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Adult Learners Week at NSF

By Fiona West | September 29, 2022

The first week of September marked Adult Learners Week in Australia. But at Navitas Skilled Futures, where we celebrate the merits of adult education every day, our ALW activities stretched well into the whole month.

Adult Learners Week is a UNESCO initiative coordinated by Adult Learning Australia providing an opportunity to shine a light on the importance of making free education accessible to all adults. It encourages people to expand their horizons and try something new or challenging for education, experience and fun – basically the ethos of Navitas Skilled Futures and our many hard-working, dedicated students learning with us across multiple programs and colleges.

Here’s just a few of the ALW activities held across our colleges:

ACT College ran a “Power of Numbers” project, which encouraged students to write a “learning story” to share with other students. The stories told of students’ lives in their home countries and their dreams and aspirations for their Australian settlement. Ten students were selected to have their stories displayed at college and on Facebook, where fellow students voted for their favourite. More than 100 students voted on the project, saying the stories were uplifting and inspiring.

Auburn College had a full morning of activities, including a fashion parade of tradition costumes, a cooking class on how to make Lebanese Tabouli salad and Turkish pasta, followed by food tasting, a class video presentation of the Cherry Blossom festival and a garage sale of donated items, with all funds raised going to Westmead Children’s Hospital. College staff and students also enjoyed a shared lunch.

Cabramatta College hosted a ‘Law & You’ Expo, presented in conjunction with the NSW Department of Justice, which focused on legal rights and responsibilities for newly arrived students. It covered the key topics of legal services, health services and healthy family relationships and featured stalls and presentations from a range of relevant organisations and community services, including Legal Aid NSW, NSW Health, CORE DFV, NSW Police, Seniors Rights, Services NSW, Services Australia and Gamble Aware.

Fairfield College arranged for local emergency services to visit and present information sessions on safety for every class. Officers from Fairfield City Police Area Command and Fire and Rescue NSW spoke to students and answered their questions, helping to explain their purpose and to break down the barriers between authority and the migrant community. On another day at Fairfield students took time out from formal lessons to create their own desk pot plants. Students all paid $2 for a jar or pot and the succulents and soil was donated by their trainers. Many of the students had farms and gardens in their homelands, and shared stories, pictures and gardening advice with their classmates. The students enjoyed it so much, the college is now looking to expand on this mini project with a bigger gardening experience for students in the future.

Parramatta College also enjoyed a morning of special activities, including a class song performance, presentations of class videos on what the students enjoyed most about being an adult learner, learning English, and living in Australia, a traditional costume parade and a range of breakout sessions for students to choose from. These included classes on yoga, salsa, massage, knitting, Qigong, moon cake making, and Australian slang. Something for everyone! There were certificates awarded to students for best attendance and best class participation, followed by lunch, music and dance.

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