Finalists Announced For 2017 Learn Local Awards

08 August 2017

Victorians who have made a significant impact on the lives of others through community education will be recognised at this year’s Victorian Learn Local Awards.

Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney today announced the finalists for the awards, which recognise the contribution of the more than 300 Learn Local organisations offering training in Victoria.

Christie Sinclair, who studied at Banksia Gardens Community Services, Brandylee Muscat, a student in the World of Work program at Berry Street Morwell and Dandenong Neighbourhood House’s Michelle Hood are in the running for the Ro Allen Award, which recognises excellence in pre-accredited learning.

Other finalists include Learn Local teachers Craig Danswan of Campaspe College of Adult Education, Lachlan McKenzie from Jesuit Community College and Leanne Fitzgerald from Coonara Community House.

This year, two acknowledgement categories – the Learn Local Legend and Learn Local Volunteer Champion – will be awarded on top of the five traditional awards categories: Pre-accredited Learners, Outstanding Practitioner, Outstanding Pathways Program, Excellence in Creating Local Solutions and AMES Australia Diversity Innovation.

In total, there is $66,000 to be won across the seven categories, with the winners announced at this year’s Learn Local Awards to be held on 31 August.

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.

Learn Locals make a huge difference in their communities. They help people who need extra support turn their lives around with programs for people of all ages and from all walks of life.

Learn Locals have also benefited from the Labor Government’s $20 million Reconnect Program, which provides wrap around support to help Victoria’s most disadvantaged learners access training.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney

“We’re delivering a high-quality training system, with our TAFEs, community and private providers giving Victorians the opportunity to develop the skills they need to get a job.”

“Every Victorian, no matter their background or circumstances, should have access to high quality training and that’s what our Learn Local organisations offer.”

Quote attributable to ACFE Board Chair Sue Christophers

“The Awards provide an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the community training sector in Victoria and celebrate its success.”


Ro Allen Award – Recognising Pre-accredited Learner Excellence

Christie Sinclair – Banksia Gardens Community Services

Brandylee Muscat – Berry Street

Michelle Hood – Dandenong Neighbourhood House

Outstanding Pathways Program

Try a Trade – Diversitat

Prepare for Work in Warehousing – Kensington neighbourhood House

Your Next Step – Paynesville Neighbourhood House

Outstanding Practitioner

Craig Danswan – Campaspe College of Adult Education

Leanne Fitzgerald – Coonara Community House

Lachlan McKenzie – Jesuit Community College

Excellence in Creating Local Solutions

Community Work Partnerships Program – Dandenong Neighbourhood House

Linking Learning to the Land – Paynesville Neighbourhood Centre

Manufacturing Entry Level Worker Program – The Centre for Continuing Education

AMES Australia Diversity Innovation

Paw Po Products Community Enterprise – Nhill Learning Centre

Portland CALD Support Program – Portland Workskills

Learn Local Volunteer Champion

Harry Ashton – Rushworth Community House

Joy Ferguson – Diamond Valley Learning Centre

Melinda Hamilton – Springvale Neighbourhood House

Learn Local Legends

ACFE North Western Metropolitan Regional Council – Banksia Gardens Community Services

ACFE Loddon Mallee Regional Council – Echuca Neighbourhood House

ACFE Southern Metropolitan Regional Council – Dandenong Neighbourhood House

ACFE Gippsland Regional Council – Milpara Community House

ACFE Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council – Mountain District Learning Centre

ACFE Hume Regional Council – The Centre for Continuing Education

ACFE Grampian Regional Council – Wendouree Neighbourhood Centre

ACFE Barwon South Western Regional Council – Rosewall

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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