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
- Adult and Community
Links to two major areas.
- 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’. CIT.
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 ?
- Adult Community Education
Training Queensland. Overview, FAQs, Equity Blueprint, Adult Community Education Provider list, news, events, contact details, links.
- Investing in Skills
Training Queensland. Includes a section on community learning including a specific program.
- 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’.
- About Adult
‘A community learning opportunity for people wanting to take part in learning and further training’ Overview, provider listing, links, more.
- Adult Community Education
Information for and about these.
- 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.
- South Australian Council for Adult Literacy
‘Assists in the development and promotion of language, literacy and numeracy practices, services and resources’.
- DFEEST’s Strategic Directions
Access their DFEEST Strategic Directions 2013-2016 here [PDF]. Access Regional Strategic Plans and previous plans.
- 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 Centres across Tasmania [online or in person]. Includes links to the following :
- Adult Learners’ Week
Information about this week is posted nearer the time.
- Get Help
With Reading, Writing and Maths.
- 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.
- The Laurels, Bacchus Marsh Adult Education Centre
- 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’.
- Association of Neighbourhood Houses & Learning Centres
Find a House, news, resources what’s on, media, more.
- 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’.
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.
- UWA Extension
University of Western Australia. ‘A leading provider of lifelong learning opportunities in a diverse range of community, workplace and professional education’.
- 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’.
‘Describes a range of new services for job seekers and workers aged 45 years and over and their employers’.
‘Multilingual learning resources for emerging communities’. Introduction, Find a Course, Resources, Index, Languages. Site available in multiple languages.
‘Key information about Australian adult literacy activities and links to additional program, professional development, resource and research sites’.
- Reading and Writing Hotline
‘Australia’s national telephone adult literacy and numeracy referral service’.
- TILT : Tap into Learning Today
‘Designed to help share information and communication tools vital to the success of lifelong learning programs and initiatives’. Information for learners, service providers, others.
[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.
- Australian Neighbourhood Houses & Centres Association [ANHCA]
‘Represents nationally over 1 000 Neighbourhood Houses, Community Houses, Learning Centres, Neighbourhood Centres and Community Centres’.
- 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.
- New Zealand Literacy Portal
‘Designed to provide a knowledge base of adult literacy information contributed by both New Zealand and international organisations’.
Reports & Research
- All Over, Red Rover ? …
The neglect and potential of Australian adult education in the community2011; Barry Golding, Annette Foley. ‘We undertake a critical, research-based appraisal of the current, arguably neglected state of adult education in Australia in 2010, and proceed to paint a picture of how a different and potentially more positive future might be realised’.
- Inquiry into Opportunities for Participation Of Victorian Seniors
2012; Ms Georgie Crozier, et al. ‘Terms of reference were to : review national and international literature on preparing for an ageing society; consult with older Victorians and representative bodies,’ and … .
- Leading by example : encouraging the development of e-champions in Adult and
2013; Sarah Phillips. ‘The purpose of this paper is to identify how an adult and community education organisation can provide a workplace environment that encourages the development of e-champions capable of offering leadership in flexible learning’.
- Learning and Civic
2014; Adult Learning Australia. ‘An additional benefit of learning is increased civic participation’.
- Learning and leadership : …
Evaluation of an Australian rural leadership program. 2014; Wendy Madsen, Cathy O’Mullan, Helen Keen-Dyer. ‘Highlight[s] the need for adult learning theories to be more overtly identified and utilised as the basis of planning and implementing leadership programs’.
- Let’s get serious about Adult Literacy and
2011; Adult learning Australia. ‘Leadership from the Australian government and a comprehensive policy response developed in collaboration with State and Territory governments, stakeholder organisations, community groups and educational professionals is long overdue’.
National Foundation Skills Strategy for Adults
2012; SCOTESE. ‘The National Strategy will focus on improving outcomes for working age Australians [aged 15-64 years] with a view to moving more people to higher levels, but with a particular focus on those with low levels of foundation skill proficiency’.
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.’.
- Skilled Migrant Women in Regional Australia : …
Promoting social inclusion through vocational education and training. 2013; Susan Webb, Denise Beale, Miriam Faine. ‘Considers the interplay of the regional labour market, support services for migrants and the role education and training providers play in supporting the participation of migrants in the labour force and in other social activities’.
- Studying beyond age 25 : who does it and what do they gain ?
2012; Michael Coelli, Domenico Tabasso, Rezida Zakirova. ‘Investigate[s] what motivates people to undertake education and training at more mature ages and the impact of this on their labour market outcomes’.
- The power of ‘e’ : extending the ‘E’ in ACE
2009; Delia Bradshaw. ‘Over the past decade or so, an educational evolution has been redefining our understanding and practices of adult community education in profound and comprehensive ways. The name of this transformation is e-learning’.
state of ACE in Australia
2014; Adult Learning Australia. ‘Defining the status and role of the not for profit Adult and Community Education’.
- Adult Learning Theory : Applications to Non-Traditional
2011; Cari Kenner, Jason Weinerman. ‘New adult learners bring learning styles and life experiences that may either be critical foundations for future success or deeply entrenched beliefs that hinder learning in the academic environment’. USA.
- Adult Transition Program Without Walls
2010; Eric Moberg. ‘Best practices in adult transition special education for moderate to severe students suggest student-centered planning that maximises independence in adult life’. USA.
- Engagement of Older Adults in Higher Education :
2012; Brian Findsen. ‘Explores the issue of older adultsr access to and participation in higher education in two countries, Aotearoa New Zealand and Scotland’. New Zealand.
- Open Education 2030 : planning the future of
adult learning in Europe
2013, Jonatan Castaño Muñoz, Christine Redecker, Riina Vuorikari, Yves Punie, Open Learning. ‘Presents the first results of a foresight activity that aims to contribute to an understanding of how ‘Opening up Education’ can improve adult learning in Europe in the future’. Spain.
- Retirement and Visual Arts : Older Adult Learners
2013; Irma Hunt. ‘Examines the role of visual arts and its impact on successful aging and older adult learners in retirement’. USA.
- Shift of Adult Education Research
2013; Bo Chang. ‘Analyses the main features of adult education research and research methods from the 1950s to the early 2000s and their implications for adult education research in the future’. USA.
- Teaching Adults to Read with Reading Apprenticeship
2010; Michele Benjamin. ‘Reading Apprenticeship is a powerful framework that allows faculty to mentor readers in discipline-based instruction’. USA.
- Valuing the Impact of Adult
2012; Daniel Fujiwara, NIACE. ‘Sets out a new way of proving the impact of adult learning and we are delighted to place it in the public domain to influence and shape the debate’. UK.
Universities of The Third Age
- U3A Australian Capital Territory
- U3A Brisbane
- U3A Darwin
- U3A Hobart
- 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.