2020 Well done Kalsang

Congratulations to my student, Kalsang, on becoming an Australian citizen.

Kalsang’s journey to become an Australian citizen began nearly 16 years ago. From Lhasa he crossed the Himalayas, walking for 27 days to reach Nepal and the safety of India where he lived for 10 years before coming to Australia as a refugee.

I first met Kalsang 14 months ago.  Since then every week, except for school holidays, we spent a couple of hours together to improve his English.  Kalsang was always on time, never missing a lesson, and with a positive attitude always greeting me with a big warm smile.

It was a privilege and a pleasure to be Kalsang’s tutor and to continue helping him with his English. Jan R.


2020 Train as a volunteer tutor in March

Train as a volunteer tutor with Literacy Network, a community-based organisation with an office in Manly Vale. Work with an adult on a one-to-one basis for up to two hours a week to meet negotiated goals and improve English skills.
Coordinators manage the program, interview potential learners and train tutors. They match learner and tutor and support their activities. They also liaise with other community organisations working with adults in the Northern Beaches.
There is no prior experience required and it is highly rewarding. Training sessions run for 8 weeks, from 10am to 12.30pm on a Tuesday morning. The next course begins in March 2020.
For more information on what we do and volunteering as a tutor, explore our website or visit our volunteer page

2019 News from Reading Writing Hotline

Adult literacy specialists – an endangered species??

“Despite the fact that LLN is universally acknowledged as a vital underpinning skill for adults in all walks of life, it appears that qualified adult LLN teachers are becoming very hard to find. And even more worrying is the fact that to the best of our knowledge, specialist graduate qualifications in adult literacy/numeracy will not be offered anywhere in Australia from 2020. Where will the adult LLN specialists of the future come from?

In the past, several universities offered a Graduate Diploma in Adult Literacy or Adult Basic Education either face to face or online. In addition, a number of RTOs around the country offered TAE80113, the Graduate Diploma in Adult LLN Practice from the TAE Training Package. The Hotline is advised that none of these offerings will be available from the beginning of 2020, as institutions move to rationalise their offerings and cut costs. The removal of the qualification from the skills list and VET Student Loans eligibility is a major factor in this decline.

This national depletion of capability in the adult literacy/numeracy field is extremely serious. Whilst all VET trainers now hold TAELLN411 (made compulsory by ASQA recently), this unit is clearly identified as merely an awareness unit, and does not qualify holders as literacy specialists. All trainers enrolled in this awareness unit are required to consult an adult literacy expert, as part of their assessment. Where will these experts be found in the future?”

https://www.readingwritinghotline.edu.au/learners-stories/ – scroll down to the footer to subscribe to their newsletter.

2019 Christmas gathering

Thank you to Dee Why RSL

The 6th December saw another successful Christmas gathering for Literacy Network when tutors and students met for lunch at Dee Why RSL – who hospitably provided us with a wonderful table with seating for many and tasty food for all.

Lynsey, Robyn and Amanda

The get together was a little sad too, with a farewell to our wonderful student-teacher co-coordinator, Amanda.  Amanda joined Literacy Network in 2014 and stepped into the role alongside Robyn in 2015.

The gathering was also an opportunity to welcome our new president, Lynsey, plus a chance to meet Robyn’s new co-coordinator, Anita.  And of course we had our past president Chris with us too!

We also thank our hardworking secretary Anne, and treasurer Sue for their efforts in putting the occasion together for us.  This must have been particularly difficult for Anne who was without electricity in the week leading up to the party (a long blackout indeed).

Anne with Chris (our past president), Robyn, Amanda
We wish you a Merry Christmas

2019, A Journey from Tibet to Australia

Lynsey, Robyn with Mr Lobsang Dhonden from Multicultural Health Services.

Literacy Network was represented by Robyn Smith, (coordinator) and Lynsey Chandler (president) at the launch of the report on the Northern Beaches Tibetan Community Research Project.  The project, was initiated by Maria Elena Chidzey, Manager of Multicultural Settlement Services at Community Northern Beaches Inc, an independent not-for-profit organisation, and carried out by Macquarie University and funded by the NBCC.

Dhondup, Tibetan Settlement Worker, with Mr Lobsang Norbu, whose life story is in the book.

Many members of the Tibetan Community participated in various roles. The CNB Multicultural Service is the only funded service assisting refugees and others in our area, and collaborates with a range of service providers to empower people to build their community through conversation classes, driving and swimming programs, and more.

State MP James Griffin and Councillor Candy Bingham attended, as well as the Secretary of the Tibetan Community Council and representatives of local organisations.

Members of the Tibetan community contributed directly to  the project as translator, graphic designer and photographer.

Many helped as facilitators, and nearly 200 participated in consultation groups.

Five people shared their life stories.  The resulting report is a fascinating picture of a vibrant community that lives with us and quietly contributes a huge amount to our community and theirs.

Literary Network has several copies of the report in our library.

Mr Choezen, Secretary of the Tibetan Community Council, at the book launch and Maria-Elena Chidzey, Manager, Community Northern Beaches Inc, Multicultural/Settlement Services. Maria initiated the research project.


2019, Annual General Meeting

Thanks to our retiring President Chris McGuigan for his wonderful work over many years and welcome to our new President Lynsey Chandler.

In early 2019 we were unable to continue using facilities at the Northern Beaches Community College premises at Brookvale.  This caused much concern about our future as we searched to find a suitable alternative.  But thanks to heroic efforts, the committee was successful in finding a new base for our operations at Manly Vale.

We owe our committee a great deal for this wonderful outcome, plus a huge vote of thanks must go to our retiring President Chris McGuigan, and again to our supporters at Dee Why RSL Club, Northern Beaches Council, Balgowlah RSL Club and Pittwater RSL Club.

The Census continues to show in excess of 3500 residents living in Manly, Pittwater and Warringah local government areas identify as “speaking English not well or not at all”.

Attached is an extract of the 2018-2019 Annual Report pdf Litnet Annual Report 2019web

2019, Our second tutors meeting

At our new meeting hall in Manly Vale on 29th June, tutors met to catch up with friends from training, share ideas about tutoring and discuss useful materials.  It was wonderful that Joan Giumelli was available to join us.

One of our tutors, brought along seven bi-lingual readers, featuring interesting facts about Australian native animals in English and Tibetan which she donated to our library.

2019Junemeeting1Two of the tutors will share the readers with their Tibetan students and provide feedback.  Another tutor donated two other useful books on Australian culture by the same author, Jill Bruce. We look forward to discussing with her further the aims of her publications, perhaps at one of our future meetings.