Learning in Diverse Communities Preconference

Working together was certainly a strong theme of the Preconference for the Australian Council for Adult Literacy (ACAL)’s recent Learning in Diverse Communities Conference at the stunning Docklands library in Melbourne. Adult LLN educators from TAFE’s community colleges and other providers joined with the library network to look at the emerging role public libraries are playing in improving community literacy.

Hotline Manager, Vanessa Iles discussed ways the Hotline and libraries can share resources and expertise to assist learners and help them to overcome the significant barriers to learning that many face. Volunteer tutor programs and classes held in many libraries started in response to a motivated local leader who perceived a real need in the community.

Laura Chapman, Volunteer Program Manager, discussed literacy program collaborations between Carringbush Adult Education and Yarra Libraries which assist social housing communities, people with disabilities, refugees, and parents of school age children.

Sarah Ernst, Library Development & Projects Officer explained the development of the Adult Literacy Resource portal for literacy and numeracy teachers. We were also introduced to a wonderful free Literacy Resource Using the library , created in a partnership between the Melton Library and the Djerriwarrh Community and Education Services.


A session in the afternoon where literacy and numeracy teachers and librarians sat side by side to workshop literacy resources demonstrated the value of this collaboration as we swapped ideas, resources and approaches and saw how much we have to learn from each other.

A very inspiring start to the ACAL Conference.