Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) Learning Support Facilitators, Isikeli Naqaya and Lina Visinia-I’amafana were delighted to participate in the Australian Council for Adult Literacy (ACAL) conference in Darwin, Australia last month.
This year’s conference theme ‘Traders, Neighbours and Intruders: Points of Contact.’ focused on how adult literacy is supported in Australian institutes.
The three-day conference that was attended by language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) practitioners, researchers and community workers from across Australia was held at the Darwin Convention Centre and at Charles Darwin University from 12 to 15 September.
It was the first time for both Ms Visinia-I’amafana (Samoa) and Mr Naqaya (Fiji) to present at an international conference.
In their joint presentation, ‘Facilitating Foundation Skills: A Pacific Perspective’, they spoke about how APTC supports students with their LLN skills and about addressing related challenges, such as assisting students who speak English as a second language and have a strong traditional focus.
“At APTC, it is important to know our learners’ cultural backgrounds and incorporate relevant cultural practices into our programs such as group work, demonstrations and oral tradition to transfer knowledge,” Mr Naqaya said.
They presented on the APTC to Work Program for students who learn basic computer skills such as typing, using Microsoft Office and the internet, and provide a guide to employment by learning how to identify opportunities, prepare resumes and develop job interview skills.
Ms Visinia-I’amafana said apart from developing her public speaking skills, the conference was a great learning experience and networking opportunity.
“I learned a lot from other presenters who shared their own stories of working towards enhancing awareness of adult literacy within Australia and identifying challenges. Some participants work in remote areas to support and upskill Aboriginal people while other presenters shared strategies and resources they have developed to support their work which interests me greatly,” she added.
Mr Naqaya said the experience reinforced his passion to teach and inspired him to continue thinking of innovative strategies to improve his delivery and effectively contribute to communities in Fiji and the region.
During the conference, ACAL celebrated 40 years of actively promoting language, literacy and numeracy and communication advocacy and research. This was a wonderful opportunity for the two presenters to also share APTC’s 10-year journey as a TVET provider for the Pacific.