TAFE Directors Australia

Supporting our member institutes since 1998

Newsletter 27 September 2010


Former Victorian TAFE director outlines eight measures towards VET reform and a tertiary sector

A former Victorian director of TAFE Directors Australia, Virginia Simmons AO, has outlined in an essay her vision for eight key measures to better articulate the principles required under Australian VET and tertiary reform.

Virginia Simmons, who was formerly Chief Executive of Chisholm Institute of TAFE, and the TDA representative on the National Quality Council, included the comments in the series of essays released by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

In the publication, Ms Simmons forecasted that Australia’s move toward a more integrated tertiary sector had “the seeds of a more optimistic scenario”, given the recent “unsettled history” of VET and impact of ongoing change and reform.

Ms Simmons noted the new tertiary dynamics had included development of a range of new educational bodies; such as polytechnics and institutes of technology. She raised the idea of a “new” VET sector incorporating both universities and VET Institutes, designed to cater to changing student needs.

Simmons wrote: “A new tertiary sector would recognise the existence of these institutions and the fact that they no longer neatly fit the provider types or the VET sector characteristics of the past. These circumstances demand a more flexible set of options for students, which a new tertiary sector could offer.”

The book of essays, titled The future of VET: a medley of views, presents ideas and opinions from

Dr Tom Karmel (NCVER), Robin Shreeve (Skills Australia), John Hart (NCVER), Myree Russell (MEGT Education Group), Virginia Simmons (VET consultant), Dr Robin Ryan (Flinders University), Peter Noonan (Allen Consulting Group), and Dr Gavin Moodie (RMIT).

Click here to view the publication. 

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UK policy expert warns about franchising deals between TAFE and universities

A UK policy expert has warned that franchising deals between universities and TAFEs will only provide a short-term solution for increasing participation, and that TAFEs could feel beholden to universities under such an arrangement.

Professor of Education, Sheffield University, Gareth Parry is due to speak next month at an event held jointly by TAFE Directors Australia, the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education, and the LH Martin Institute in Melbourne.

The LH Martin Institute included a column by Professor Parry in its Insights newsletter, and also reported by The Australian, click here to view the article.

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TDA 2010 National Conference – www.tda.edu.au website resource tool

Feedback from the TDA National Conference recently held in Melbourne has been very positive, with a majority of participants commenting that it ‘met or exceeded expectations’. TDA has responded to requests for speaker presentations -- these are currently being placed on the Conference webpage.

Articles by presenters at the Conference are currently being considered for the upcoming TDA Occasional Paper, to be published in Q4 2010.

Pictures from both the Conference, and the Gala Dinner at the Melbourne Aquarium, are currently on the webpage, and the NMIT student video played on day two of the Conference is also available to view.

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TAFE excels at state training awards across Australia

Across the country, state training awards have been held to recognise excellence by students, teachers, institutes, and host employers.

TAFE Institutes  were big winners in the awards, and a full list of awardees can be found for each state here:


The Australian Training Awards will be held in Sydney, 19 November – click here for more information. Best of luck to all of the competitors.

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Australia hosts South African and Namibian Fellows

TAFE NSW Hunter Institute, in partnership with the University of Newcastle, recently provided a Fellowship program involving eleven Fellows from South Africa and Namibia, under funding from the Australian Government’s AusAid program.

The Fellows are from national departments, industry and colleges, and have spent the past three weeks in Australia being shown various aspects of the VET system.

For more information click here.

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Research roadshow begins in Ballarat

The Australian Vocational Education and Training Research Association (AVETRA) is holding a free presentation titled: News from the frontline of VET research: teaching, engagement and apprenticeships, in Ballarat, 21 October.

The presentation will be one of many held throughout the country, under the banner ‘Octobervet’.

For more information click here.

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Diary Dates

Work Integrated Learning (WIL): Responding to Challenges
DATE: 30 September - 1 October 2010
LOCATION: Curtin University of Technology, Perth
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Leadership, Innovation and Workplace Culture
DATE: 14-15 October 2010
LOCATION: Citigate Central, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for more information

DATE: 17-22 October 2010
LOCATION: Peppers Moonah Links Resort, Victoria
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Education and Training for a more productive Australia

DATE: 29 October 2010
LOCATION: Ascot House, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information 

Research Forum - Fostering enterprise: The innovational and skills nexus
DATE: 9 November 2010
LOCATION: Australian Technology Park, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Has institutional research come of age in Australiasia?
DATE: 10-12 November 2010
LOCATION: Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, Geelong
DETAILS: Click here for more information

DATE: 13-15 November 2010
LOCATION: Birmingham, UK
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Buidling sustainability through marketing
DATE: 10-11 November 2010
LOCATION: Rydges Hotel, Brisbane
DETAILS: Register for conference or enter awards online at www.atmaltd.org.au

2010 Australian Youth Mentoring Conference

DATE: 10-11 November 2010
LOCATION: Radisson Resort, Gold Coast
DETAILS: Click here for more information

World Innovation Summit for Education
DATE: 7-9 December 2010
LOCATION: Sheraton Resort, Doha, Qatar
DETAILS: Click here for more information 

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