Nominations are now open for the 15th annual Victorian Learn Local Awards, recognising excellence in the adult education sector across Victoria.

The event is presented by the Adult, Community and Further Education Board (ACFE Board) and shine a spotlight on learners, trainers and leaders.

Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing today announced the opening of nominations in Eastern Victoria and encouraged locals to nominate people whose stories illustrate how adult and community education can change the lives of Victorians.

Additional categories at this year’s event recognise innovation, leadership and local partnerships.

The prize money totals $84,000, with organisation award category winners receiving $10,000, individual category winners awarded $5,000 and category finalists given $1,000.

Kurnai woman Colleen Forbes was among last year’s 14 winners and received the Ro Allen Award for Pre-accredited Learner Excellence. Colleen overcame years of unemployment following the death of her husband to complete the Learn Local Kickstart in Hospitality and Retail course at the Community College Gippsland. She found a pathway to a new and meaningful career and has been inspired to become a Koorie educator and advocate.

Learn Local providers offer a unique, community-based learning option, with a focus on the individual needs of learners. They are 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 more than 240 not-for-profit community organisations registered as Learn Locals across Victoria, which deliver pre-accredited training and other programs to nearly 30,000 people each year.

Nominate now: www.vic.gov.au/learn-local-awards

Nominations close Friday, 13 August 2021.

Quotes attributable to Minster for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney

“This is a valuable opportunity to recognise the commitment of trainers and leaders, and the achievements of learners, in our adult education sector.”

“Learn Locals provide a life-changing service – they provide real-world skills that are applicable for study, jobs and everyday life as well as helping to build more connected communities.”

Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing

“Learn Local providers make a huge difference in Eastern Victoria to people of all walks of life – and this is a great opportunity to recognise that contribution.”

Quote attributable to ACFE Board Chairperson Maria Peters

“We are very proud of the Learn Local sector’s ongoing commitment, resilience, and innovation – and we’re looking forward to celebrating the outstanding efforts of learners, trainers, leaders and providers across the state.”