Symposium 2: Youth at Promise

Sunday, 10 April, 2016 • 9.15 am – 4.30 pm • Central Institute of Technology: Oxford Street, Leederville

Separate registration required



Bus: No 15 from Roe Street Bus Station alight at Oxford/Vincent Street (stop 12677)
Train: Joondalup line from Murray Street underground
station, alight at Leederville, 1st stop.

Check timetable at (Sunday timetable).

Parking available on campus.


Young people from 15 – 24 years of age are faced with many challenges as they transition from childhood to take on the roles and responsibilities of adults. This symposium focuses on the complex lives of young people and some of the successful educational and other services that can help even out the playing field for those that do not inherit their just share of cultural, economic and linguistic capital. You will hear from people who have been involved in setting up the first Foyer project in Western Australia and about the Gateways initiative at Murdoch University. Visiting UK academic Dr Vicky Duckworth will consider the justness of developing egalitarian approaches to pedagogies based on care and mutual respect in an era when education is positioned as a commodity.


Subject to change without notice

8.15 am Registrations Open - Lecture Theatre foyer

9.15 am Welcome and opening remarks - Lecture Theatre

9.25 am Plenary Address: Foyer Oxford – the Central Story

Speaker: Sue Thompson

In her presentation, Sue will describe how Foyer Oxford came to be and Central's role in that story. Her aim is to help participants understand the Foyer Movement and the Foyer Philosophy – and how it's being applied here in Perth. Sue will also talk about the Foyer Oxford Consortium (AnglicareWA, Foundation Housing and Central) and how that operates in relation to Foyer Oxford, Leederville. She will also describe other programmes for young people at Central, including "Launchpad." Following her presentation, Sue will facilitate a Q&A session in order to further place the Foyer initiative within the concept of Youth At Promise rather than Youth At Risk.

10.15 am Plenary address: Big Picture, Little Picture

Lisa Knight, Big Picture Educator and Advisory Coach, will outline the principles and framework of Big Picture Education. At its centre is a commitment to the idea that learning must focus on one person at a time without being constructed as 'individualised' or 'modular'.

10.35 Morning Tea - C Block

11.00 am Donna Carr will describe the features of Murdoch's Gateway Program and elaborate on its utilisation of the Big Picture education principles. This year, 11 of the 13 students participating in the Gateway program have now enrolled in degree programs at universities or in vocational qualifications at TAFE.

11.20 am 2015 Gateway students Presentations from four of these students will enable the audience to hear at first hand from people who have fulfilled their promise despite what life has thrown at them. They will share their learning journeys and insights about what makes it possible to engage with learning and realise personal goals and ambitions.

11.50 am Plenary address: creating a cycle of care and hope

Speaker: Dr Vicky Duckworth
In her presentation, Vicky will draw on her research and practice to explore the emotional and economic capital needed for learners to make transitions through education and into the field of work. She will consider restraining factors in relation to the resources available to them, highlighting the difficulty of being poor and how it impacts on the choices the learners have to pursue their educational aspirations, hopes and dreams. It will draw on case studies to illustrate the role of the teacher is not just to teach but to care and identify and address the barriers which learners face in pursuing their aspirations.

12.35 pm Lunch

1.30 – 3.30 pm Concurrent Workshop Sessions

Foyer Jump Start – A step to re-engagement – Rebecca Bull

In her workshop, Rebecca, will discuss the Jump Start program and its evolution since it began in 2011. Jumpstart provides young learners with the space to re-engage in their learning journey; find the path that suits them and develop the skills to manage their life and transitions effectively.

Rebecca's workshop will provide participants with the opportunity for questions and discussion – including thinking about the future of youth programs like Jumpstart in the WA TAFE sector.

Engaging in learning - Donna Carr and Students

This two-hour workshop will be extremely practical. It will be student-lead, demonstrating the learning activities and strategies the students, as successful learners, have found useful and productive. Donna teaches her students to challenge the nature of their own oppression and operates from the knowledge that they have at least as much to teach her as she has to teach them. Participants in this workshop will have the chance to learn some of the things that Donna has learnt from her students. Together they will illustrate the 'third space' in learning which is a hybrid they build together acquiring and applying the skills of collaboration as they proceed.

Drawing on learners' literacies: Resources, community projects and consciousness raising – Dr Vicky Duckworth

This interactive workshop will explore the power of Practitioner Action Research (PAR) to drive forward consciousness raising practice. PAR is rooted in the cultural tradition of the participants and builds on strengths and resources in the community. Actively involving learners and the community in PAR can increase the likelihood of developing interventions and resources that are culturally relevant and address the learners' needs, as well as promoting the continuation of community engagement and initiatives when the research ends. Participants in this workshop will have the opportunity to explore culturally relevant resources that have arisen from PAR and plan for / develop resources that arise from the lived experiences of their learners.

3.30 pm Afternoon tea

3.50 pm Panel Discussion

4.30 pm Close