Just preparing my abstract for No Frills

No Frills Logo

The year is certainly in full swing again.  The AVETRA Educator Hub has been a bit quiet over the summer – and what a summer it has been!!! I’ll leave the commentary on scientific explanations of our weather to much more informed sources than me.

Like record-breaking features of this past summer, let’s hope that there will be record-breaking features of this year’s No Frills Conference conducted by NCVER.  It’s always a great highlight of my research calendar.  I hope it’s on yours too.

I am just taking this afternoon to make sure I can meet the deadline for submission of abstracts:  Monday 18 February.  That leaves a couple of weeks, even if you hadn’t thought yet about making a presentation, or even preparing a poster.  Perhaps this little reminder will be the motivator you need if you are currently considering or completing some research.

I am very interested in The Student Journey as it relates to  many of us older hands, and newcomers to the industry undertaking the TAE40116 qualification.  As you have probably observed there is an absolute flurry of activity in the qualification with the changes to the Standards for RTOs (2015) Clauses 1.14 (b) and 1.15 (b).  So I thought it would be interesting to review the characteristics of  organisations skilling for life the practitioners in our own industry – VET.  It seems  to me the experiences of this group might impact very significantly on the industry overall in the next five to ten years.  I will provide an overview of enrolments and completions across the years 2014 – 2017, using NCVER stats.    Hopefully you will find this area of investigation interesting too, and I would be really excited to get any comments from you below.

Anyway, enough about my efforts for the exciting No Frills event.  It would be great if you would like to comment below on any research you are considering or have recently completed which you think fits the No Frills theme.  I am sure all of our members, those based in Australia and our international members, would be really interested.  So go on … make a comment below and share with others.  It’s always worthwhile.  See you in Adelaide from 10 – 12 July for some informative, inspiring and I’m sure social experiences!


Update on OctoberVET

logo of AVETRA

Yes, October has come and gone but the OctoberVET events continue on.  The final two events will be held on Thursday 15 November (NSW) and Friday 16 November (SA).   Places are still available (including online for the NSW event), so please feel free to join us. The details are shown below:

NSW:  OctoberVET in NSW:  Please note room change

Click here for the event flyer

SA :  OctoberVET in SA

Click here for the event flyer

  • Host:  National Centre for Vocational Education Research
  • Date:  Friday 16 November 2018, 10:00am – 2:00 pm
  • Venue:  5th Floor, 60 Light Square Adelaide
  • Registration:  Please register by emailing josiemisko@ncver.edu.au  cc emerick.chew@ncver.edu.au 

The Agenda Is Set for OctoberVET

OctoberVET events aim to showcase VET research and promote discussion between VET stakeholders about research needs. A number of OctoberVET events have been conducted in Queensland and Victoria.  Further events will be held in Victoria, South Australia and NSW as follows.

Victoria: Apprenticeships and Traineeships: Research, Policy and Practice

Host: Federation University Researching Adult and Vocational Education (RAVE) research group

Date: 7 November, 12:45 – 4:30 pm

Venue: Ballarat Technology Park Central, SMB Campus, Lydiard St, Ballarat city centre

Enquiries: vet.research@federation.edu.au or go to the Federation University site for more information

Registration: Please register by emailing vet.research@federation.edu.au with your details.

NSW:  OctoberVET in NSW


Date:  Thursday 15 November 2018, 1.30 pm – 4.30 -pm

Venue:  Building J, Room J4.17, TAFE NSW St Leonards Campus, 213 Pacific Highway, Sydney;  Skype for Business Meeting at https://meet.lync.com/tafensw.edu.au/ili.pelletier/S66J1M4J 

Flyer:  See attachment

Enquiries:  annie.bowden@gmail.com; Phone:  0419 42 5555

Registration:  Please register by emailing annie.bowden@gmail.com.  Please note registration is not compulsory though it will assist in ensuring those joining us online can be contacted.

South Australia:  Up-skilling, re-skilling and right-skilling

Host:  National Centre for Vocational Education and Training Research (NCVER)

Date:  16 November 2018, 10.00 am to 2.00 pm

Venue:  5th Floor, 60 Light Square, Adelaide
Flyer:  See attachment
Enquiries:  Dr Josie Miskoe, Josie.misko@ncver.edu.au
Registration:  Free but please RSVP to Josie Misko (josie.misko@ncver.edu.au and copy in Emerick.chew@ncver.edu.au )


The following events have been conducted in conjunction with OctoberVET 2018, and you may wish to contact the appropriate person if you would like to know more about the event.

Student Success and Retention – What does this mean for TAFE Queensland?

Host:  Queensland TAFE

Date:  26 October, 2018 11.15 am* – 12.15 pm

Enquiries: vet.research@federation.edu.au or go to the Federation University site.

Registration: Please register by emailing vet.research@federation.edu.au with your details.

Applied Research and Industry Collaboration

Host: The Victorian TAFE Association

Date: 11 October, 10 am – 2.30 pm

Venue: Victoria University Conference Centre, City Flinders Campus, Level 12, 300 Flinders Street, Melbourne

Enquiries: Arnaldo Barone, abarone@vta.vic.edu.au

Flyer: See attachment

Registration: Required by 4 October. Refer to flyer for registration process.

Victoria: Entrepreneurship and Challenge-based Learning

Host: The Victorian TAFE Association

Date: 12 October, 9.30 am – 1.00 pm

Venue: Victoria University Conference Centre, City Flinders Campus, Level 12, 300 Flinders Street, Melbourne

Enquiries: Arnaldo Barone, abarone@vta.vic.edu.au

Flyer: See attachment

Registration: Required by 4 October. Refer to flyer for registration process.

Building Applied Research: The Approach in Canada and the Basque Country

Host: The Victorian TAFE Association

Date: 26 October

Venue: Online Webinar

Enquiries: Arnaldo Barone, abarone@vta.vic.edu.au

Flyer: See attachment

Registration: Required by 25 October. Refer to flyer for registration process.

If you have any questions about OctoberVET please contact one of the OctoberVET national coordinators Steven Hodge (s.hodge@griffith.edu.au or 0421224474) or Anne Bowden (annie.bowden@gmail.com or 0419425555).

Looking forward to seeing as many as possible in person, or online for one or more of these events.  Happy researching!

OctoberVET 2018 V3

197799_2018 OctoberVET_SA (1)


A Call Out


This is a call out to my colleagues in NSW and other parts of the world who would like to showcase their research at the 2018 OctoberVET event.  I am sure you will know about this annual event organised by AVETRA.   If you don’t, have a look at the interesting topics that have been investigated in 2017 and previous years, and you’ll find all the necessary details at the AVETRA website.

I am organising the NSW event, which will be held in Sydney, as well as via an online webinar to ensure that all the far-flung VET family can join in.  So if you can’t get to Sydney, you can always either present or watch via the webinar.

What makes these events really valuable is to have those people who are doing research, either practitioners or academics, come forward and share their findings.  You might be just playing around with the idea of some research and you would like to gauge the interest of others; you might have some preliminary findings from something you have partially completed; or you might have recently published some work that you would like to showcase.

All of this sharing is really valuable for us to make sure we keep the informed conversation about our highly-valued VET sector alive and engaging.  This is really an imperative time to have these conversations, and your input to them is what will make the difference.

Please get in touch with me, Anne Bowden, at annie.bowden@gmail.com or on +61 0419 42 5555, if you have any thoughts on something you would like to share at this important NSW event.  Remember, you could be physically present at the Sydney site, or you could be online from anywhere in the world.  We do have some international followers of the Hub so maybe they will be interested also – we hope so!




Many of the Hub members will have joined in AVETRA’s OctoberVET events in years past.  Well, it’s on again in 2018 even bigger and better.

AVETRA is calling for expressions of interest from people who wish to run an OctoberVET event in their area in 2018. What an outstanding opportunity this is to showcase, disseminate and debate VET research.  We are hoping that there will be members of this Hub who will take up this exciting opportunity to share their research, whether still in development, recently published or perhaps even published sometime ago but with reason to bring it to the light of day again now.

OctoberVET events can be large or small, formal or informal.

If you have an idea for an OctoberVET event, please email or call Steven Hodge (s.hodge@griffith.edu.au / 0421224474) or Anne Bowden (annie.bowden@gmail.com / 0419425555).  We are happy to work with you to refine or develop your event.

I am thrilled to be working with Dr Steven Hodge to coordinate this year’s event.  I will be even more thrilled to hear from any of you with ideas.  You don’t have to take responsibility for conducting an event, you might just have research that you are burning to share.  Ignite that passion here first if you wish, by including a comment in the reply area below; or contact Steven or I to get things rolling.


Although not strictly an OctoberVET event, the other important calendar date is 26th October 2018.  AVETRA will be hosting a further Research Forum at the Canberra Institute of Technology on that date.  Check out the details on the AVETRA website.  Look forward to seeing some of you there!





What a Vibrant Community

five men and women holding logo
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

There is so much going on in the VET research world at present!   I hope you find my comments on these few items of interest.

The AVETRA A-News publication this month is a bumper issue. I strongly recommend it to you. You will have received it from the Secretariat if you are a member, otherwise you can find it at http://avetra.org.au.  Two of the highlights for me are:

Robin Shreeve’s call for the attention of the research community to investigate the detail of the Business to Business (B2B) activities of VET, particularly in light of a number of previous sector restructures, especially funding restructures, based on the premises of earlier work. In particular Robin refers to the Scott and Deveson Reports.  If you happen to be interested in collaborating on this, please leave a reply below. I am sure many of us believe this is an important area of which to develop a stronger understanding for policy and practice initiatives.

I feel that the second item may be a case of my being the last to know. Please forgive me if you have already received this sad news. The passing of a true stalwart of applied research, Rosalind Carter, is such a tragic event. My condolences certainly go out to her family and her colleagues who will miss her enormously.  It saddened me greatly, as I am sure it will many of you, at a personal level.  On reading the A-News’ comments regarding Ros’ significant contribution to an applied learning, applied teaching and applied research framework for TAFENSW,  I realised that she has in fact made a global contribution in this area. As Dr Ruth Schubert points out in her article in A-News, countries experiencing economic success have a shared concept of this applied approach to tertiary education.  The picture below shows Ros’s involvement in the NSW OctoberVET a few years ago.  She was such a wonderful person to work with professionally and personally.

OctoberVET 2015
Carmel Ellis-Gulli, Rosalind Carter, Anne Bowden, Bronwyn Thompson, Kevin Heys at Ultimo TAFE for the webinar.


In a similar vein I noticed that Wendy Perry has highlighted a very interesting article from the MIT Technology Review on Linkedin which disceusses the need for the German tertiary education system to address new ways to incorporate applied skill development as well as skills to adapt to the changes w will experience with AI aspects of jobs.
Have you heard of the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE)?  I am sure you have.  I attended a very interesting webinar on its long-term vision to 2030 (see the recording at the link).  Of particular interest was the inclusion of the relationship between VET and higher education as a unified tertiary system; as well as the concerns raised regarding the continued loss of focus of the equity issues in policy decisions.  It made me reflect on where we are at in VET since the cessation of the National Vocational Education Advisory Council (NVEAC) in 2014.  Presenters in the webinar referred to the foundational policy of A Fair Chance For All of 1990 as being the current benchmark.  As such, it seems that all areas of tertiary education in Australia could benefit from a focus on this aspect of our operations.


Don’t forget to check the Happenings on this Hub to see details of some interesting conferences coming up.


And please …. Make a reply on any of these matters if you want to keep a conversation going amongst all of our VET practitioner community members.