Annual Report 2013–2014
Leading the development of foundation skills in the workplace
Prepared by AWPN President, Sue Ellen Evans
The Australian Workplace Practitioners’ Network has had a busy year, strategically rebranding, regrouping and refreshing our purpose as reflected in our new name and in terms of encouraging new membership and exploring new partnerships. The AWPN has been led by a group of strong and committed practitioners who work in a voluntary capacity to support foundation skills practitioners nationally.
The resource repository and the updates provided maintain the discussion about foundation skills in the workplace for all practitioners, many of whom may work in an isolated setting or as part of a diverse team. This support and knowledge serves to maintain currency and opportunities for involvement in foundation skills projects, issues and discussions at a national level.
We open our doors to new members and encourage the broader community to acknowledge the importance of ensuring foundation skills are recognised as a key factor in ensuring Australia is indeed a smart country and that everyone has an opportunity to participate fully in their community and their workplace. Participation in a workplace setting is an enormous contributor to economic growth and sustainability. Acknowledging that support of foundation skills in a workplace will support this key objective.
As President I would like to thank the committee and Tina Berghella, the Project Manager and driver of the AWPN, for their commitment to the work of promoting foundation skills through the AWPN. This support offered through the AWPN is not found anywhere else in Australia and is critical to ensuring the continued professionalism of the sector.
Prepared by AWPN Project Manager, Tina Berghella
At a meeting of AWPN State and Territory representatives on 9 April 2013 in Melbourne, the decision was made to register the AWPN as an Incorporated Association. Formally approved on
27 June 2013, this marked the coming of age for the AWPN from a loose but committed collection of professionals to a legally recognised entity.
A couple of months later the AWPN received a WELL Strategic Project grant from the Australian Government to support our coming of age. Activities funded included a national conference, state and territory workshops, the development of a strategic plan and the implementation of a communications strategy.
In May 2014, the sands shifted with the 2014 Federal Budget announcement that the WELL Program was to be closed. As an association established to support the professional development needs of professionals working on WELL Program funded projects, this news hit us, and the professionals we represent, hard.
Without the WELL Program (and by extension, without WELL practitioners), is there a role for the AWPN? The AWPN Management Committee believes that there is. As identified in the National Foundation Skills Strategy for Adults the foundation skills demands of work are increasing yet we know that around 50% of Australian adults do not have the skills to meet these demands. The AWPN’s role can be to support the diverse workforce involved in strengthening foundation skills in the workplace. That was our strength before the closure of the WELL program, and that can be our strength in the future, supporting a wider audience of LLN specialists, VET trainers and workplace supervisors.
Over the next financial year the AWPN Management Committee, with the support of the Strategic Project, will continue to shape itself. We will use the results from our recent survey to complete our Strategic Plan and deliver a national conference in Melbourne in March 2015, state and professional development workshops and continue communicating with our subscribers through our e-newsletter.
More than a coming of age, we are transforming ourselves.
Prepared by AWPN Project Manager, Tina Berghella
The following is a snapshot of key activities undertaken by the AWPN in 2013–2014.
- Regular meetings of the AWPN Management Committee
- Appointment of Sue-Ellen Evans following the resignation of President, Sue Muller
- Appointment of Christine O’Callaghan following the resignation of ACT Representative, Pam Owen
- Review and update of the AWPN Inc Rules for Incorporated Association via special resolution
- Review of membership application processes and development of an online application and payment process for rolling memberships
- Change of name from Australian WELL Practitioners’ Network to Australian Workplace Practitioners’ Network
- Rebranding of documentation and online communication using new AWPN logo
- Maintenance of all compliance requirements in relation to financial management, insurances, contracts and registers
- Strategic planning
- Initial face-to-face strategic planning meeting prepared and delivered by Wignall Consulting Services
- Second face-to-face strategic planning meeting
- Development of a draft AWPN Strategic Plan
- Development and adoption of new vision and mission statements
- Development and implementation of a AWPN Future Planning Survey
- Submissions for the Industry Skills Fund Discussion Paper and the Youth Pilot Programs Discussion Paper
- Submission of an application for the Professional Development Workshops for Foundation Skills Frameworks
- Delivery of professional development workshops in Melbourne and Brisbane
- Planning for the National AWPN Conference, 18–20 March 2015
- Communications strategy
- Transition to new domain name (awpn.com.au) and email address (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Regular blog updates, e-newsletters and LinkedIn posts
- Maintenance of subscriber base of around 650
- Redevelopment of resources webpage and addition of all available Industry Skills Council FSK support resources
- Set of online event management facilities
As a national organisation, the AWPN is currently active in most Australian jurisdictions. Action is being taken to attract a representative in Western Australia, the only jurisdiction not currently represented. Committee Reports provide an overview of activities and actions by AWPN state and territory representatives.
- Victorian AWPN network meeting – provided opportunity to showcase and trial National WELL Resources and Strategic Projects
- Promotion of AWPN as peak professional body for LLN/ foundation skills in the workplace with the representative’s networks and workplaces
- Dissemination of DOI new initiatives through AWPN website
- Promotion of AWPN through SEE VIC providers network
- Respond to Industry Skills Fund Consultation Paper
- Invite VIC industry clients to participate in 2015 AWPN Conference
- Liaise with Industry Skills Councils and inform them of AWPN activities and invite participation
- Promotion of AWPN as peak professional body for foundation skills in the workplace with the representative’s networks and workplaces
- TAFE SA subscribed for AWPN organisational membership
- Dissemination of AWPN activities with SACAL Executive Committee
- Connecting AWPN with 2013–2014 Foundation Skills Workforce Development (FSWD) Project and 2014–2015 National Foundation Skills Strategy (NFSS) Project
- Engage AWPN in various consultation for NFSS Project initiatives
- 3 members from AWPN Management Committee are FSWD and NFSS Project Foundation Skills Champions, renamed to be Foundation Skills Community of Practice in 2015–2015
- FSWD and NFSS newsletters and website linked to AWPN website
- Cross promotion of AWPN and FSWD and NFSS Project activities
- Promotion of AWPN with industry stakeholders
- Invite SA industry clients to participate in 2015 AWPN Conference
- Invite SA employer who won the 2014 Australian Telstra Business of the Year Award to be keynote speaker at 2015 AWPN Conference
- Liaise with Industry Skills South Australia, Department of Industry
- Advise AWPN activities and invite participation
- Seek advice for AWPN State workshops
- 2014/2015 SA State workshop scheduled in first quarter of 2015
- Respond to Industry Skills Fund Consultation Paper
Queensland State AWPN Workshop: Although WELL funding was on hold from August 2013 following the announcement of the 2013 election all of us have worked in a world of uncertainty. We used this as an opportunity to communicate with Department of Industry in Brisbane and combine with them in conducting the Queensland state AWPN Workshop in Brisbane on 29 August 2014: With the end of WELL funding in the 2014–15 budget, this workshop provided nineteen participants with an update from a Department of Industry representative on what’s happening in the funding domain and the implication on programs, and enabled them to provide feedback on the Industry Skills Fund discussion paper. It also provided an update on the National Foundations Skills Project – Community of Practice.
Other ongoing activities undertaken include:
- Supported the project manager:
- With ongoing AWPN activities and decisions from May–September 2014 following the resignation of the chairperson, Sue Muller. Special thanks to Sue for the enormous effort and time spent on steering the AWPN through its incorporation and initial strategic planning
- With editing the AWPN Tender Response in April 2014
- In negotiating the contract for the conference manager and conference venue
- Attended Melbourne committee meetings in September 2013 and February 2014 to conduct strategic planning for the AWPN
- Provided ongoing financial management of AWPN funds
- Set up MYOB for AWPN
- Set up GST, tax and superannuation requirements
- Managed ongoing payment of tax invoices
- Managed MYOB
- Managed ATO payments
- Managed banking for AWPN
Promotion of the AWPN as the peak professional body for foundation skills in the workplace has been more difficult during 2014, as some key contacts within RTOs have been lost as a result of closure of the WELL program.
- Dissemination of AWPN information and activities has been carried out within the representative’s professional networks
- Promotion of AWPN has been ongoing with industry stakeholders
- Linkages between AWPN and ACAL have been supported due to potential for cooperative activities
- New entrants to the field have been targeted through provision of information to students in the Graduate Diploma in Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice and those undertaking the TAE LLN elective
- Invitations to become involved with the AWPN have been extended to Workplace Mentors working in industry funded, capacity development programs that include foundation skills
Targeted promotion has been conducted to rebuild local networks. It is hoped that the AWPN conference will provide a focus for re-engagement with practitioners in the NT as well as the development of linkages with new ones.
It would be beneficial to identify a practitioner in the southern region of the NT to support local activities and provide perspectives from regional and remote delivery areas – e.g. someone who is working in Indigenous communities.
Where possible support has been provided to AWPN key activities, including attendance at the face-to-face meetings in February and September.
Ongoing support towards the development of the AWPN, its future, viability and sustainability has been effected via teleconferencing.
Preparation of documentation and assistance with other writing tasks on behalf of AWPN include:
- Content for tender for Professional Development Workshops for Foundation Skills Frameworks
- The AWPN response to discussion paper re Training for Employment Scholarships
- AWPN Vision/Mission statement, other content for website
- Identification of speaker for AWPN conference
The following is a report on activities of the AWPN Tasmanian state representatives during 2014.
- Promotion of AWPN with former members, existing members and new members
- Regular dissemination of information by email to AWPN members and to literacy skills trainers and managers who have an interest in workplace literacy
- Sharing of AWPN news and information with RTOs including TasTAFE, with Skills Tasmania and with organisations and businesses
- Promotion and sharing of relevant AWPN news and information at the following regular meetings:
- Tasmanian Council for Adult Literacy (TCAL) monthly meetings and events
- Southern Adult Literacy Providers Network (SALPN) quarterly meetings
- Skills Tasmania – 26TEN, Tasmanian State-wide literacy Validation and Moderation network meetings held every two months