ALCN Helps to Grow Learning Communities

Smart City Forum 2020

The Australian Learning Communities Network Inc (ALCN) is a national network of leading-edge practitioners building sustainable communities using learning as the key element.


Review of the Global Learning Festival held 8-11 November

Written by Jac Torres-Gomez

Running from 8-11 November 2021, the Global Learning Festival (GLF) showcased over 95 live and recorded events delivered from across Australia, the USA, the U.K, Israel, Northern Ireland, Taiwan, Canada, Bangladesh, Kenya, Benin, Colombia, Finland, Italy, Lithuania, and Turkey.

Co-hosted by the City of Wyndham and the City of Melton along with over 20 learning communities around the world, the Global Learning Festival ran for the second time in 2021. The GLF aims to bring unity and connection to communities all over the world and to give learners a firsthand experience of the benefits that lifelong learning can bring, particularly during uncertain and challenging times.
2021 saw strong support, partnership and collaboration from PASCAL International Observatory, the Australian Learning Communities Network (ALCN), Adult Learning Australia, UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities, RMIT University and WISE Qatar Foundation.

Topics included Cooking, History, Environment & Sustainability, International Development, Inclusion, Entrepreneurship, Reconciliation, Gardening, Cooking, Hope & Attachment, Hope & Resilience, Mentoring, Mental health and self-care, STEM, Author Talks, Career Change, Peace-Building, Human Rights, Virtual Tour of Parliament House….there was truly something for everyone! Some recorded events can be viewed on the Global Learning Festival website.

A snapshot of the Global Learning Festival includes:

  • Over 95 events registered from 15 countries including Australia, the USA, the U.K, Israel, Northern Ireland, Taiwan, Canada, Bangladesh, Kenya, Benin, Colombia, Finland, Italy, Lithuania, and Turkey.
  • Registrations for events came from a range of sectors including university, youth, disability, community development, libraries, local government, education, state government and the private sector.
  • Over 1000 people logged in and “attended” the range of events, as well as viewing recordings.
  • Over 100 presenters shared the floor across the four days to deliver a wide range of lifelong learning.
  • Participants, event providers and members of the working group were surveyed to gain valuable feedback to inform planning for 2022.


Many events are available online go to

Wyndham Learning Festival

Wyndham Learning Festival

The sixth Wyndham Learning Festival (WLF) is Wyndham’s largest annual learning event, focusing on promoting learning across the lifespan. This year’s festival held from 1-5 September was a smaller, curated program ensuring that all community members had the opportunity to find a learning event of interest. With the theme of ‘Re-emerge, Connect & Thrive’, the 2021 WLF provided a celebration for the community living through a challenging time and offered hope for reemerging brighter and better into the future!

Read more:
The Wyndham Learning Festival Report is available here.

Ripples November/December Newsletter

In this newsletter, you can read about how libraries are leading the drive for learning cities in Australia; the success of the second Global Learning Festival; the contributions of our members to UNESCO’s Global Network of Learning City international conference and publications, and most importantly the day to day work of ensuring citizens have access to relevant, quality lifelong learning opportunities.

The .November/December issue is featured here, with past issues available here.

Wyndham Receives UNESCO Learning City Award

Wyndham is one of ten international cities that received a UNESCO Learning City Award at the Fifth Conference on Learning Cities in Yeonsu (Republic of Korea) 2021.

The biennial UNESCO Learning City Awards encourage, recognise and reward UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC) members who have demonstrated significant progress in enhancing education and lifelong learning opportunities for all.

UNESCO acknowledged Wyndham’s commitment to building a Learning City and helping residents improve their learning outcomes through lifelong learning. The multimedia story can be accessed here

Wyndham is the second city in Australia to win such an award after Melton won this award in 2015.

Congratulations to the Wyndham Libraries and Community Learning Team and Wyndham City Council and the Learning City Portfolio Committee.


Asia Pacific Learning Cities Alliance (APLC) – Wydham inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Wyndham City’s Learning Cities & Libraries Team have recently been recognised for their commitment to lifelong learning by the Alliance for Asia-Pacific Learning Cities (APLC). APLC is a coalition of cities with policies, wills and plans for the growth of global learning cities under the motto of promoting lifelong learning in the region.

APLC is open to Asia-Pacific countries that want to implement the concept of learning cities in their policies, its focus is on strengthening cooperation among all countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

An Expert Advisory Committee reviewed Wyndham’s lifelong learning achievements and have inducted Wyndham into the Alliance’s Hall of Fame, acknowledging future-oriented cities with models of learning programs that may benefit other member cities. Wyndham joined 4 Korean cities and Okayama (Japan), Kashan (Iran), and Chiang Rai (Thailand) as the inaugural Hall of Fame inductees.

Read the press release here.


Enable Social Enterprises – Renew Tech for Good Initiative

Hume Learning Community

Written by Julie Mckay, Founder and Director, Enable Australia

Since 2015, Enable have supported hundreds of people from disadvantaged backgrounds to connect with community, environment, and improve their prospects of employment through innovative work and learning programs.

Enable operate commercially in the Computer decommissioning and recycling, warehousing, fulfilment and storage and Online Retailing sectors with 100% of the profits from trade re-invested to operate and support a total of nine (9) work and learning stations to support participants with skill-building, confidence, and career decision-making.

Read More..


Building Resilience for Turbulent Times
A key objective for learning communities

Written by Peter Kearns, AO

Communities and cities across Australia have been challenged by a series of critical disasters in recent years. These have ranged from bushfires, droughts, floods, to the current COVID 19 pandemic. These critical challenges have tested the resilience of communities, so that building resilience should now be seen as a priority objective for learning cities and communities.
Building resilience in a community enables a community to develop new relationships with broader partnerships that enhance awareness of potential dangers. This may be seen as what the Wyndham Learning City called “a new model of partnership with empathy” (Gomez, 2020:20)

Read More..

What is a Learning Community?

A learning community is one that address its own learning needs through partnership. It uses the strengths of individual, social and institutional relationships across sectors to bring about cultural shifts in the perceptions of the value of learning. Learning communities explicitly use learning to enhance social, economic, cultural and environmental conditions on a sustainable, inclusive basis.

Image: Ballarat Work and Learning Centre receiving certificates for a cooking class.

ALCN acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors and Elders, past and present, of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.