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Lionel Bamblett
Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Incorporated (VAEAI) | Victoria | Australia

Lionel Bamblett is the General Manager of the Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Incorporated (VAEAI).

A Wiradjuri/Yorta Yorta/Bangerang man, Lionel has been involved in Koorie education for over 30 years and was appointed the first General Manager of the Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Incorporated in 1985.

Lionel has provided advice to successive governments in Victoria on measures to improve education and training opportunities for Koorie people in Victoria, and has played a prominent role in promoting Indigenous education and training issues at a local, State and National level. He was a member of the National Aboriginal Reference Group which played a key role in the development of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Policy (AEP) in 1989, which is still current today.

Lionel has seen VAEAI established as the peak body for Koorie education and training in Victoria, and as an equal partner with the Victorian Government in Koorie education and training since 1990 through the Partnership in Education: Koorie Education Policy and Yalca: A Partnership in Education and Training for the New Millennium in 2001.  He has also overseen the development of the successful Wurreker strategy which formalised the equal partnership with the vocational education and training sector in Victoria in 2000, Wannik: Education Strategy for Koorie Students in 2008, and now Marrung: Aboriginal Education Plan 2016-2026.

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Dr Cormac Behan
Centre for Criminological Research | University of Sheffield | UK

Cormac Behan teaches criminology at the Centre for Criminological Research, University of Sheffield. His research interests include penal history, prisoners’ rights movements, prisoners and citizenship, prisoner writings/convict narratives and prison education. Prior to taking up this position, he taught politics and history in Irish prisons for 14 years. He is the author of Citizen Convicts: Prisoners, Politics and the Vote (Manchester University Press) which was published in paperback in 2017. Dr Behan has a number of publications on prison education, most recently, ‘Prison Education in Europe’ in I Biao. (ed.) Strategic Learning Ideologies in Prison Education Programs (IGI Global). He is one of the founders and is currently the Editor of the Journal of Prison Education and Re-entry. His latest publication is ‘“We are all convicted criminals”? Prisoners, Protest and Penal Politics in the Republic of Ireland’, Journal of Social History, 52 (2018): 501-526.

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Dr Clint Carpenter
WSD Superintendent | Texas | USA

Clint Carpenter has been an educator for 30 years. He started in the 1980s as a math and science teacher and became a district superintendent in 1994. After completing the Doctorate degree from Texas Tech, specialising in Education Finance and Policy, in 2004 he became an Assistant Professor at West Texas A&M. Three years later he accepted a position at Texas Tech where he taught Doctorate courses and supervised the Superintendent Certification program for the University. His research in higher education centred on the focus of expenditures to improve the performance of “at risk” educational populations.

In 2008, Dr Carpenter worked with the Texas Youth Commission (TYC) in the redesign of the educational programming of the State’s juvenile prison system. Soon after he was appointed as a Deputy Director of TYC. In 2013, Dr Carpenter was confirmed as the 6th superintendent of Windham School District. In the past 3 years, Windham has implemented a focus on training and job skills, connecting to employers and support organisations for released offenders, and streamlining operations to place more educational staff and opportunities in the TDCJ facilities.

Dr Carpenter is working to improve the success of released offenders by strengthening educational supports for offenders and providing higher income vocational training in trades with high demand for skilled employees.

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Rosalie Martin
Centre for Courage & Renewal | Tasmania | Australia

Rosalie Martin is a clinical speech pathologist with 35 years of clinical experience, a criminologist, and a facilitator of reflective dialogue with the Centre for Courage & Renewal.

Ms Martin has long lamented inequity and inadequacy in the services which are intended to support people with impaired communication and literacy. In 2013 she founded the charity Chatter Matters Tasmania as a vehicle to develop the agency-producing capacities of communication and positive relatedness within settings of disadvantage. This work began at Tasmania’s Risdon prison with the Just Sentences literacy pilot project and the Just Time parent-child attachment program.

To gain better context for bringing speech pathology interventions into prison settings, Ms Martin completed Criminology Honours in 2016. She continues to develop Chatter Matters’ programs, as well as working in her own state-wide private speech pathology practice. She runs regular reflective dialogue retreats and other dialogue events across Tasmania and the country; as well as speaks at conferences and workshops on the topics of communication, connection, and their relationship to justice.

In 2017, Ms Martin was the Tasmanian recipient of the Australian of the Year honour for the work she began at Risdon prison.

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Gray Poehnell
Career Consultant | British Columbia | Canada

Gray Poehnell is an experienced career consultant from Canada with 30 years-experience in career development, with a strong focus on holistic approaches to engage multi-barriered clients into education and pathways to employment.

As a partner in Ergon Communications, he has written extensively and developed numerous career resources that cultivate hope, practical spirituality, creativity, imagination and career integrity.

Mr Poehnell’s Hope-Filled Engagement approach is being used widely with Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal populations across Canada, Australia, New Zealand and parts of Europe. His work aims to increase self-esteem, self-awareness and identify transferrable skills through storytelling and relating life experiences and personal interests to career/work planning. Mr Poehnell is of Metis descent (one of the 3 Indigenous groups in Canada) and was the 2011 recipient of the Stu Conger Award for Leadership in Career Counselling and Career Development. This was in recognition of his visionary leadership, exemplary achievement, and inspired dedication to the advancement of excellence in career development in Canada.

Mr Poehnell is widely recognized for his dynamic training of career practitioners, conference sessions and keynotes both nationally and internationally.

Master Class Presenters

Foundation skills essential for future training and work

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Dave Tout
Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) | Victoria | Australia

Dave Tout is a Senior Research Fellow in numeracy and mathematics with the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER).

Dave is recognised as one of Australia's leading adult numeracy personnel; with over 40 years’ educational experience, mainly in the VET sector working across schools, TAFEs, ACE providers, universities and workplaces. Since 2008, he has worked on a number of projects for Corrections Victoria in relation to LLN and VET.

Dave has wide experience at a state, national and international level in research, curriculum, assessment and professional development. He has written maths curriculum including for the VCE, VCAL and the CGEA in Victoria, and is an author of the Australian Core Skills Framework. Dave has also been involved in international numeracy/maths assessments including PIAAC and PISA.

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Jenni Oldfield
JOConsultancy | Victoria | Australia

Jenni Oldfield is a highly regarded VET/LLN consultant who has worked in the vocational education and training sector in different roles for over 25 years.

Jenni is an experienced developer of training and assessment materials, including developing components of training packages across many industry areas. She is a researcher and has provided expert advice on developing adults’ foundation skills. Her reputation in the VET sector is demonstrated through her current and active membership of the Commonwealth appointed Training Package Quality Assurance Panel.

She is an experienced correctional education teacher, with over 12 years’ practice, teaching in adult correctional settings in Victoria, South Australia and London. Jenni currently works and consults with several Skills Service Organisations, public and private RTOs, many state and commonwealth government departments, and not-for-profit organisations.

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Karen Dymke
Thoughtfulworks | Victoria | Australia

Karen Dymke is the CEO of Thoughtfulworks in Victoria, Australia.

As a teacher educator, presenter, senior leader, project manager, coach and teacher, Karen’s role in education has seen her work across a range of sectors to bring a unique breadth of knowledge, balance and expertise to education and her consultancy. Karen has over 30 years’ experience in the educational sector, with a focus on VET and the Adult Community sector.

Karen has a particular interest in literacy and is passionate about engaging learners and progressing disadvantaged learners. Karen currently lectures at La Trobe University in Alternative Education models as presenting in a range of contexts.

Karen was a 2017 Fellow with the International Specialised Skills Institute, investigating the professionalisation of practice for teachers working with disadvantaged learners.

The role of contemporary vocational training in the workplace

Fiona Lawrie
Tradeswomen Australia Foundation | Victoria | Australia

Fiona Lawrie is the Director of Tradeswomen Australia Foundation; a charity which she founded with the mission to increase the representation of women working in trade industries. Drawing upon her well-rounded experience, Fiona understands the opportunities of gender equity in male dominated industries.

Fiona’s career began as a light vehicle apprentice. During her apprenticeship and time working in the automotive industry she identified a lack of support, promotion and opportunities for women in trade industries. During her apprenticeship, Fiona started a network group for women in trades. Fiona developed and implemented strategies to increase the participation of women in trades, building relationships and establishing partnerships with business and industry.

After her time in the Automotive industry, Fiona worked in Business Development for an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network, working with employers to hire apprentices and assisting career seekers entering apprenticeships. She then went into project and funds management for an investor group in the building and construction industry.

Leigh Hardingham
John Holland Group | Victoria | Australia

Leigh Hardingham is a Social Procurement and Inclusion Manager at John Holland.

She is currently working on the West Gate Tunnel Project in Melbourne with significant commitments to provide employment to 785 people facing significant disadvantage in securing employment.

Leigh brings a diverse experience to her work. She has worked in teams constructing major infrastructure, been an active community leader with executive roles in community organisations including youth, education and training and tourism. She opened and managed a very successful small business, managed programs in State Government including Premier and Cabinet and is a partner in a farming enterprise.  This broad base has given her insight into how to effectively promote innovative thinking, empower people to take action and develop processes to support change.

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Craig Brittle
Box Hill Institute | Victoria | Australia

Craig Brittle is currently the Dean of Faculty of Trades, Technology and Transport at Box Hill Institute. His career began in the UK as an Apprentice Motor Mechanic and focused on career growth within this industry which included Automotive Sales and Dealer Principle working with companies such as Fiat and Volvo UK and Rolls Royce and Bentley Motor Cars.

He has worked in Vocational Education for over 30 years having commenced his Vocational Education employment in the UK and then working within the Australian Vet Sector since 2000.

Craig’s has been involved in many aspects of the VET sector from establishing the first pilot program in Automotive for VCAL to establishing the first Vinyl Wrapping training program and recently the establishment of the first Welding Centre of Excellence in Australia.

He is currently the chair of the Apprentice and Trainee TAFE Network and holds a Masters of Education in Policy and Change Management and is currently reviewing how traditional delivery methodology can be enhanced through Augmented and Virtual Reality.

Craig is especially keen on the introduction of new products to market which address future skills and job needs within Industry sectors.