On the road again…

On the road again…

Vanessa Iles, Manager, Reading Writing Hotline, and Marty Leist from Australian Men's Shed Association (AMSA)

Vanessa Iles, Manager, Reading Writing Hotline, and Marty Leist from Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA)

Reading Writing Hotline Manager, Vanessa Iles was delighted to be visiting Albury and to be on beautiful Wiradjuri country for her first work trip since COVID began. The National Men’s Shed Association were holding their national conference which focussed on men’s health and wellbeing. Vanessa spoke about the impact low levels of literacy can have on men’s health. She also talked about the partnership between the Reading Writing Hotline, TAFE NSW and Men’s Sheds to deliver literacy and digital literacy programs to the sheds.

The shedders expressed their frustration about having little opportunity to access classes and feeling left behind by the pace of technology. There was a lot of enthusiasm for the proposed TAFE NSW program. The keynote speaker Barry Golding AM, a Shedder himself, had also been President of Adult Learning Australia. His research focusses on men’s lifelong and life wide learning, health and wellbeing in community settings.

Vanessa Iles, Manager, Reading Writing Hotline, student Georgie Potter and Ros Bauer Head Teacher of CPALES, TAFE NSW

Vanessa Iles, Manager, Reading Writing Hotline, student Georgie Potter and Ros Bauer Head Teacher of CPALES, TAFE NSW

Second stop after the breakfast radio interview with ABC Murray Goulburn was to visit TAFE NSW Albury campus and the adult literacy section. Recent graduate Georgie Potter was bravely facing both TV cameras and newspaper journalists. They were keen to find out more  about the importance of pathways courses and how they assist people not yet ready for vocational courses.

Georgie Potter being interviewed

Georgie Potter being interviewed

Georgie left school in Year 10 and with the help of Ros Bauer’s Career Pathways Aboriginal Language and Employability Skills Department (CPALES), completed a career preparation course. This allowed her to focus on her literacy skills, before enrolling in her Cert III Individual Support and then gaining a job in Aged Care. Georgie said the small all female classes made all the difference and gave her the confidence to continue her learning. It shows the importance of courses that cater to targeted need.  Georgie attributes her success to TAFE “supporting me 100% and allowing me to follow my dreams”. Georgie is looking at options for further study in Disability and Aged Care.

Congratulations to Ros Bauer Head Teacher of CPALES and her section who run the literacy classes and provide opportunities for people to follow their dreams.