2016 Learn Local Awards Winners Announced

08 September 2016

A young Eltham man who has battled anxiety and turned his life around through training has been recognised at this year’s Learn Local Awards – receiving the prize for Pre-Accredited Learner Excellence.

Matthew Agostinelli has studied at Diamond Valley Learning Centre in Greensborough for four years. At first, it was hard for Matt to even walk through the door but, through hard work, persistence and courage, he has progressively won his battle to manage his anxiety, completing a number of courses.

Matthew, who now volunteers at the centre, was one of five winners at the awards, which recognise the contribution to training made by Victoria’s more than 300 Learn Locals.

Other winners included Keysborough Learning Centre’s Marj Sjostrom, who picked up the prize for outstanding practitioner, as well as BA@Wyndham, a program at Wyndham Community and Education Centre which is helping students who were previously disengaged from schooling to access higher education.

The Andrews Labor Government is building a strong training system – ensuring all Victorians – regardless of age, postcode or background have access to high quality training.

Skills First, the Government’s new approach to training and TAFE in Victoria, includes a $20 million expansion of the Reconnect Program, run by Learn Locals and TAFEs, which provides wrap around support to disadvantaged Victorians as they enter training.

That’s on top of the $20 million for Reconnect included in the Victorian Budget 2016/17.

Skills First also includes $1.5 million for Learn Locals to establish Learn Local Quality Partnerships, which will assist with administration and free up Learn Locals so they can do what they do best – teach.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Training and Skills Steve Herbert

“Congratulations to all of the Learn Local winners. These are great stories of training success, of people lifting themselves up through training, of commitment by teachers and of wonderful programs that transform lives.”

“All Victorians, no matter their background, should be able to access training to get the skills they need for the jobs they want. Learn Locals are often the first step on someone’s pathway to employment.”

Quotes attributable to ACFE Board Chair Sue Christophers

“The ACFE Board is proud to support Learn Local organisations to deliver such valuable training and skills for thousands of Victorians each year.”


Ro Allen Award – Recognising Pre-accredited Learner Excellence

Matthew Agostinelli – Diamond Valley Learning Centre

Outstanding Practitioner

Marj Sjostrom – Keysborough Learning Centre

Excellence in Creating Local Solutions

BA@Wyndham – Wyndham Community and Education Centre

Outstanding Pathways Program

Speaking Out – Port Melbourne Neighbourhood Centre

AMES Australia Diversity Innovation

CALD Education & Employment Pathways – Ballarat Neighbourhood Centre

Learn Local Legends

ACFE North Western Metropolitan Regional Council – Djerriwarrh Community & Education Services

ACFE Loddon Mallee Regional Council – Macedon Ranges Further Education

ACFE Southern Metropolitan Regional Council – Glen Eira Adult Learning Centre

ACFE Gippsland Regional Council – Gippsland Employment Skills Training

ACFE Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council – Vermont South Community House

ACFE Hume Regional Council – Myrtleford Neighbourhood Centre

ACFE Grampians Regional Council – Nhill Learning Centre

ACFE Barwon South Western Regional Council – Bellarine Living & Learning Centre

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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