Approximately 80 participants were involved in this years Rural Learning Summit held in Melbourne on Friday, 25th August in Melbourne.
This years Summit brought people from rural and remote education communities, education sectors, philanthropy, higher education, key stakeholder groups, rural young people and interested rural community members to explore the key theme:
“Building Meaningful Partnerships”
Dr Don Edgar
Don began the day where he shared his reflections and encouragement through a video that was shown at the Learning Summit. Don was the inaugural chair of Country Education Project when it began in 1997.
You can view Dons video at: Dr Don Edgar
Opened by Minister Merlino.
The Conference was officially opened by the Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, The Hon James Merlino and he congratulated CEP for the long standing involvement it had in supporting and advocating for rural and remote education across Victoria.
He informed the Learning that he was pleased that Country Education Partnership would receive additional resources within their agreement with the Department of Education and Training to further its work in supporting rural and remote clusters as a key strategy to enhance the learning opportunities provided for young people within these communities, as well as strengthen CEPs involvement in building a strong student agency role for rural and remote young people through Rural Inspire.
He encouraged CEP to continue its work in supporting rural and remote education and he valued the input that it provides the State Government in implementing the various initiatives outlined within the Education State Framework.
Jack Archer – Regional Australia Institutew
The Learning Summit was then provided with a range of opportunities and challenges for the future provision of education throughout rural and remote communities by the CEO of Regional Australia Institute, Mr Jack Archer.
While he highlighted the challenges that were facing a number of rural and remote communities in relation to demographic changes, he also highlighted the real opportunity that this provided for this communities if they were to facilitate partnerships between education and their broader communities.
His key messages included:
“Engagement should be the priority – whether you are 8 or 88, if you are in a rural area we want you to be engaged in learning”
“Rural Learning Communities – Old Idea Never Implemented”
Jack presentation can be found by clicking on: J Archer Rural Learning Summit
Bronwyn Lee – Foundation for Young Australians
Bronwyn provided an engaging outline of the recent research that the Foundation for Young Australian had undertaken in relation to the future career pathways and work skill requirements for young people into the future.
This information catalyst a range of discussions, especially where such information impacts on the provision of education within rural and remote communities.
It also provided a valuable foundation upon which the later discussion considered the future areas of focus for rural and remote education provision.
The material Bronwyn presented can be accessed through the link: The New Work Mindset
Rural Youth Ambassadors
A number of the 2017 Rural Youth Ambassadors shared their thoughts on the future education they would like to see occur for rural and remote young people into the future.
- They outlined a number of key areas they would like rural communities to consider when planning the future of education within their communities:
recruitment and retention of quality teachers
- schools working together to increase learning opportunities
- lifting the aspirations of rural young people.
A video of their presentation can be viewed at: Rural Youth Ambassador Presentation 2017
Outcomes from the Rural Learning Summit
A key element of the Rural Learning Summit was the identification of key strategies that rural and remote education communities believe are key to the ongoing support of learning within their communities.
In summary the initiatives identified through the workshop included:
- a significant promotional strategy to encourage quality teachers to consider the opportunity that rural and remote education provides;
- the development of a University Teacher Education program focused on rural and remote education and centred on a partnership between Universities and rural and remote education communities;
- strengthening the cluster and partnership approach as a key strategy to support education provision within rural and remote communities and have it supported through a facilitation role;
- strengthen the Rural Inspire concept developed by the Rural Youth Ambassadors;
- the development of whole of community approaches to education within rural and remote communities – learning is the role of everyone.
A detailed report of the Rural Learning Summit, and the initiatives proposed will be available in the near future.