Learn Local Awards 2015 – team effort earns big rewards

Kyneton Community Learning Centre (KCLC) is a small Learn Local organisation in the Macedon Ranges. Like many Learn Local organisations, they offer a range of services to meet community needs. Also like many community education providers the centre is managed and run by a team of people who work part-time, casually or as volunteers – while this works to provide much-needed supports to the local community, it doesn’t leave any time for activities that aren’t core to the centre’s operations.

Despite this, for the past two years, KCLC has found the time to submit applications at the Learn Local Awards … and they have been a finalist for two years in a row! John Thomas, Manager of Education & Training, has worked on the award applications and said that while they have had to complete the work outside of paid hours, it’s worth it for the recognition: ‘For a small organisation like ours, we recognise the value in being a finalist for a statewide award like this. We have used it as a promotional opportunity to let our partner agencies and community stakeholders know about our achievements.’

John explained that he worked closely with the Centre Manager to complete the applications and that they were supported by the Committee of Management also: ‘The Committee of Management was keen for us to apply but we didn’t have the time – we discussed the different categories and worked out which one to apply for then everyone pitched in to get it written.’

John and the team are currently considering their application for the 2015 Awards and are keen to work with learners this year to help support them to submit an application. This year they have the bonus of last year’s prize money to help them out with completing the application. While the winners of each category take home the major cash prize, all finalists also get $1,000. ‘We might even put the money towards all attending the presentation ceremony this year,’ John said. ‘It’s a great networking event, and it’s not often that you get to chat with the Minister!’

When asked about his experience in submitting an application for the Learn Local Awards, John simply said, ‘It’s well worth the effort.’

If you haven’t yet thought about submitting an application this year, consider talking about the Awards with your staff and Committee of Management and see what ideas you can come up with – every organisation will have at least one achievement that they could highlight, whether it’s a program, a partnership, a practitioner, or a pre-accredited learner.

Applications for the 2015 Awards are open until Friday June 12. You can find all the information here: www.education.vic.gov.au/learnlocalawards