2015 CRLLEN AGM & Annual Report


The Central Ranges Local Learning and Employment Network held its 2015 Annual General Meeting on 19 May 2015 at the Golden Reign Room, Kilmore Trackside,

The 2015 Annual General Meeting opened with a briefing for members about the results of the work of the LLEN in 2014/15 and the news that LLENs around Victoria have been provided with a State Government funding commitment for the next four years, after a period of uncertainty. A new statement of the LLEN’s strategic direction was also shared with members.

Ordinary business included:

  • confirmation of the minutes of the 2014 Annual General Meeting
  • committee reports of the transactions of the association during 2014
  • election of officers of the association
  • appointment of an auditor of the association for the year
  • receipt and consideration of the statement submitted by the association in accordance with section 30[3] of the Act.

Guest Speakers

  • Jaclyn Symes, MLC for Northern Victoria
  • Don Gibbons, Principal, Seymour Flexible Learning Centre
  • Zac, a student at Seymour Flexible Learning Centre

Christine Cox Trailblazer Awards

Each year the Central Ranges LLEN Board recognises people (professionals or volunteers) who have demonstrated excellent leadership in achieving education, training and employment opportunities for local young people.  Each recipient is awarded the Christine Cox Trailblazer Award, and receives $500 towards their strategic projects that support local young people.  The award is named after founding board member and staff member Christine Cox.  Christine worked tirelessly to facilitate training and employment opportunities, especially through the Lower Hume VET and Pathways Cluster and is recognised for her outstanding achievements in our local community.

The Trailblazer award recipient for 2015 was:

Buffy Leadbeater, Coordinator Youth Services at Mitchell Shire Council

Acknowledgement was also given to fellow Award Nominees:

Jana Ash, Workplace Learning Coordinator, CVGT

Jeynelle McLennan, Student Wellbeing Officer, Seymour College

Elected Board members

The following nominees were elected to the board for two years until May 2017:

Schools – Tony GoodenTAFE Institutes – Jenny JacksonLocal Government – John Walsh

Other Community Agency – Tricia Quibell

Koorie Organisations – Lawrence Moser

Community – Mike Dalmau

Chair & CEO Reports

The Annual Report was presented to members and guests at the 2015 AGM.

Central Ranges LLEN AGM Annual Report 2014-15 FINAL

Highlights included:

  • Training Needs in Macedon Ranges and Murrindindi
  • Transfield Services Partnership
  • Environmental Scan 2014
  • Koori Celebration Day 2014
  • Introduction to Thoroughbred Racing & Breeding Industry

ABC 774 – Join The Conversation on Youth Unemployment

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Great radio conversation about youth unemployment in the northern suburbs and Hume area, with specific reference to flexible learning options. Join the conversation hour with ABC 774 Melbourne to catch the discussions.

Seymour Flexible Learning Centre – now taking enrolments!

Enrolments are now being taken for secondary aged students who would benefit from a flexible learning approach.This educational opportunity will support students from year 9 to 12 re-engage with learning in a supported environment with a modified timetable, to suit the individual young person. Join the Tour at 50 Tallarook Street, Seymour, on Tuesday on the 10th February at 5pm. For further details please call Don Gibbons on 0419 481 754.

Flexible Learning Options (FLO) Evaluations – SNAPSHOT DOCUMENT

In 2013 the Central Ranges LLEN completed six FLO program evaluations. Three in the Macedon Ranges and three in Mitchell.

Mitchell programs included:

  1. Euroa Community Education Centre Flexible Learning Options Program (in partnership with Broadford SC)

Certificate I, II and III General Education for Adults

  1. Broadford Secondary College Pre-Cal Program
  2. Seymour College Pre-Cal Program


Macedon Ranges programs included:

  1. Gisborne Secondary College CONNECT Flexible Learning Options Program – Certificate I Vocational Preparation
  2. Macedon Ranges Satellite VCAL (associated with Kyneton Secondary College) – Foundation, Intermediate and Senior VCAL Certificate
  3. Kyneton Community Learning CentreFlexible Learning Options Program – Certificate I Vocational Preparation

The Central Ranges LLEN is now releasing a snapshot document that summarising the themes of these six evaluations – to inform the future planning of new and ongoing FLO programs.


Learn Local – new Website

Learn Local logo

The Adult, Community and Further Education Board has recently launched a new website for the Learn Local education and training sector: Learn Local 

The website makes it easy to learn more about eh 316 diverse Learn Local non-for-profit providers that deliver government subsidised training.  It includes a range of features such as learners’ stories, a Learn Local provider search function, news and events and an easy way to browse study options.

Learn Locals help over 110,000 learners each year to upgrade their skills or develop new ones.

The Central Ranges LLEN has developed many partnerships with Learn Locals across Murrindindi (Murrindindi Training Institute), Mitchell (Flexible Learning Options) and Macedon Ranges (Training Needs Analysis and Flexible Learning Options), who are crucial in providing flexible training options for young people and community.

Highlights from the VISTA Youth in VET Conference

CRLLEN attended VISTA’s Youth in VET Conference in Melbourne on Friday 21 March. VISTA is a not-for-profit association for VET professionals that aims to provide a forum for professional discussion on a range of policy, funding, pedagogical and research issues affecting the VET sector. This one-day conference focused on government strategies and academic research about keeping young people engaged in education and training. Speakers from government, not-for-profit and private sectors came together to discuss the complexities associated with youth engagement in VET and policy implications. Although the presentations focused on policy and research specific to Victoria, much of the discussion had national relevance. Here are some of the highlights from the conference.

The first speaker for the day was Daryl Sutton from the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA). Daryl presented issues related to VET policy for secondary schools, particularly for VET in Schools and School-Based Apprenticeships programs. VET in Schools is impacted by changes to stipulations around volume of learning requirements under the Australian Qualifications Framework. Students are allocated a certain amount of time during the school week to attend VET programs, and are required to attend classes for their VCE subjects throughout the rest of the week. Changes to volume of learning requirements will impact many students by altering their timetables and, in some instances, requiring them to attend VET courses outside of normal school hours in order to meet volume of learning requirements for their VET qualification.

VET in Schools is also impacted by the inclusion of ‘assessor conditions’ in the new training package design model. Wherever assessor conditions are stipulated in the Assessment Requirements document, this is auditable by the VET regulators. Many VET in Schools teachers delivering competency-based training lack industry currency because they spend the majority (if not all) of their time in teaching roles. Where the assessor conditions state that an assessor must have a given number of years of current industry experience, this will greatly impact secondary schools in relation to compliance. Potential solutions were discussed, such as releasing teachers from teaching duties into the industries they train in for a specified amount of time so that they can maintain the required amount of industry currency.

The second speaker for the day was David Murray from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. David presented on the Victorian Government’s Youth Engagement Strategy. Recent government research has found that, every year, approximately 25,000 students leave school before completing Year 12. Sadly, 10,000 of these students disengage from education completely. 7,000 move to the VET system; however, 6,000 of these students disengage from VET within 12 months. Recent school inclusion policies have failed to adequately re-engage students who have disengaged from the school system.

David discussed a new reform agenda that entails greater state accountability for keeping young people engaged in schooling. The agenda includes a School Performance Framework, Principal Performance and more stringent reporting to government on student attendance, retention, suspension, expulsion and academic progress. Part of this new reform agenda is a Services Connect program, which aims to connect schools with local community services to provide additional support to students at risk of disengagement. More about the new reform agenda will be announced shortly in a Victorian Government policy statement.

After morning tea, the discussion shifted from policy to research. The third speaker for the day was Louisa Ellum from BGK LLEN, a local learning and employment network specifically targeting the needs of children and young adults between 10 and 19 years of age. Louisa spoke about a research project undertaken by BGK LLEN on issues of connecting youth with schools, Learn Local services and RTOs. The project was conducted in two phases, with the first outlined in a report entitled A Different Journey. The findings of the second phase of the research have been encapsulated in a subsequent report, entitled The Next Journey.

The first report, A Different Journey, provides a comprehensive picture of the young people who are accessing education at Learn Local organisations across Southern Melbourne, as well as the variety of arrangements used to facilitate program delivery for these young people. The report found that there are systemic issues relating to youth disengagement from education and training, including:

  • disability and learning difficulties
  • mental health issues
  • alcohol and other drug dependency and substance abuse
  • family background – many disengaged young people are carers providing care to a parent with a disability, and/or they may be experiencing homelessness or violence at home.

The report also found three common levels of disengagement among young people, including:

  • behavioural – poor participation and attendance at school
  • emotional – poor sense of belonging and connectedness with the school community
  • cognitive – lack of student investment in their own learning, often due to not being able to find education purposeful.

The second phase of the research project was completed in early 2014. The Next Journey report reviews how student pathways and transition planning is managed in alternative and flexible learning organisations (such as Learn Locals, TAFEs and RTOs) across the Southern Melbourne Region. Such organisations deliver a diverse range of programs to hard-to-reach learners and play a critical role in supporting disengaged young people to re-engage with learning in a non-mainstream environment, positively impacting on their future pathways.

This report found that, although organisations track student progress throughout enrolment, there is a lack of follow-up with students once they complete their training to find out how what they are doing and whether they need further support and/or training. The report also found that there are a range of partnerships between training organisations and other support services such as Job Services Australia, Youth Connections and Disability Employment Services to provide integrated support to keep students engaged in learning. There was a discussion about a need for more funding in the sector to provide comprehensive follow-up and integrate support services.

The fourth speaker for the day was Joann Fildes from Mission Australia. Joann presented the findings of Mission Australia’s National Youth Survey 2013. The National Youth Survey investigates young people’s career and employment aspirations and the values and concerns that young people aged 15–19 have about their lives and futures.

The survey asks students what they plan to do after they finish schooling. The majority indicated that they want to go to university. The second most common response was to get a job, while the third was to travel or have a gap year. The fourth most common response was to go to TAFE, while the fifth most common response was to get an apprenticeship. The least common response was that students felt they had none of the aforementioned options available to them. The findings suggest that TAFE and apprenticeships may not be as highly valued by young people as other post-school destination options.

Some other interesting findings from the survey were that the most desired industry for future employment by young people was the medical and healthcare industry. More than half of the respondents stated that they had been involved in some form of volunteer work in the past 12 months, indicating that there is strong representation of young people in volunteering roles. Of the young people who are in current employment, 42% of respondents said they worked in retail, followed by 40% who stated that they worked in hospitality. Young people are, therefore, very well represented in these sectors, although they tend to work part-time in conjunction with studying.

The presentations were followed by a panel discussion led by practitioners from youth and indigenous services, focusing on practitioner experiences of implementing youth engagement strategies and government policies. There was plenty of healthy debate throughout the day on how the VET system can better engage young people and support their transition from school to work and university. A fantastic day for all!

Flexible Learning Options Evaluations – Show Great Results Across Central Ranges

In 2013, the Central Ranges LLEN been conducting a number of evaluations across the region assessing the effectiveness, challenges and outcomes for a number of Flexible Learning Option programs.  The Central Ranges LLEN intends to combine the results of these evaluations to provide recommendations on the key to successes and ensuring sustainability of these options is achieved.

Young people are at risk of disengaging from school when their life circumstances, learning experiences and/or behaviours impede learning, reduce school success and discourage participation. Schools and community organisations across Macedon Ranges, Mitchell and Murrindindi shires are working to implement strategies to address the increasing numbers of students who are in this category. Flexible Learning Options (FLO) are programs in school and community settings that support those young people to re-engage in school. There are a number of models that can be used to implement a program including those that are provided within schools, those that run as alternative education programs or programs that are provided by other organisations, such as Community VCAL.

The Central Ranges LLEN is working in partnership with local schools and training providers to provide evaluations on the following programs:

  • Kyneton Community & Learning Centre – Vocational Preparation program
  • Gisborne Secondary College – Connect program
  • Seymour College – pre-CAL program
  • Broadford Secondary College – pre-CAL program
  • Euroa Community Education Centre & Broadford Secondary College – CGEA program
  • Kyneton Secondary College & Cobaw Community Health – Satellite VCAL program

For more information go to our Flexible Learning Options page.

New Publications – How Young People are faring 2013? and Student engagement in Australian Schools

The Foundation for Young Australians has released its 2013 update of ‘How young people are faring?’ research. This report reveals trends such as an increased retention to year 12 compared to four years ago (80% in 2011). Students who speak a language other than english at home are more likely to participate on VET and Higher Education post school (52% compared to 33%). Unemployment rates for young people have increased considerably since the ‘Global Financial Crises’ and there has been an increase in young people in part-time and casual work, whilst over 25 year olds casual rates have remained steady.  Young women at age 23 years are more likely not to be fully engaged in employment, education and training.

The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership has prepared a paper on understanding and promoting engagement amongst students. Using a framework for understanding engagement through Cognitive, Behavioural and Emotional factors. A great tool for schools, training organisations and learn local providers seeking to engage young people with learning.

Framework for understanding Engagement

To view documents go to our Publications page.

Macedon Ranges Flexible Learning Options – Graduation

Kyneton Community Learning Centre with the support of the Central Ranges LLEN and the Flexible Learning Options Advisory Committee has successfully delivered a Certificate I in Vocational Preparation course in Term 3, 2012.  Seven students have either partially or fully completed the four day a week course and graduated on Friday 21st September 2012.

Most of the young people in the course had not been attending school regularly in 2012.  A number had not been at school for a many years.  After completing the course every participant had identified the education or career pathway in which they wanted to head.  Three participants have transitioned to the Certificate II in General Education for Adults (CGEA) to be delivered in Term 4.  One participant has enrolled back in school and one has enrolled in TAFE. One student is following up doing a Traineeship, and one is working part-time.  Participants were also involved in a project in partnership with Macedon Ranges Council where they created street art on the floors and walls of the now disused Kyneton Pool.  Central Ranges LLEN is in the process of evaluating the pilot program to use as an evidence base for the successful delivery of further programs into the future.

The CGEA course will be offered in Term 4, 2012 and Term 1, 2013 and is available for young people aged 15-17 years who are enrolled and not enrolled in school.  The course is aimed at engaging young people to improve their literacy skills in a relaxed small group environment.

For further information contact Kyneton Community Learning Centre