Happy Holidays and see you in 2024

Happy Holidays and see you in 2024

Happy Holidays

In wrapping up the year, I want to firstly say thank you from the Hotline team to everyone out there who works so hard to provide literacy, numeracy and digital literacy (LND) to adults across Australia. Every day we hear from callers about how life changing this support can be, whether as a teacher in front of a class, through a library, or community organisation, providing individual tutoring or managing/coordinating programs. There are so many ways we all assist people with literacy gaps.

I also want to thank our wonderful colleagues in the LND sector, including Read Write Now from Western Australia, 26TEN from Tasmania, the Hotline Steering Committee, Community Colleges Australia, Adult Learning Australia, and TAFE Directors Australia. I especially thank those incredibly talented and dedicated volunteers in peak bodies such as ACAL and the states and territory councils of adult language, literacy and numeracy who are the glue for our sector.

Against the backdrop of the Commonwealth government’s reinvigoration of the literacy and numeracy sector, 2023 has been another intense and productive year for the Hotline. As well as responding to the almost 4000 calls we received, highlights for 2023 included:

  • Renewal of the Hotline contract by the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations until June 2026
  • The publication of the second and final phase of our research Uncovering Adult Literacy and Numeracy Needs in Australia: A Comprehensive National Study 2023.
  • Production of new free resources including professional development videos on Adult Numeracy Teaching in partnership with the University of Technology, Sydney and an Adult Literacy Tutoring Program for libraries and community groups.
  • Documenting real life examples of caller requests and providing statistics which demonstrate exactly what people are asking for and where needs are not being met. This important information is then shared through submissions, committee participation, webinars and forums to the many Commonwealth and State government consultations and reviews around foundation skills policy and programs.
  • The deepening of relationships, collaborations and partnerships with providers and community agencies including First Nations and peak agencies and libraries.
  • Raising particular areas of unmet literacy and numeracy needs such as: literacy in corrections institutions, issues around supporting apprentices, access to LND programs in regional and remote First Nations Communities and among NDIS clients.
  • Meeting many of you at the wonderful VALBEC, ACAL, CCA, NSWPLA conferences in Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney respectively and during our trip to the Northern Territory.

Next year is going to be an exciting one for us.  2024, will mark the Hotline’s 30th anniversary.  We will be celebrating at a special event on April 3, next year, in Sydney. The Commonwealth Minister for Skills and Training Minister O’Connor and the NSW Minister for Skills, TAFE and Tertiary Education, Steven Whan will be attending.

We look forward to 2024, developing more partnerships with the field, sharing models of good practice and most importantly assisting more people who have taken that courageous first step to seek help to improve their skills.

Finally, a big shout out to the Hotline team for their outstanding expertise, empathy and ability to build callers’ confidence over a phone line and then the care taken to find LND options that work. It is their careful and sensitive collection of information that is instrumental in giving voice to unmet needs and barriers faced.

The Hotline Office will be closed from 23 December and returning 15 January 2024.

Wishing you all a happy, relaxed and fun break.

Best wishes

Vanessa Iles
Manager Reading Writing Hotline