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OctoberVET 2023 

OctoberVET is a season of presentations, discussions and workshops coordinated by AVETRA. The goal is to showcase, disseminate and debate vocational, adult and technical education research.


6th October 2023 | 9.30 - 4.30pm (AEDT) | Box Hill Institute

VET Fellowship Forum; Sharing knowledge and enhancing VET through international insights

You are invited to a special forum featuring the applied research of VET practitioners who will share insights from their recent International Specialised Skills Institute Fellowships.

Presenters: Dr Lizzie Knight (Box Hill Institute & JSA), Paul Boys (Gippsland Tech School), Dr Warren Guest (Holmesglen TAFE), Ani Tom Vellaramkunnel (RMIT), Dr John Flett (South West TAFE), Andrew Hardiman (Department of Education), Kay Schlesinger (ISSI & KGedconsulting), Rajesh Iyer (RMIT), and Dr Karen O’Reilly-Briggs (Box Hill Institute).

OctoberVET ISS Institute VET Fellowship Forum | REPORT

6 October 2023, Box Hill Institute

This full-day OctoberVET event showcased the learning of VET practitioners who were recipients of Fellowships from the International Specialised Skills Institute (ISSI).

AVETRA President Kira Clarke opened the day and host Michelle mason-Woods welcomed participants to Box Hill Institute. CEO Katrina Jojkity and AVETRA’s Andrew Williamson acted as MCs for the event.

The program included presentations from:

ISSI Fellow


Dr Warren Guest Holmesglen Institute

Developing vocational identity in food trades apprentices: a comparative study of the Swiss VET curriculum

Kay Schlesinger


Connecting new educators: a strategy for empowerment

Andrew Hardiman

Department of Education

Workplace learning and social learning in VET linked to youth

Ani Tom Vellaramkunnel


Learning through work leading to work: Work Based Learning for high quality VET

Rajesh Iyer


Co-creation of VET assessments: the industry connection

Dr Lizzie Knight

Victoria University

How inclusion in VET is assured internationally

Dr John Flett

South West TAFE

International VET Applied Research learnings for Agriculture and Renewable Energy Technology-based projects

Paul Boys

Gippsland Tech School

Design Education and VET – preparing graduates for future industries

Dr Karen O’Rielly-Briggs

Box Hill Institute

The Initial Teacher Education of VET upper secondary teachers in Finland and Norway

Where the Fellow’s report is available, we have included a hyperlink to it, above. For those not linked, watch for the report to be published on the ISSI website:

The event was well-attended. Feedback from participants was very positive, especially praising the quality of presentations and celebrating the relevance to their professional practice.

13th October 2023 | 12-1pm AEST | Zoom

Reimagining Education: Where Does VET's Strength Lie in the Accord Conversation

As the Australian Universities Accord aims to reshape higher education, it's paramount that the distinctive strengths of Vocational Education and Training (VET) aren't overshadowed or misunderstood by the traditionally university-focused discourse. While the Accord signifies change, how might it inadvertently miss the unique attributes and value VET brings to the educational landscape? This panel discussion seeks to spotlight VET's strengths, challenging potential biases and gaps in the current dialogue.

A panel on-line session hosted by Natasha Arthars with Robin Shreeve, Claire Field and Jenny Dodd

13th October | 1-3pm (AEST) | TAFE Qld

Generating a research culture in a teaching-focused institution

A panel of six speakers, each discussing what is being done at TAFE Queensland with regards to generating a research culture in a teaching-focused institution.

The panel will be moderated by Dr. Sharon Schembri and panellists will include: Dr Anitza Geneve, Dr Indunil Jayatilake, Anatoly Fusin, Jen McDougall, Shayne Ostwald and Courtney Colless.

 20th October | The Future of VET | 11.30-1pm | Vet Development Centre, Melbourne

This event will be hosted by the Future of VET Curriculum Project team, a group of VET researchers associated with Griffith and Victoria universities. Our team has commenced a long-term program of work aimed at understanding how innovative training providers span the gap between rigid industry standards and responsive learning. We define curriculum as the stuff that fills this gap - the design, organisation and other factors that determine the experience of learning. We believe that in disruptive times it is essential that the VET sector learns from its innovative educators and shares knowledge of how to provide the skills learners need to thrive and contribute to sustainable industries and communities.

Project Director, Steven Hodge from Griffith University will open the event and introduce MC, Hugh Guthrie, and guests representing four perspectives on the VET learning ecosystem:

  • Craig Robertson, CEO Victorian Skills Authority
  • Margot McNeill Chief Product and Quality Officer at TAFE NSW
  • Warren Guest Lecturer and Researcher, Holmesglen Institute Melbourne
  • Andrew Shea, Managing Director, Tesserent Academy

26th October | 9.30am - 3.30pm (AEDT) | Chadstone Campus, Holmesglen Institute

The Path Ahead

It has been almost a decade since the idea of TAFE-based research was heralded as part of the VET landscape. Fashioned to focus of the applied nature of research projects, and firmly embedded in an industry context, these early steps in research have yielded considerable achievements and provided the context for future development: we now look to extend and enliven the possibilities of applied research. Holmesglen OctoberVET’23: ‘the path ahead’, presents several research projects to showcase some of these new directions in TAFE-based research. It will be conducted both face-to face and through Microsoft teams.

Presenters: Dr Henry Pook, Dr Ross Digby, Professor Debra Kiegaldie, Dr Warren Guest, Ms Tammy Casselson, Dr Joe Pagnoccolo, Dr Joab Wilson, Dr Sam Duncan, Andrew Williamson, Horticulture, Conservation and Ecosystem Management students and Sports Media students.

27th October | 2-4pm | Face to Face | University of Western Australia

Exploring the issues of VET Research: a discussion of current activity and past learning

This forum will be be an open discussion where all participants can both discuss their research and at the same time explore the issues of doing VET research.

Hosted by Llandis Barratt-Pugh 


AVETRA OctoberVET Western Australia 2-4 UWA Business School – 27.10.2023

OctoberVet in was a small seminar with 6 registrations.


Following introduction we structured the discussion around participant questions rather than individual presentations. The topics explored are as below.

  • Attracting detached youth to VET programs -what strategies work – how to form an investigation.
  • The vital role plain and direct communication plays in bridging the gap between training on offer and detached youth.
  • The complexity of adults transitioning between social roles and learning experiences. Becoming a teacher after being a student. Moving from certificates into higher degree by research. Adapting from a military service role to a civilian role.
  • The critical importance of exploring and area to develop, test and refine the Research Question.
  • Recognising that detached youth may not engage with classroom teaching, or even with simulated work, but may engage with a real job placement.
  • The importance of VOCED as a critical research tool.
  • Modelling how identity forms and changes.
  • That identity is always in change, always multiple depending on the location and network, and consists not just of what the person constructs but also consists of what those outside perceive. There are known and unknowns, blind spots and the hidden.
  • Identity is continually assaulted by multiple social discourses all seeking to enrol us, all seeking to tell us what we should believe, who we should relate to and how we should behave.
  • Young people learning not just about doing, but about how to be from their teachers and supervisors.
  • The use of deep studies for understanding complex situations – auto ethnography.
  • Introducing research students to a wide range of research approaches.
  • The irony of educational management that often consigns new or poor practitioners to disadvantaged groups while achieving staff are promoted ways from direct interactions.
  • The vast width of what VET research can encompass – military training through to migration.
  • The demise of TAFE as sole provider and the reaping of rich and cheap VET pastures for throughput and funding.
  • The need for detached school pupils to have hands on activities.
  • The economic viability of cheap courses in business with minimal facilities and guidance.
  • The benefit AVETRA provides with a national mentoring network and access to 400k of VSA funding for Research Insights programs.

15th November | 2-5pm | Federation University | Ballarat

Learning landscapes: learning for work and Life.  

Topics include:

  • Learning on Country: Unsettling Lessons from Six PeaksHonorary professor Barry Golding: Federation University
  • Dispelling some myths about the VET teacher shortage | Emeritus Professor Erica Smith: Federation University
  • Who becomes a VET Teacher and Why? | Emeritus Professor Erica Smith: Federation University and Professor Annette Foley: Federation University 
  • Tourism and hospitality VET graduates' employment outcomes during COVID-19 | Dr. Peter Fieger: Federation University
  • Empowering Learners: Placing Students at the heart of TAFE decision-making | Chris Noonan - Director Of Learner Experience And Excellence Federation Tafe, Ella Donovan-Clancy – Federation Tafe Student Representative on Learner Excellence Committee, Rachael Lott – Federation Tafe Student Representative On Learner Excellence Committee 

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