e-WAALC NEWS July 2005

e-WAALC News is the electronic newsletter of the Western Australian Adult Literacy Council (WAALC).


The WAALC Executive Committee prepares and sends e-WAALC News to members each month.  We welcome your comments, suggestions, and contributions to the newsletter.


Please forward this email to colleagues who may be interested in joining WAALC or attending the dinner and Annual General Meeting in August.


This newsletter is also available in the ‘News’ section of our web site http://www.waalc.com.au


1)      Book now for Dinner and 2005 AGM

2)      Review of National Reporting System (NRS)

3)      Membership of WAALC

4)      Highlights  from Adult Learning Mathematics Conference                                                                                                      “Connecting Voices: Practitioners, Researchers and Learners”

5)      More highlights from the Connecting Voices conference - videoconference

6)      Issues? Contributions?

7)      ‘Contacts’ update

8)      Unsubscribe?

1.  Book now for Dinner and 2005 AGM

If you haven't booked yet, now is the time!  The WAALC Annual General Meeting will be held on Thursday 11 August 2005:  invite your colleagues and others you know have an interest in adult literacy and numeracy issues.  You don't need to be a member to attend the AGM or the dinner, but of course only members can elect the Executive or stand for positions.

New Woodlands Indian Restaurant - BYO

261 Williams Street Northbridge

Professional Conversations: Before dinner starts we will hear a little from several speakers with the idea of triggering those professional conversations that we crave. The topics will include:

§         Highlights of the Connecting Voices conference

§         Carmel Jennings' experiences of teaching English in China

§         The latest on two way literacy and learning

You will then have the chance to continue the conversations over dinner or of course start new ones of your own.

TIME?                       6.00 pm                     AGM business

6.30 pm                     Conversation starts

7.15 pm                      Dinner


Nibbles provided during the AGM free. The cost of the the three course buffetto follow is $10.90 or select reasonably priced vegetarian meals from the menu.  Bring your own alcoholic drinks.


RSVP to Helen Grimston on 93746155  or Margaret McHugh on 92644639 by Monday August 8 2005.




2. Review of National Reporting System (NRS)

DEST has engaged a consortium comprising Linda Wyse & Associates (lead agent), CAE and KULU to conduct a broad review of the NRS.

This review will build on the scoping exercise was conducted in 2004 to examine how the National Reporting System (NRS) is currently being used, how effectively the NRS serves these uses and its potential for adaptation to a broader range of applications.  The scoping exercise resulted in a report Reframe. Rename. Revitalise. Future Directions for the National Reporting System (Perkins, K. 2005 NCVER).

The report recommended that the NRS be formally reviewed with a view to developing a framework and further exploring ideas for broader applications of the NRS in multiple contexts. If you wish to view the report go to: http://www.ncver.edu.au/publications/1579.html

The Review will seek to validate the recommendations of  the report.  Besides considering the application of the NRS as a tool for reporting on programmes, the project will also explore the potential of a revised NRS framework for use in diverse contexts, for example:

  • For measuring adult LL&N competencies in a range of educational and training environments such as Training Package delivery, VET in Schools, Adult and Community Education
  • As a tool for measuring Employability Skills
  • As an assessment tool
  • As an aide to resource development
  • As an agreed  framework for describing the LL&N competence of the Australian population


Consultation is planned for Western Australia on September 19 2005 in order to discuss the data collected from survey of LLNP and WELL providers and ideas for a proposed NRS framework. Times and location to be advised. 

If you have any questions, please contact one of the following people:
Linda Wyse & Associates: Kath or Linda (03) 9429 7551 kb@lwa.au.com   linda@lwa.au.com


3. Membership of WAALC

Members need to have their 2004/2005 Membership paid up to be eligible to vote at the AGM.  Post it in to the WAALC Treasurer Helen Grimston  ahead of time or pay on the evening.  (Membership form attached).


If you are thinking of joining  WAALC, we invite you to attend our AGM and Dinner event to help you decide.


4. Highlights from ALM12 & ACAL 2005 Adult Numeracy/Mathematics Conference - “Connecting Voices: Practitioners, Researchers and Learners”

The international Adults Learning Mathematics (ALM) group and the Australian Council for Adult Literacy (ACAL) in cooperation with the Australasian Bridging Mathematics Network co-hosted a special adult numeracy and maths conference in Melbourne in early July.  As well as being the 12th ALM conference, it was the annual ACAL conference for 2005.

At least 18 delegates from Western Australia were among the 207 who attended the conference from around the world. 

§         We debated issues surrounding critical adult numeracy, the role of mathematics in gatekeeping and as a measure of intelligence, and the resulting social justice implications. 

§         Thought provoking questions were asked such as "Whose relevance?" 

§         Our views on the diversity of mathematical systems were broadened by descriptions of ethno Mathematics from Papua New Guinea, Nepal, Mexico, Maori peoples in New Zealand and Indigenous Australians.  We left with an increased awareness that mathematics is an inherently human trait, but Western Mathematics is only one of the pinnacles of Mathematical knowledge.  Societies have developed many complex mathematical systems to describe what is critical in their cultural view of the world and their place in it including  family relationships, navigation, the seasons and astronomy.  The diversity of these systems was illustrated by the research presented that in Papua New Guinea alone there are 1500 different counting systems.

§         Many practical sessions offered insights into how adults are taught numeracy and mathematics in all educational contexts  in Australia and a smattering of International contexts as well.  Choosing from the 7  workshops on offer was often our biggest problem each day! 


Watch the ACAL website http://www.acal.edu.au/ or the Adults Learning Mathematics website  http://www.alm-online.org/  for news about when the proceedings will  be released.  Papers are due in mid September and proceedings will be available some time after that.


5. More feedback from  Connecting Voices: Practitioners, researchers and learners” conference - Video-conference

The Adult Literacy Unit from the Department of Education and Training is facilitating a feedback session for delegates to the Connecting Voices conference on Thursday August 4th 2005.  The session will be via videoconference so everyone across the State can participate and it is free. 

If you would like to join in email cheryl.wiltshire@det.wa.edu.au for details or look on vetinfonet.det.wa.edu.au


6. Issues? Contributions?

WAALC seeks to represent all adult educators who deliver adult literacy and numeracy programs in Western Australia.  If there are issues that you think WAALC should take action on, let us know. 

Contributions to this newsletter are very welcome.  Good news, bad news, whatever you think others might want to know, send it in! 


7. ‘Contacts’ update

Let us know if your address changes through one of the contact methods listed below. 


8. Unsubscribe?

If you don't want to receive this newsletter or wish to suspend it while you are away on leave, please email the WAALC secretary, Robyn Rennie [robyn.rennie@optusnet.com.au].  Back issues will be available on the WAALC website for you to catch up when you return.


e-WAALC News is the monthly electronic newsletter of (WAALC) the Western Australian Adult Literacy Council. 


Use one of the following contact methods for general enquiries:

Email:                   Robyn Rennie WAALC Secretary  

Postal:                  19 Brittain Street

COMO WA 6152

Web:                      www.waalc.com.au


Phone contact: Carmel Jennings WAALC President (08) 9482 7000

Fax:                       Attention
Cheryl Wiltshire WAALC Vice President (08) 9264 4646






Western Australian Adult Literacy Council


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Post to             The WAALC Treasurer

Ms Helen Grimston

            Swan TAFE

            PO Box 1336

            MIDLAND      WA     6936