Thanks for a great 2012 Conference

Over one hundred delegates attended the two day Australian WELL Practitioners’ Network Conference held on 8 and 9 November at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

This year was the Conference’s 6th anniversary and the theme was ‘WELL and Workforce Development’. Following the introduction of Skills Connect and the Foundation Skills Strategy, the Conference was a wonderful opportunity to catch up on policy and reflect on the implications for implementation and professional practice.

Delegates soaked up the latest policy updates, research findings, resources and case studies from conference presenters, shared experiences with new colleagues, made new contacts, strengthened existing relationships and explored new ideas.

Noteworthy presentations included:

  • The Honourable Sharon Bird MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Higher Education and Skills, reflected on the importance of the WELL Program to industry and individuals and the important contribution that WELL practitioners make
  • A comprehensive overview of Skills Connect was provided by government representatives, including Dr Margaret Cameron, Manager of Australian Government Skills Connect, Susan Devereux, General Manager of the Foundation Skills Branch of DIISRTE, and Linda White, General Manager of the Industry Skills Branch of DIISRTE.  And with the help of Mark Pincott, WELL Broker Construction and Property Services Industry Skills Council,  the very important Barangaroo project in Sydney was showcased, broadening our understanding of policy and policy in practice
  • A panel of industry representatives from Villa Maria, Carter Holt Harvey and Qantas provided a valuable insight from the employer perspective that was then followed up in more detail in concurrent workshops
  • Geoff Gwilym, CEO of Auto Skills Australia, talked about the importance of developing sustainable relationships with industry and not to skimp on the cost of a cup of coffee

Throughout the conference delegates were asked to reflect and identify signposts and potholes. Signposts are the indicators that are shown to us that we should pay attention and potholes are the bits of what we do that break down, don’t work so well or that need further attention. Feedback from this activity will be used to help keep the conversation flowing post conference, through the WELL practitioners’ website. Stay tuned.

The outcomes of this conference will help to strengthen existing and future WELL Program funded projects across Australia.

Thank you to our friends at the Department of Innovations, Industry, Science, Research and Tertiary Education for their ongoing support. Thank you also to our sponsors Ideas That Work, Manufacturing Skills Australia, TAFE NSW and Auto Skills Australia.

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