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College showcase focuses on positives of online learning

By Fiona West | November 24, 2021

Staying connected, safe and well during the pandemic was the overriding theme of this year’s Navitas Skilled Futures CEO Roadshow.

More than 100 staff from ACT and South West Sydney colleges attended the online roadshow, held on 29 October, World Teachers’ Day, to reflect on the year that had its challenges but also many positive outcomes.

“It is no accident that today also happens to be World Teachers’ Day,” said Navitas Skilled Futures General Manager Jetinder Macfarlane as she opened the session,  “and I’m sure as this session will show, we certainly have some of the world’s best teachers here at Navitas Skilled futures!”

Academic Team Leaders from every college spoke to colourful and at-times emotional pre-recorded video presentations, demonstrating innovative approaches to online learning, which kept students engaged and on track during the COVID-19 lockdown.

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C&I Division CEO Jo Anthonysz remarked he was “so surprised and delighted to see the joy and the happiness” of students, who “expressed very sincerely” how much they valued what Navitas did for them.

“It is so heart-warming to see the engagement that you all have with your students,” Jo told Navitas Skilled Futures staff.

“The outpouring of emotion and joy and the warmth is just so demonstrable in all of those videos. It gives me a sense of the flavour of what we do, and it is such a great celebration of  people and culture and belonging … and that must be so important for them, particularly in the last year or two in lockdown.”

In Sydney’s South West, the hardest-hit area of the pandemic, students and staff talked about, and demonstrated, the positives of online learning, such as spending more time with their families, taking up a new hobby, spending less money, walking more and enjoying the convenience of learning from home. They highlighted fun class activities that enabled them to continue learning and staying informed about the ever-changing COVID-19 restrictions.

Executive General Manager Michael Cox acknowledged that 2021 had been tough for Navitas Skilled Futures trainers, who had gone above and beyond to create exceptional learning experiences despite challenging times. He also thanked staff across the board, beyond the classrooms, who he said all contributed to ensure student outcomes remained positive.

“It has been a real team effort, how people have actually worked together and supported each other to make the programs actually happen.” 

Jetinder pointed out some of the big highlights of 2021, including Winning the Corporate Business Excellence Medal in the 2021 Premier’s Multicultural Community Medals, welcoming the landmark Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) Reforms, and recent Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) Reforms, College events and visits by Ministers Michaelia Cash and Alex Hawke, the highly praised “Ask an expert” series, Fairfield’s “Journey to Unity” collaborative art project, as well as celebrations of Harmony Week, Refugee Week, Adult Learner’s Week and Wellbeing Week.

Notice: On 1 December 2021, Navitas English changed its name to Navitas Skilled Futures. This name change reflects our programs, the focus of our work, and our positive impact on the people we serve. Find out more here.

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