errington Reserve
Wednesday 13 Jan 2016, 10.30am
RT Pollard Gardens
Thursday 21 Jan 2016, 10.30am
Cliff Harvey Lagoon Reserve
Wednesday 27 Jan, 2016 10.30am


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Maggolee launched

Maggolee is a resource for local government to demonstrate examples of good practice in the way they engage with Aboriginal communities. This may include policy and programs, information on protocols and cultural awareness, key contact information, relevant local data, news and events, among other information.

Educational opportunity in Australia 2015: who succeeds and who misses out

This study draws together information on the opportunities being provided to young Australians as they negotiate the various stages of education and training and attempt to establish themselves in the workforce during their transition to adulthood.

Senior Secondary translated publications

VCAA have important secondary school publications translated in other 20 different languages including Chin Burmese, Somali and Arabic. The publications include information booklets for parents and students on VCAL, VCE and VET.

Paying a Price: Young men and women experiencing joblessness in Australia

Australia’s young men and young women are experiencing joblessness differently. Young men who are in the labour market are more likely to be unemployed, while young women are more likely to be underemployed. Read the full November 2015 report here.


Australian Scholarships Group Parent Report Card

The ASG Parents Report Card investigates the state of education in Australia from parents’ perspectives, measuring parents’ perceptions of the state of education. Undertaken by ASG and the Faculty of Education at Monash University, the report reveals parental aspirations are the strongest factor in their child achieving academic success.

Location, vocation, aspiration: findings from Mission Australia’s youth survey 2014

Young people living in low socio-economic status areas are more likely to be concerned with getting a job, bullying and other emotional abuse than young people from higher SES areas.Read more here.

Value of Volunteering Calculator

It’s easy to underestimate the impact of personal contribution to the volunteering sector. This calculator is a quick way to highlight the value volunteers bring to an organisation, and the valuable role you play. 

Completing university in a growing sector: is equity an issue?

This report details the findings from a research project funded by the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE) that explores new data tracking student cohorts through the higher education system – from commencement to completion. 

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