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WCIG strong contenders at Learn Local Awards

The much anticipated Learn Local Awards 2022 event was held in late February 2023. For the first time, WCIG was announced as a finalist. Not only once, but three times.


Learn Local allows people to gain the skills needed for formalised study, work and life through pre-accredited training. Short courses are delivered by registered providers across Victoria and designed to let learners acquire core skills (i.e., digital, literacy, numeracy, employability and English language) essential to pursue further education or gain employment. 


There are over 240 Local Learn providers across Victoria. WCIG delivers over 17 different short courses within the Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Hume, Whittlesea, Wyndham, Brimbank, Maribrynong, Melton, Melbourne and Geelong areas. The courses are funded by Adult, Community and Further Education (ACFE) and can be offered face to face or online.

In it’s 16th year, the Learn Local Awards is an opportunity to celebrate the success of individuals, programs and training providers throughout the year that was. Hosted by the Adult, Community and Further Education (ACFE) Board, the event recognises the resilience, dedication and life-changing work done by the Learn Local sector. The awards are broken into eight categories, focusing on innovation, programs, partnerships, trainers, leaders and learners. WCIG has been nominated several times in the past couple of years but was yet to make it to the finalist stage. In 2022, this all changed. Three nominations were submitted, and three finalists were announced.  

Congratulations to two of WCIG’s past students, Thomas Rayment and Adrian Santucci. Both were finalists in the Victorian Learn Local Pre-accredited Learners (Skills for Work) Award. 

This award recognises the achievements of a learner who has participated in a pre-accredited program and has gained skills/upskilled or reskilled to get a job and keep pace with innovation, disruption and industry transition. They will have established pathways for themselves into employment and are actively involved in developing new skills. 

WCIG also congratulates our third finalist, ACFE trainer Katrina Lambert. Katrina was a finalist in the Victorian Learn Local Pre-accredited Trainer Award category. Katrina was amongst three other trainers of high calibre whom all teach ACFE courses virtually or face to face. 

Although our finalists did not win their categories, WCIG still considers them winners in our eyes.   

The event was enjoyed by many people from across the state, beginning with the presentation of certificates to all finalists, followed by a sit-down lunch and announcement of winners.

WCIG extends Congratulations to all 2022 Learn Local Awards finalists and winners!

WCIG looks forward to the Local Learn Awards 2023 and submitting more nominations to showcase further the fantastic work and achievements of other students and staff.

To the right are Adrian’s, Thomas’s and Katrina’s profiles as printed in the Learn Local Awards 2022 booklet, published by the ACFE Board. 

Adrian Santucci – Victorian Learn Local Pre-accredited Learners’ (Skills for Work) Award – Finalist – Learning difficulties made it hard for Adrian to grasp tasks and find employment. He undertook the Stepping Forward For Work program at WCIG Disability Employment Services, focusing on the needs of long-term unemployed with mental or physical health barriers. He entered the course reserved and unsure of himself and his abilities but hopeful and willing to learn.

Adrian’s unwavering determination saw him arrive to class early and stay late to complete tasks. After several weeks of striving hard to focus and learn, he gained the ability to plan, write a resume and cover letter, and achieve the confidence to further his quest for employment. Such was his success that he went on to guide other struggling students.

His goal of full-time employment became a reality, and Adrian secured an apprenticeship in horticulture. He loves his job and is committed to sticking to it.

Thomas Rayment – WCIG – Victorian Learn Local Pre-accredited Learners’ (Skills for Work) Award – Finalist – Before embarking on a specialised job skills program, Tom struggled to gain or retain a job due to health issues. His interest was in working in environment and conservation, but he wanted to be more satisfied with his inability to fulfil his goals. By the course’s end, Thomas regained his confidence, and his achievements were greater than expected.

Initially, Tom was reserved in the class and rarely participated in activities. With an enormous effort, he rose above his difficulties, his communication improved, and he would speak up in class and help others who were struggling with the work.

Tom’s successes were incremental. He obtained a casual position as a pick packer and took on a leadership role helping to train new staff. His employer (Home Fresh) praised him highly for being proactive, organised and reliable, and in the next 12 months, he plans to embark on a course in environment and conservation.

Katrina Lambert – WCIG (Westgate Community Initiatives Award) – Finalist – Katrina’s teaching career evolved from devising and delivering a modelling and performing arts TAFE course to a career with Mission Australia. More recently, she’s applied her vast teaching experience to training jobseekers at Westgate Community Initiatives Group.

To begin with, she builds a strong rapport with each student by discovering their interests and goals. From there, she develops individual learning plans and activities that help learners stay on track and allows them to appreciate their achievements. She teaches the fundamentals of digital literacy, including job searching on the internet and using Microsoft Word to type cover letters and resumes. Katrina adapts the work to each individual’s learning style and evolves her resources and strategies to enable everyone to achieve their best.

Sustaining connections with employers across different industries helps keep Katrina aware of labour market needs, which feeds into ensuring her students are work-ready when employment opportunities arise.


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