WARRAGUL LOCAL FINALIST IN 2020 LEARN LOCAL AWARDS
Thursday 29th October 2020
Colleen Forbes from Community College Gippsland is among six individual finalists from across Victoria who have been nominated for their achievements in establishing pathways for themselves into further education, employment or volunteer roles.
Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing today congratulated Ms Forbes who is nominated for The Ro Allen Award – Recognising Pre-accredited Learner Excellence.
Colleen Forbes, an indigenous woman of the Kurnai clan, grew up in an idyllic traditional environment with her people on Lake Tyers. The land sustained them, and they learned the wisdom of their elders. Things changed when she attended a school outside the settlement where she experienced bullying and racism. It became impossible for her to focus on learning, so she gave up, dropped out, and joined the long-term unemployed.
The sudden passing of her husband and brother got Colleen thinking that there must be a better life worth striving for, especially for the sake of her daughter. In 2019, with courage and determination, she undertook a Learn Local Kickstart in Hospitality and Retail course at Community College Gippsland.
In the beginning of the six-week program of pre-accredited and accredited learning, Colleen’s confidence was low. However, welcoming staff made her feel at home and she soon transformed into a confident, motivated student.
Now she’s happily employed and flourishing at the checkout at Woolworths. Colleen loves being part of a team that helps people and is exploring leadership opportunities within the company. The positive learning experience also ignited a long-term goal of becoming a Koorie educator and advocate, and leader of her people.
There are 20 finalists across seven award categories:
- The Ro Allen Award – Recognising Pre-accredited Learner Excellence
- Victorian Learn Local Young Pre-accredited Learner Award
- Victorian Learn Local Practitioner Award
- Victorian Learn Local Volunteer Team Award
- Victorian Learn Local Pre-accredited Pathway Program Award
- Victorian Learn Local Creating Local Solutions Award
- Victorian Learn Local Collaboration Award
This year’s Learn Local Awards will be hosted in an innovative virtual format later this year.
The awards are presented by the Adult Community and Further Education Board.
Award winners have the chance to share in $70,000 in prize money. The three organisation award category winners will each receive $10,000, while individual category winners will be awarded $5,000 and category finalists will receive $1,000. A new People’s Choice Awards has also been created for Program finalists, with winners to receive an Apple MacBook laptop.
Learn Local providers offer a unique, community-based learning option, with a focus on the individual needs of learners. Learn Local is particularly suited to adult learners of all ages looking to develop their digital, literacy, numeracy and employability skills for study, work and life.
There are 270 not-for-profit community organisations registered as Learn Locals across Victoria, which deliver training and programs to nearly 30,000 people each year.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Training and Skills and Higher Education Gayle Tierney:
“Although 2020 has been a challenging year for many Learn Local providers across the state, these awards recognise the work Learn Locals are doing transforming lives through community education.”
“Victoria leads Australia in providing accessible and tailored lifelong learning opportunities for adult learners seeking to develop the skills they need for work, further study, and to participate fully in the Victorian community.”
Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing
“Congratulations to Colleen Forbes who has done so much great work in the Warragul community.”
2020 LEARN LOCAL AWARDS FINALISTS
The Ro Allen Award – Recognising Pre-accredited Learner Excellence
- Haylee Mackintosh, Cire Services
- Jason Barbour, Bridge Darebin
- Colleen Forbes, Community College Gippsland
Victorian Learn Local Young Pre-accredited Learner Award
- Georgia Benham, Zoe Support Australia
- Rebecca Cupitt, Zoe Support Australia
- Bryanna Paynter-Harvie, Noweyung
Victorian Learn Local Practitioner Award
- Vivian Della Valle, Centre for Adult Education (CAE)
- Susan West, Cire Services
- Michelle Harrison, Phillip Island Community & Learning Centre
Victorian Learn Local Volunteer Team Award
- Rosewall Learning and Creative Team, Rosewall Neighbourhood Centre
- Zoe Support Australia – Childcare Volunteer Team, Zoe Support Australia
Victorian Learn Local Pre-accredited Pathway Program Award
- Getting There, The Centre for Continuing Education
- Carpentry Trade Taster, Preston Reservoir Adult Community Education (PRACE)
- Mentoring – A step towards mainstream volunteering or work experience, Sandybeach Centre
Victorian Learn Local Creating Local Solutions Award
- Wyndham Neighbourhood Hubs – meeting diverse needs, Wyndham Community & Education Centre
- Kick Start Your Career in the Health Industry program, Heyfield Community Resource Centre
- Cultural Cuisines, Wellsprings for Women
Victorian Learn Local Collaboration Award
- Cloverdale Community Centre-The Gordon TAFE Collaboration, Cloverdale Community Centre & The Gordon TAFE
- Kew Neighbourhood Learning Centre and Burke and Beyond, Kew Neighbourhood Learning Centre Inc & Burke and Beyond
- Pathways 2 Possibilities, The Centre for Continuing Education & Open Door Neighbourhood House