Customising language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) programs for individual learners is the key to success at TAFE NSW—Petersham College.
Head Teacher Lyn Wilson, who has a Bachelor of Arts and a Graduate Diploma of Adult Education, says her College was one of the first to customise programs to address the radically disparate needs of students. It began doing this in 2000, and continues to do so based on its proven success.
For more than 20 years, Lyn managed the Foundation Studies section, historically one of the largest adult basic education units within TAFE NSW.
Since 2004, she has worked collaboratively with industry to address the challenges business and organisations face when developing their Indigenous employment strategies, particularly with LLN skills.
Lyn’s model of good practice, and designs of Indigenous pre-employment and other training programs, have been key to achieving significant numbers of employment outcomes for Aboriginal people in Sydney.
Lyn won the 2015 Excellence in Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice Award at the Australian Training Awards, in recognition of her innovation and excellence. ‘The Award is just as deserved by all the teams I’ve led,’ says Lyn. ‘Teachers are at the coal face and they believe in our unique approach. It’s hard work to customise [programs], and involves a great deal of collaboration, but it’s highly effective. The rewards are tremendous.’
After winning the Award, Lyn took on a new education and leadership role, becoming Sydney Region Team Leader Literacy at TAFE NSW. She leads teams of literacy teachers and head teachers across the region, manages several major projects in her field and continues to work to develop career pathways for Indigenous students. She has also established outstanding links with industry in the successful delivery of foundation skills and pre-employment programs.
Lyn is proud and excited to be an Australian VET Alumni member. ‘There’s no other professional network on a national level that connects to so many different vocational areas,’ says the award winner. ‘It connects me horizontally across the VET sector, which is integral to being a leader in literacy and numeracy.’
As an Alumnus, Lyn drives home messages about the importance of VET as a first-class educational pathway. ‘You only have to look at the number of tertiary students who come from a VET pathway or who return to VET after uni to realise its value,’ says Lyn.