Community Learning and Local Government

Community Learning and Local Government
03 June 2013

New research published by ACELG explores how local governments can foster a culture of learning in their communities to achieve positive long term outcomes.

The report Learning as a Driver for Change explores how learning partnerships between councils, their communities and learning organisations can help improve social outcomes, build community capability and strengthen community governance.

The research demonstrates that such partnerships make social inclusion a priority and support both formal and informal learning opportunities.

The researchers, Dr Leone Wheeler and Dr Shanti Wong, drew from a comprehensive literature review and from case studies of Hume City and Gwydir Shire councils to develop a template for other councils interested in developing learning partnerships in their own communities. The template framework, Learning Communities Framework, is published along with the report.

This ACELG Partnership Scheme project involved the Australian Learning Communities Network (ACLN), RMIT University, Hume City Council (VIC) and Gwydir Shire Council (NSW).

Jim Saleeba, CEO of the Australian Learning Communities Network said "The report and accompanying Framework will be valuable to other councils across Australia that want to support a culture of learning in their communities. For some time we have been encouraging Councils to take this approach as a way of adapting to the constant changes confronting them. The ACLN would like to acknowledge the assistance from ACELG in getting behind this important research."

Hume Mayor Councillor Geoff Porter said: “Through the Hume Global Learning Village network, Council has demonstrated the many benefits of this approach, including improved employment opportunities to reduce disadvantage and improve quality of life in our community. We are pleased to be able to contribute the knowledge we have gained over the past 10 years of the project.”

Max Eastcott, General Manager of Gwydir Shire Council in regional NSW echoed these comments:
"Strong and resilient communities are those that can identify the potential of all its citizens to learn and to contribute to community life. The Gwydir Learning Region initiative has been very creative in finding solutions to community problems, and there’ve also been great outcomes for Council staff. I look forward to sharing what we’ve achieved at the ACELG Researchers` Forum."

Learning as a Driver for Change
Learning Communities Framework

Click through for additional project links:
Hume Global Learning Village
Gwydir Learning Region
Australian Learning Community Network
ACELG Project Brief

Further information
Stefanie Pillora
ACELG Program Manager Research
[email protected] or (02) 9514 4897.

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