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2015 Learn Local Award Winners Announced

10 September 2015

An adult learner who has totally turned her life around was among the winners at last night’s 2015 Learn Local Awards.

The awards - held at the end of Adult Learners’ Week – showcase the success stories of adult learners, outstanding practitioners and programs which are part of Victoria’s Learn Local sector.

Minister for Training and Skills Steve Herbert congratulated all winners and finalists, and said that pre-accredited training is crucial for providing Victorians with the opportunities to get off the treadmill of unemployment and back on to the footpath of success.

Each year, Victoria’s more than 300 Learn Local organisations help in excess of 50,000 Victorians develop new skills; pursue their goals of getting work or going on to further education.

This year’s winners - including pre-accredited learner Karen Hokai - shared in $50,000 of prize money.

A few years ago, Karen was trapped in her own home, suffering panic attacks and depression. She enrolled in a gardening course at East End Community House in Mildura and is now an inspiration to people around her, particularly the Polynesian community.

Karen is now studying at TAFE and runs the garden at East End Community House.

The Andrews Labor Government is transforming Victoria into the Education State through a range of initiatives including:

  • In 2016, through the Adult, Community and Further Education (ACFE) Board, increasing the hourly pre-accredited training subsidy rate from $7.19 per hour to $8.20 per hour. This means investment in pre-accredited training will increase by nearly $2 million
  • The $320 million TAFE Rescue Fund, which is investing in new facilities and supporting TAFEs to better support their local community
  • The independent VET Funding Review, which is developing a more sustainable and stable funding model to better meet the skills needs of Victorians for the long-term
  • Accepting all 19 recommendations of the Review of Quality Assurance in Victoria’s VET System to improve training quality and restore student and employer confidence

Quotes attributable to Minister for Training and Skills Steve Herbert

“I congratulate all the winners and finalists on their achievements. They represent the hard work of our Learn Local sector.”

“Each of the winners demonstrates how quality training is supporting people from across our state to develop the skills they need to get off the treadmill of unemployment and onto the footpath of success.”

“We’re investing in skills and training and transforming Victoria into the Education State, to prepare Victorians for the jobs of the future.”

2015 Learn Local winners

Outstanding Pathways Program

Creating Pathways into the Community

Shepparton Access

Outstanding Pre-accredited Learner

Karen Hokai

East End Community House

AMES Diversity Innovation Award

Job Ready, Lifestyle and Karen Language programs

Nhill Neighbourhood House Learning Centre Inc

Outstanding Practitioner

Karen Fleischer

Paynesville Neighbourhood Centre

Excellence in Creating Local Solutions

BizE Centre


Learn Local for Business

Kyneton Community and Learning Centre Inc and Barker Trailers Pty Ltd

Learn Local Legends

Portland Workskills

Pines Learning

Buchan Neighbourhood House

Meredith Community Centre

Pangerang Community House

Kyneton Community and Learning Centre

Wyndham Community and Education Centre

Port Melbourne neighbourhood Centre

Reviewed 10 February 2021

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