Inaugural AVETRA VET Practitioner Research Conference 2018 Melbourne, Victoria Call for Expressions of Interest


AVETRA, the VET Development Centre and the Victorian TAFE Association are pleased to announce an exciting, new VET Practitioner Research Conference to be held in April 2018. The Inaugural VET Practitioner Research Conference, to be held at the VET Development Centre in Melbourne, is a unique opportunity for VET teachers, trainers and other professionals to present and learn about new research in VET. 

Among the exciting speakers the Victorian TAFE Association has secured to present at the conference is José Luis Fernandez Maure, Head of International at TKNIKA (Institute of Innovation and Applied Research for Vocational Education and Training) in the Basque Country and leader of the Applied Research and Innovation Affinity Group of the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP).

Practitioner research is practical, applied and impactful at the local level.  It drives innovation in VET curriculum, delivery and assessment and directly contributes to innovation in industry and community settings.

Conference organisers are now calling for Expressions of Interest (EoI) under three categories:

1.       Research capability development workshops (1 or 2 hours)

2.       Research project ‘snapshots’ (10 minutes per snapshot)

3.       Research project presentations (30 minutes per presentation)

EoIs may be submitted by individuals or groups.  To be eligible, you must complete and use the appropriate sections of the EoI submission template for the appropriate category (attached).   EoIs will be peer-reviewed, with outcomes released 19 February 2018. Successful applicants will be given until 15 March 2018 to make any changes requested.

The draft conference program will be released by Friday, 30 March.  EoIs must be submitted by January 21, 2018 to: The cost of the conference has been kept to a minimum with the support of the VET Development Centre and the Victorian TAFE Association.   The cost of attendance will be:

•         Existing AVETRA members: $25

•         Non-AVETRA members: $225 (Please note, joining AVETRA is easy! Just go to and click the ‘Join Now’ button. You’ll save on attending this conference and enjoy the benefits of AVETRA membership.)

Please direct any questions about the conference, including how to pay and register, to Linda Simon and Steven Hodge at:  Good luck!


OctoberVET Event in NSW


The recording from the NSW OctoberVET event held on 26 October 2017 is now available.  Many thanks to Bronwyn Thompson from TAFE NSW for her superb technical support – and more!  To our brilliant researchers:  Linda Simon and Francesca Beddie; Anna Daniel, Patrick Lowe and Geethani Nair.  Please make a contribution on this site, by replying to this post, when you notice some of the very impactful items from the research shared at this event.  We have had great feedback from the few who were able to attend.  Hopefully the recording will enable much greater dissemination of this important research.


International Collaborations For All


Here is an opportunity to share information on, and contribute to, an important topic globally.  The Pathways Between Technical and Vocational Education and Training and Further Education will be addressed between 23 and 27 October in this international forum.  The UNESCO-UNEVOC Forum will be conducting a virtual conference.  I will be joining in and hoping to learn more about existing and new ideas.

If you could not get to the Vocational and Professional Education and Training International Conference in Hong Kong in June (like me) take a look here.  I have viewed just a little of the data and presentations.  There was some very contemporary, internationally comparative and important research on show.  If you are interested check out



Is it just me, or is there something in the VET Air?

This is a rather unusual post for the AVETRA Educator Hub.  It might better be referred to as an opinion piece.  However, it seems to me – though I might be sitting in my cloud somewhere (no, not the iCloud) – that there is a significant interest in research into vocational education and research recently.  It is interesting that such a lot of it is concerned almost solely with the economic impact of the sector on Australian society.  But hey, who was it who said all publicity is good publicity?  Perhaps not, though just at present I think much of it is more positive than negative.

Of greatest prominence I think is the research by Francesca Beddie and Linda Simon on the VET applied research: driving VET’s role in the innovation system.  This commissioned research gives a clear mandate to the Australian and other governments to reconsider the almost absent consideration of VET to Australia’s place in the innovation system.  Of lesser prominence, but certainly of interest to me and I would expect others also, is the Developing appropriate workforce skills for Australia’s emerging digital economy: working paper released by NCVER on 20 September 2017.  This gives some very interesting insights into the emergence of digital skills in the group known as Foundation, or Core skills.  There will be more of these to come as this issue is of significance to policy makers at present as seen by the various cross-sector projects being conducted by Skills Services Organisations in Australia.

Have you heard of the Analysis and Policy Observatory?  Please excuse my ignorance as I suspect many of you have.  I found a treasure trove of resources here.  Obviously the extent of the open-source, freely available research provides an incredibly rich resource for any researcher.  Other really interesting finds here were the short courses on offer to brush up our research skills.  Do you fancy combining a summer holiday to our Long White Cloud neighbours during our climatically-changed Australian summer?  There are some amazing opportunities here for a professional development break with a twist.  Check them out here.  Another amazing opportunity I discovered here, which I hope will be of interest to our Indigenous research fellows, is the 2018 ATSI Research Fellowship Scheme for an opportunity for a full scholarship at Swinburne.  I did provide these details in the Opportunities page last week, but thought it was worth a mention again.  Perhaps you know someone who needs to know about this opportunity?  Please pass it on.

And of course, I can’t help but take this opportunity to give the AVETRA OctoberVET events throughout Australia a plug.  Hope to see you at one of them.

I would be interested to know if my opinion that there is an increased interest in research into the VET sector is more perception than reality.  What do you think?  Please leave a comment below.





Important New Research for the VET Sector

NCVER has just released three papers making up the report by Francesca Beddie and Linda Simon ‘VET applied research: driving VET’s role in the innovation system’.  The report sets out to not only provide the rationale for investing time and money in developing an increased applied research capability in the VET sector, but also provides some useful examples as to how this is already occurring and how it can be extended.  One of the papers focuses on building the capability of the educators and other professionals in VET, through a developmental framework.  This framework below identifies areas of skills and capability development that may be required by individuals or teams involved in applied research.  It also acknowledges that many of those in the sector may already have these capabilities but have not adapted them to an applied research role.  It is a useful reference point for many educators and a framework for professional development for organisations, as well as industry and community partners.