Being a finalist in the 2013 Excellence in Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice Award at the Australian Training Awards opened many doors for Joanne (Jo) Medlin.
‘I became more involved in my professional field, moved on to other projects in addition to teaching and was invited to represent the literacy and numeracy field in TAFE matters,’ says Jo.
Jo has more than two decades teaching adult literacy and numeracy and has won more than six awards throughout her career. She has a Masters Degree in Adult Education and Training and a Qualification in Indigenous Archaeology and is totally at home in the world of teaching.
Today Jo works as the Industry Relationship Lead, Career Pathways, Aboriginal Languages and Employability Skills, SkillsPoint, TAFE NSW, liaising with industry on new training products and ensuring that TAFE NSW products meet industry needs. The area provides foundation skills, career pathways and employability skills for those requiring skills to transition from vocational education and training (VET) to work or higher education.
‘In Australia, VET is a first-class education pathway,’ says Jo. ‘Having literacy and numeracy as part of the Australian Training Awards is significant.’
‘Literacy and numeracy is a huge issue for many and can contribute to low self-esteem and restricted opportunities. People leave our courses feeling more confident,’ says Jo. ‘When they exit they’re at an amazing point and able to do so much. VET is such an accessible way for students to study and prepare for their careers at the same time. It’s a great combination of practical and theoretical skills.’
Other benefits of being an Australian Training Awards finalist include staying in touch with others award winners and finalists. ‘We’ve created a community, which has helped strengthen the relationship between adult literacy and numeracy practitioners,’ Jo says. ‘As specialists we play a vital role and it’s beneficial for us personally and professionally to stay connected.’
Life is busy for Jo who is Co-President of the Australian Council of Adult Literacy and Vice President of the NSW Adult Literacy Council and has contributed a paper on the Australian literacy and numeracy workforce to National Centre for Vocational Education Research.
In her role as an Australian VET Alumni member, Jo takes every opportunity to raise the profile of VET—through her own organisation and volunteer roles—promoting it as a training choice that leads to employment, greater job security, greater earning potential and greater choices for work options and a better life.
To find out more about how you can gain real skills for a real career through a VET qualification, visit www.myskills.gov.au
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To invite Joanne to share her success story at your event please contact VETAlumni@education.gov.au.