Adult & Community Education
Adult & Community Education offers ‘learning courses designed for personal enrichment, skill development and professional learning’ [Tasmanian Department of Education]. These may be formal or informal, run by local communities or government agencies and cover everything from drawing to yoga, languages to dance, photography to massage, parenting to managing your finances. They cover leisure skills to life skills. Some can be used for professional purposes.
This page covers procedures and programs in each state & territory, government information, journals, publications, research, University of The Thirds Age [U3A] and other information.
It is not possible to list all providers but it should be possible to access many sources through the links below.
For a range of information, including activities and events around Australia, visit the Adult Learners’ Week website.
For related information, you should also consider information on the Vocational Education page.
States & Territories
Australian Capital Territory
Community Education Grants Program
‘The ACT ACE Grants Program aims to increase opportunities for individuals to access vocational education and training’.
- Association of Providers of Training Services
‘Representing private and public vocational training providers in Canberra and the surrounding region’.
- The Centre for Short Courses [CSC]
‘Largest provider of recreational and work related short courses in the ACT’.
New South Wales
- Adult and Community Education, NSW [ACE]
Provider and organiser of adult and community education across NSW. A list of NSW Community Colleges, compiled by ACE is found here. Each listing has a link to the relevant website [where one exists], as well as other information.
- Community Colleges NSW
Listing of community colleges across NSW.
- NSW Adult Literacy & Numeracy Council
‘Representing teachers, workers and others interested in the field of adult literacy and numeracy in NSW. To promote awareness, understanding and cooperation amongst providers in the field of adult literacy, numeracy and adult learning’.
- Adult Learners’
Department of Business. Includes funding grants.
- Northern Territory Adult Literacy And Numeracy Best Practice : What do other people think ?
- Updated !
Adult Community Education
Training Queensland. Overview, FAQs, Adult Community Education Provider list, news, events, contact details, links.
Training Queensland. Projects, documents, linked information.
- Communify Queensland
Community education from within the local community.
- Lifelong Learning Council Queensland [Inc]
‘Voluntary, non-government organisation with a membership drawn from the broad spectrum of adult and community learning and education in the public, private and community arenas. The Directory of Adult & Community Learning Database, has information about organisations, agencies and enterprises/businesses that provide courses and support’.
- Queensland Council for Adult Literacy
‘Promotes literacy as the key to effective life-long learning for all. Seeks to establish and maintain opportunities for adult members of the community to improve their literacy and numeracy skills’.
- ACE - Adult Community Education
Community Access and Services SA [CASSA].
Community Education Funding
‘We can talk with you about your ideas and refer you to the best place for help’.
- Community and Neighbourhood Houses and Centres Association
‘Peak body for 80+ Community Centres and Neighbourhood Houses in South Australia’.
- Community and Neighbourhood Houses and Centres Association
‘Peak body for 80+ Community Centres and Neighbourhood Houses in South Australia’. Find a Community Centre, training, activities, resources, news, events, Capacity Building, more.
- Community Education
and Short Courses
Overview, links to other areas of this site and also other sites.
- Office of the Training Advocate
‘Can respond to any question or concern about the South Australian training system including those relating to Adult Community Education [ACE]’.
- South Australian Council for Adult Literacy
‘Assists in the development and promotion of language, literacy and numeracy practices, services and resources’.
- TAFE Short Courses
Many opportunities in Adult & Community Education can come through the TAFE system.
- WEA of South Australia
‘Providing adults with learning opportunities for both vocational and personal advantage. Publishes five Course Guides each year’.
- Adult Education LINC Tasmania
Information about courses, by subject or region. Find Updated ! Centres Locations and Hours [online or in person]. Includes links to the following :
- Adult Learners’ Week
Information about this week is posted nearer the time.
- Updated ! Get Help
With Reading, Writing and Maths, more.
- Skills Tasmania - Learners
Overview, links to sites and topics from left hand menu.
- ACE VIC
‘Victoria’s peak policy, industrial and development body for the Adult Community Education sector’.
Adult and Community Education Colleges in Other Areas of Victoria
- Campaspe College of Adult Education
Echuca and into adjacent areas of NSW.
- Shepparton ACE College
- The Centre
Wangaratta and Benalla. Can be slow to load.
- Updated ! The Laurels, Bacchus Marsh Adult Education Centre
- Updated ! Wimmera HUB
- Adult, Community and Further Education
Overview, structure, links to AMES, CAE and Learn Local [see below], Regional Councils, more.
‘Works with new arrivals but also with the community, business and Government’.
- Updated !
Centre for Adult Education
‘Provides learning to the Victorian community through a wide range of programs and services’.
- Community Colleges
Scroll down to the Victorian section for colleges linked to Community Colleges Australia. Each has a website where available plus other details.
- Learn Local
‘Offer a range of education and training programs designed to meet your learning needs. There’s a government registered Learn Local in your community that can help you return to study, improve your reading, writing and maths skills, gain a qualification, get a job or learn something new’. Find a Learn Local here.
- Learn Local Awards
‘Held annually to recognise the inspirational efforts of learners, practitioners and training providers in the Learn Local sector’.
- New !
Neighbourhood Houses Victoria
‘The peak body for the Neighbourhood House and Learning Centre sector in Victoria’.
Other Adult and Community Education Centres
- Monash Short Courses Centre
‘Our courses are open to all, not just to Monash students and staff. Our Centre includes a variety of specialist facilities’. Access their Online Courses.
- Victorian Skills Gateway
‘Searches can be performed on occupations, courses, training providers, video and written case studies’. Separate section for Adult Learners.
‘Engage in learning, Explore’.
- Community Based Courses
Department of Education Services. Information about Standards and Guidelines and Applications for Endorsement. There is a List of Community based courses available from the site.
- Community Learning
Department of Training & Workforce Development. Community learning, Adult and Community Education, Computer Skills, Literacy, links, more. Of value would be their Course Search.
‘State association for Community & Development Centres in Western Australia’. Find a Member Centre here. Use the Search Engine or the A-Z listing.
- Updated !
University of Western Australia. ‘A leading provider of lifelong learning opportunities in a diverse range of community, workplace and professional education’.
- Updated !
Adult Learners’ Week
‘Part of an international festival of adult learning. Adult Learners’ Week also provides an opportunity for informed discussion about the current provision of adult learning in Australia’.
- Updated !
Investing in Experience
Employment Charter and Tool Kit
‘A one stop practical guide for employing people over 45 years of age. It provides practical help for your business or organisation to assess the demographics of your workforce, to identify and address potential skill and knowledge gaps, and to recruit and retain experienced staff’.
- Updated !
‘Key information about Australian adult literacy activities and links to additional program, professional development, resource and research sites’.
- Updated !
National Foundation Skills Strategy for
‘A ten-year framework which brings a national focus to improving education and employment outcomes for working age Australians with low levels of foundation skills [language, literacy, numeracy and employability skills]’. Find a link to the document in the Research section below,
- Updated !
Reading and Writing Hotline
‘Australia’s national telephone adult literacy and numeracy referral service’.
[Australian Council for Adult Literacy]
‘Supporting literacy and numeracy education for adults’. Their Links page is worthwhile.
- Adult Learning Australia
News, features, publications, events, links, more.
- AVETRA - Useful Links
‘Designed to help researchers find information they need. Links from both Australia and overseas’.
- BBC - Skillswise
Some areas are peculiar to the UK [e.g. courses, etc.]. Others could be of value. Literacy and numeracy. BBC quality.
- Excellence Gateway [UK]
‘Provides thousands of examples of effective practice and support documents to help develop your knowledge and skills which are free to review and download. Material from learning and skills organisers and leading online resources also available’.
- Free Resources [National Centre for Families Learning]
‘Whether you’re a parent, an educator or a volunteer, we have plenty of resources in our arsenal to help you fight illiteracy in your community’. USA.
- Learning Communities Catalyst
‘Learning Communities are groups of people - in towns, around centres, or in interest groups - who work toward making lifelong learning possible for everyone’.
Irish National Adult Literacy Agency. ‘Literacytools is for adults who would like to improve their spelling, reading and numeracy skills’.
- Year Book Australia, 2012
Education. Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Reports & Research
- A new social capital paradigm for adult literacy : Partnerships,
policy and pedagogy
2009; Jo Balatti, Stephen Black, Ian Falk. ‘The primary purpose of this project is to produce a set of guidelines on how to deliver adult literacy and numeracy education and training using a social capital approach’.
- Don-t subtract numeracy
2014, David Tout. ‘The development of adults’ core skills for work and life requires attention to language and literacy, but numeracy counts as well’.
- Human capital development : reforms for adult and community
2007; Sarojni C. Choy, Sandra Haukka. ‘Briefly describes the ACE sector and its current provisions, and proposes ways in which it could make a greater contribution to the human capital stream of the National Reform Agenda’.
- Learning and leadership : Evaluation of an Australian rural
2014; Wendy Madsen, Cathy O’Mullan, Helen Keen-Dyer. ‘Results of the evaluation of a rural leadership program provided in this paper highlight the need for adult learning theories to be more overtly identified and utilised as the basis of planning and implementing leadership programs’.
- National Foundation Skills Strategy for Adults
‘Governments have committed to a target that, by 2022, two thirds of working age Australians will have literacy and numeracy skills at Level 3 or above’.
- Productivity Of Social Inclusion
2011, Jillian Marchant, AARE. ‘Through a review of literature for a study involving adult rural students, suggestions are made, which discover the boundaries experienced by adult rural students in their communities’.
- Putting transformative learning theory into practice
2015; Michael Christie, Michael Carey, Ann Robertson, Peter Grainger. ‘Our paper exemplifies how Mezirow’s theory can help adult educators and prospective school teachers understand that social structures and belief systems can influence student learning’.
- Reskilling for Encore Careers
2012; Jane Figgis, NCVER. ‘Describes the encore career concept and why it might be an attractive alternative to retirement or to continuing in the same job past the traditional age of retirement’.
2014; Adult Learning Australia. ‘The focus of this paper is on the informal and non-formal learning that occurs in and through community-based organisations.’.
- The quest for authenticity : A study of an online discussion
forum and the needs of adult learn
2015, Jenny McDougall. ‘his study concludes that elements of an “authentic discussion” can be achieved in an online environment and this objective has a particular salience in the context of adult learning. ’.
- The use of peer assessment in a regional Australian university
tertiary bridging course
2014; Kelly Chambers, Robert Whannell, Patricia Whannell. ‘Presents the findings from research on peer assessment practice that was specifically focussed on improving the student experience in a tertiary bridging course’.
- Using Grass Roots Community Programs as an Anti-Extremism
2013; Robyn Broadbent. ‘Discusses the results of the evaluation of a multicultural leadership program that was delivered using an adult learning framework in which 16 young people attended and how such programs can continue to build the capacity of communities to build scaffolds of support that ensure the inclusion of young people and not their marginalisation’.
- Active Life of the Senior Citizens through Education
2015, Saljakhutdin Fardievich Taziev. ‘The paper presents reasons for including the senior citizens into educational process, as well as active age model’. Russia.
- A dual mandate for adult vocational education : a consultation
2015; Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. ‘Sets out what the Government has done since 2010 to promote a quality system of vocational education and training for adult learners and introducing the concept of a dual mandate for adult vocational education’. UK.
- Learning Begets Learning
2014, OECD. ‘Adult participation in leflong learning’. International.
- Updated !
Lifelong Learning and Adults
2012; OECD. ‘Draws on various sources to examine evidence and recommendations regarding adult education and training, and lifelong learning more widely’. Chapter of a larger document on education in general. International.
- Literacy and
numeracy assessments of adult English language learners
2014, Ministry of Education. ‘An attempt to answer questions about the extent to which the Assessment Tool can reasonably and legitimately be used to assess the literacy and numeracy of English language learners, on the basis of a descriptive study of skills’. New Zealand.
- Making Skills Everyone’s Business : A Call to Transform
Adult Learning in the United States
2015, Department of Education. ‘Offers seven strategies that hold great promise for improving the conditions that create and perpetuate poor literacy, numeracy, and problem solving’. USA.
- Targeting Assessment for Developing Adult Lifelong Learners :
Assessing the Ability to Commit
2015, Ya-Hui Su. ‘In this article, I propose that neither traditional assessment nor alternative, competence-based assessment is adequate to meet the challenges of uncertain change’. Taiwan.
- The Social Value of Community-Based Adult Education in Limerick
2014; Patricia Neville, Maria O’Dwyer, Martin J Power. ‘We argue that it is crucial that we recognise the multiple and inter-connected social impacts that community-based adult education offers to its participants, as well as to the community’. Ireland.
Universities of The Third Age
- U3A Australian Capital Territory
- Updated ! U3A Brisbane
- U3A Darwin
- U3A Hobart
- Updated ! U3A Sunshine Coast
- U3A [UWA]
- U3A Network New South Wales
- U3A Network Victoria
- University of The Third Age
All branches of the University of the Third Age in Australia.
- University of the Third Age, South Australia
Access most of the U3As in South Australia, find courses, other links.