Celebrating Learning Edition 30 - Feb/Mar 2017
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Welcome to the 30th edition of Celebrating Learning, the bimonthly newsletter of the Brimbank Community Learning Strategy 2014-2017.

Highlights of this edition include: local good news stories, including the incredible Year 12 (ATAR) results of Sydenham Catholic Regional College student Saad Al-Kassab who arrived in Australia as a refugee from Syria just two years ago; plenty of training opportunities and learning events; and research, resources and information relating to learning in all its forms. 

For ideas, information or feedback, please E:

In this issue:
What's On
Local Stories
Learning Information
Brimbank Libraries
Research & Resources
Brimbank Family & Childrens Expo

The Brimbank Family and Children Expo brings together organisations from and around Brimbank to showcase a range of community initiatives for families and children (0-12 years). The expo is a free event for all to attend.

Tuesday 28 March, 10am-2pm
10-11am: Structured networking for organisations
11am-2pm: Expo open to families and children

Salvation Army Hall - 42 Devonshire Road, Sunshine 
For more information, please contact Celia Chang
E: / Tel: 9312 1598

What’s on and what’s new- 2017 training calendar

The MY Education training team at Centre for Multicultural Youth will be offering free training sessions for Homework Clubs for tutors and coordinators in 2017. Training modules include: Culturally Responsive Tutoring; Tutoring Strategies for EAL Students and Evaluating Your OSHLSP (Homework Club).

Training is held at CMY's Carlton venue, as well as by reuqest at venues of your choice across Victoria.
See the full Training Calendar here.
LEAP Activities for Terms 1 & 2, 2017

The LEAP Program aims to demystify the links between school, higher education and professions. LEAP aims to encourage secondary students from low SES communities to consider professional careers as a future option. The professional fields covered are Business, Design, Engineering, Health, Law and Science.

Many LEAP activities, across all its Profession areas, are available now for online applications. You can download a printable list of LEAP Activities - 2017  to plan your preferred incursions or excursions, then simply apply online at LEAP > Activities. Learn more about LEAP here.
Learning Together @ Duke Street Community House

Learning Together is a fun and engaging program that delivers English language tuition to carers with preschool children; enabling participants to build literacy skills through songs, stories and games. Cost is $5 per session. Download the program flyer.

Mondays, 9.30am-12.30pm
27 Duke Street, Sunshine
Te: 9311 9973 to book your place

What's your big idea for Brimbank?

Council is asking the local community to have their say about what they would like to see Council focus on to keep improving Brimbank. It will use this feedback to inform its Long Term Community Plan, the next four year Council Plan as well as its Council Budget for next year.
Consultation will run between 7 February and 7 March.
For further information visit the Council website, and download the flyer for venues, dates and times. 
DUX of CRC Sydenham's New Life

Source - Catholic Education Office Melbourne
Saad Al-Kassab topped the table at Catholic Regional College, Sydenham, with an ATAR of 96.65 despite only starting to learn English after arriving in Australia as a refugee from Syria in June 2014 and missing two years of school due to the conflict in his homeland, instead studying at home with his mother.
Read more here.
Brimbank Educator of the Year Award

Congratulations to Tim Blunt, Principal of Sunshine College, for winning Educator of the Year at Brimbank City Council's 2017 Australia Day Awards! This award is presented to an individual in recognition of inspiring contributions to learning and education within Brimbank.

Source - Brimbank Buzz

Sunshine College Head Principal Tim Blunt has driven positive change in combating low levels of literacy and numeracy in the Brimbank area. He has introduced many proactive educational strategies that have had great impact on the Brimbank community.

As well as building a strong foundation in literacy and providing quality time for students to learn, Tim has also strengthened the school community, by bringing students, families and teachers together – to achieve better learning outcomes for young people.

Tim’s contribution to the Brimbank community has been an educational triumph for the local area – boosting young people’s confidence and leading to increased numbers of students completing their education.

Tim has developed respectful and caring environments for young people’s wellbeing and learning across the college’s four campuses within Brimbank. He has demonstrated a positive approach, engaging young people from vulnerable backgrounds and providing an inclusive model for learning and support.

East Sunshine Kindergarten and Foundation House win a Victorian Early Years Award
The East Sunshine Kindergarten in partnership with Foundation House won one of five Victorian Early Years awards, announced by Minister Mikakos on 18 October 2016. Foundation House worked with the East Sunshine Kindergarten in 2011-12 with Chin community advisors. This supported the kindergarten to make significant changes in their work with Chin families.

To quote the award narrative 'This has created a welcoming, supportive environment where Chin families are now highly involved in all activities from working bees and transition days to being parent helpers. The kindergarten employs bicultural staff, provides practical support and has strong connections to many community agencies, the Chin church and feeder primary schools.' Read the project report here.  
Brimbank resident receives spark of inspiration at Engineering Camp

Western Chances scholarship recipient Lien To spent a week in July, 2016, at the Spark Engineering Camp which is run by young people through Youth Without Borders.
“For as long as I can remember, my passion has always been for wonders of science, especially chemistry and astronomy,” says Lien.
Earlier this year, Lien found out about the Spark Engineering Camp through Western Chances’ Program Manager Anne Connors, and applied to take part. The Spark Engineering Camp takes students from non-traditional backgrounds and gives them an immersive experience in university life, and a taste of what engineering might be like as a career. Students stay at a residential college on the University of Melbourne campus for a week, taking part in a variety of activities while there.
“For an entire week, I was surrounded by such an amazing group of inspiring people. By the end of the camp, so many valuable memories and experiences were shared among us all. University is no longer a distant adventure, but a familiar journey in my near future.  I've become a stronger person by meeting new people, and learning valuable life skills.”
For Western Chances, it’s important that students receive more than just financial support. Experiences like the Spark Engineering Camp offer opportunities to students to build their networks, their skills and their confidence.

Read Lien's full story and more about Western Chances here.
Skills First Update

From January 2017, Victoria's training and TAFE system will be overhauled through Skills First. A new approach to training will be implemented, setting a high benchmark for training quality, and supporting the courses that are most likely to lead to employment.

For more information and resources on Skills First, see: Skills First Resources or E:

New economic strategy for the West

Source: Regional Development Victoria - Western Melbourne
A new report into the West has recommended a greater link between training and employment to meet a shortage in specialist jobs.The Melbourne’s West – Future Workforce Report has recommended a new economic development strategy be prepared, to set a long-term plan for jobs growth.The State Government will provide $80,000 to fund the strategy, which will underpin job creation in emerging industries.

The recently formed West of Melbourne Economic Development Alliance (WOMEDA) will drive the new strategy, investigating ways to boost existing industries, such as transport, logistics and construction and attracting new digital and e-commerce investment. The report was prepared by Western Melbourne RDA with the State and Federal governments and Lead West. Chaired by former Premier Steve Bracks, WOMEDA is supported by the Western Melbourne Regional Development Australia (RDA), Victoria University and local councils. 
Glasses for Kids program

The Victorian Government committed $480,000 over four years to the Glasses for Kids program to enable at least 30,000 Prep to Year 3 students from 250 schools in the most disadvantaged areas to be tested for glasses.  All vision screenings will be undertaken, at the school, by either optometry students under the supervision of a registered optometrist or by a registered optometrist. Read more here

Centrelink student update

Follow Centrelink's Student Update facebook page to find out the last information about online claiming for Youth Allowance and Austudy.  For more information visit the Centrelink student website.

Victorian Aboriginal and Local Government

The soon to be launched Victorian Aboriginal and Local Government Action Plan recognises, celebrates and shares good practice and will present a practical framework for councils across the state to:
* improve relationships with Aboriginal communities;
promote reconciliation; and
engage Aboriginal people in planning, decision-making, employment, programs and services.

Local Government Victoria has developed the plan in consultation with councils and Aboriginal communities. Nominations were sought from the community for best practice initiatives to be showcased as case studies in the plan. For further information, visit the website or E:
This storytime is especially welcoming for children on the Autism Spectrum and families who are looking for a smaller, adaptive storytime. Open to all children and caregivers.

Friday 24 February & Friday 31 March, 11.30am-12.30pm
Deer Park Library - 4 Neale Road, Deer Park
Tel: 9249 4660
Celebrate Cultural Diversity Week at Brimbank Libraries!

Lantern Craft Activity
The Vietnamese Language School will run a Lantern Craft Activity at all five library branches. Materials provided. Bookings essential.
Deer Park - Mon 20 Mar, 4-5pm
St Albans - Wed 22 Mar, 4-5pm
Keilor Village - Thurs 23 Mar, 4-5p
Sunshine - Thurs 23 Mar, 4-5pm
Sydenham - Thurs 23 Mar, 4-5pm

Multilingual Storytime
These special storytime sessions will see read a story or sing a song, or use a comparison of words in languages other than English. Share words from your own language too!
St Albans - Mon 20 Mar, 10.30-11am
Deer Park - Wed 22 Mar, 10.30-11am
Keilor Village - Wed 22 Mar, 10.30-11am
Sunshine - Wed 22 Mar, 10.30-11am
Sydenham - Fri 24 Mar, 10.30-11am

Visit the Brimbank Libraries website for more information.
The CoderDojo movement believes that an understanding of programming languages is increasingly important in the modern world, that it’s both better and easier to learn these skills early, and that nobody should be denied the opportunity to do so.

Come and learn learn the basics of coding with Scratch, the visual programming language! For ages 7-17 years. No bookings required.

Every two weeks on Thursdays, 4-5pm from Thursday 2 February
Sunshine Library - 301 Hampshire Road, Sunshine
For more information, visit the Brimbank Libraries website

Occasional Paper: Busting Myths about women in STEM

This paper, published by the Office of the Chief Scientist,  dispels four damaging and persistent myths facing women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and highlights the need for ongoing action to encourage and support women to pursue careers in these areas. It shows that women are just as talented and capable as men in STEM fields, but the gender pay gap, workplace discrimination and a belief that STEM professions are “male” roles discourage girls and women from pursuing these careers.

Back to School and Transition Resources

School transition can be a time of nerves and excitement for children and their families. KidsMatter has compiled a list of resources to help parents support children starting and returning to school and published an article on supporting children with additional needs to manage school transitions.

The Impact of Digital Skills on Educational Outcomes

Digital skills are increasingly important for labor market outcomes and social participation. Do they also matter for academic performance? This paper investigates the effects of digital literacy on educational outcomes by merging data from the Italian National Assessment in secondary schools with an original data set on performance tests of Internet skills for 10th grade students.

The Hanger entrepreneurial space @ VU 

The Hanger is the premier entrepreneurial space in the West of Melbourne. In the Hanger the evidence-based experimental approach of lean startup thinking meets the practical nature of business where salaries and bills need to get paid at the end of the month. The Hanger unlocks the state-of-the-art facilities and in-depth domain expertise of Victoria University for local innovators. Drop by the Hanger at Metro West for a chat and start your entrepreneurial journey.

2017 Participation for CALD Seniors Grants Program 

This grants program provides funding for projects that help isolated people from CALD backgrounds connect with existing or new support networks and activities. Applicants can apply for grants of up to $5,000 or for more complex or partnership projects up to $10,000. The program is accepting applications until 5pm, Friday 24 February 2017. Read more here.

The Missing Link? Young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds, social capital and the transition to employment

CMY’s most recent policy paper explores the role of social capital in young people’s transitions to skilled employment. Young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds’ access to bridging social capital is often a missing link in the step to employment, however in the context of Australia, there is a scarcity of research that focuses on the experiences of young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds in this area.


Rate your experience with job service agencies

JobVoice is a project of Social Security Rights Victoria. SSRV created JobVoice, as a way for jobseekers and social security users to document the stories of good and bad experiences with Centrelink or job service agencies. Read more here.


Youth Survey 2016 - Brimbank data

Read Brimbank specific data for the 2016 Mission Australia Youth Survey. In total, 105 young people from Brimbank City Council aged 15 to 19 years responded to Mission Australia's Youth Survey 2016. Overall, 88 (85.4%) respondents were female and 15 (14.6%) were male. Overall, 27 (25.7%) respondents stated that they were born overseas and 40 (38.8%) young people reported speaking a language other than English at home.

Public Libraries: A vital space for family engagement

In this Call to Action, Harvard Family Research Project and the Public Library Association explore what family engagement is, the research behind why families matter for children’s learning, and why libraries matter for family engagement.


How scam savvy are you? 

Test your knowledge of common online scams and see how you can protect yourself from being scammed! Try the quiz here.

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Brimbank Libraries & Learning · 301 Hampshire Road · Sunshine, Victoria 3020 · Australia

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