In this issue

1. From the CEO

2. VALA VCAL Inducion Day – Registration now open!

3. Membership

4. Dates for the 2018 diary

5. Professional Development entitlement

6. Professional development for newly appointed VASS users

7. Resources - free VCAL Teacher toolkit

8. Research and reports

1. From the CEO

Helene RooksWelcome to the final VALA Newsletter of the year.

VALA would like to take this opportunity to thank our members for their support over the last academic year, our presenters who generously share their vast knowledge and experience with the sector, the schools who have opened their doors, so we can get a hands-on experience of their programs and initiatives, the students who have supported our conferences and shared their stories during the Safari by the Sea. Your contribution to our events are exceptional.

Together we have delivered PD events to over 900 educators, that’s a 200% increase on 2016!

To keep the ball rolling, registrations for the VALA VCAL Induction day are now open, dates for the Annual Conference and Safari are set and we endeavor to have our 2018 Masterclass offerings available before Induction day.

Looking back on a busy yet positive year at the VALA desk I encourage you to reflect on your own year. Take a lesson from what didn’t work (but don’t get stuck on it) and take credit for your successes (there will be many).

Wishing you a well-deserved, safe and happy summer break and we hope to see you again in 2018.

With warm regards


2. VALA VCAL Induction Day – Registration now open!

2018 VCAL Induction Day

VALA is excited to return to the Jasper Hotel in Melbourne for the 2018 VALA VCAL Induction Conference.

This year’s program offers a wide breath and depth of presentations aimed at educators and coordinators new to VCAL (but we are always happy to see you for the 2nd, 3rd or even 8th time at this event!).

Adam Whitbread, VCAA VCAL unit manager will conduct a welcoming keynote followed by a keynote by the Hon. James Merlino, Deputy Premier, Minister of Education and Emergency Services who will officialyl launch the New Work Order Teacher Toolkit developed by FYI and the BGKLLEN. This event will book out so secure your place and sessions now!

Generous discounts apply for VALA members!

Register here

3. Membership

VALA is a member based, not for profit association which heavily relies on our financial members.

Join or renew your membership for 2018 now and reap the benefits immediately!

VALA membership benefits include;

You can join as an individual, as a school or organisation, and memberships start from only $115 per annum.

Join here

4. Dates for the 2018 diary

Calendar iconVCAL Induction Day

2018 VALA VCAL Induction Day Friday 23rd of February 2018 – Jasper Hotel Melbourne

VALA Annual conference

2018 VALA Annual conference Friday 22nd of June 2018 – Jasper Hotel Melbourne ‘Fostering connections – celebrating diversity’

Call for presentations out soon, or email your proposal now to

Safari by the Sea

2018 Safari by the Sea Thursday 1st and Friday 2nd of November - Surf Coast

5. Professional Development entitlement

Make certain you know your entitlements when it comes to planning your PD for 2018

The Victorian Government Schools Agreement 2017 (VGSA 2017) will apply to and be binding upon:

the State of Victoria; all persons employed in the Victorian Teaching Service under Part 2.4 of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 (Vic); and any union noted by the Fair Work Commission in the Notice of Approval until 30 April 2021 when a new agreement is negotiated

This agreement between the State of Victoria (Department of Education and Training), the employees covered by this agreement and the unions is made to enhance the employment interests of persons employed in Victorian government schools consistent with the Victorian Government’s commitment to a high-quality, universally accessible public education system, increased education standards and school self- management.

One of these gains made in VGSA 2017 (Clause 22 (12) Page 65) is the introduction of four professional practice days per year.

From the commencement of the 2018 school year each teacher is entitled to one day per term (four days per year) release from their scheduled duties, including teaching, to focus on the improved delivery of high quality teaching and learning. These days are in addition to existing pupil free days and pro- rata for a teacher employed part- time.

The work undertaken on these days will be consistent with Departmental and school priorities and selected from the following areas: planning, preparation, assessment of student learning, collaboration, curriculum development, relevant professional development and peer observation including feedback and refection. 

The timing and focus of each day for each teacher will be nominated by the teacher and be agreed in consultation with the principal. 

VCAL teachers and teams are strongly encouraged to be proactive in using this opportunity to focus on the work directly related to VCAL teaching. Think about what you and your team may wish to focus on in 2018 and begin the process of informing leadership and providing possible dates on the school calendar. As with all aspects of our work agreements this gain will be carefully scrutinised by the department come the next round of negotiations. Remember if you don’t use it you may lose it.

6. Professional development for newly appointed VASS users

From the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority

Notice to Schools 129/2017 − 6 December 2017

In February and March 2018, the VCAA will conduct professional development training specifically designed for VASS administrators who are new to their position or who have never used VASS, and new schools offering a VCE, VET or VCAL program for the first time in 2018.

It is strongly recommended that current VASS administrators mentor new administrators as part of their induction and handover into this very important role.

The professional development will be held at DET regional CASES Training Centers - see below for dates and locations.

Note that these training sessions are not for Single Study Language Providers.

Participants must register online. Registration closes 24 hours before each training session.

Critical Dates

All sessions are subject to demand and will only go ahead if there are sufficient numbers.

Registration is limited to one registration per person and a maximum of two participants per school.

One training computer is provided per person, although it may be necessary for single participants from the one school to share a computer.

There will be no provision for reimbursement of travel and accommodation expenses or for the funding of staff replacement.

Any queries should be directed to VASS Operations: (03) 9032 1758, 1800 623 681 or .

Full details Registration closes 24 hours before each training session.

7. Resources - free VCAL Teacher toolkit

FYA ToolkitFYA New Work Order reports – VCAL Teacher toolkit available for download now!

The Foundation for Young Australians, in partnership with the Bayside Glen Eira Kingston Local Learning and Employment Network (BGKLLEN) have launched an innovative new toolkit for VCAL educators and their students.

Designed to support educators in facilitating immersive, meaningful learning experiences that build students’ skills and capacity beyond the classroom, the toolkit is mapped to the VCAL curriculum and can be customised to fit varied contexts and timeframes.

Split into five learning modules, the resources and modules are based on insights and recommendations from FYA’s New Work Order report series. Each of the modules has been developed through a co-design process involving VCAL students, teachers and other community stakeholders who work with and for young people in VCAL environments.

The toolkit aims to help students to build the skills and capabilities they will need to thrive in a changing world of work, where every job will be transformed by automation. In particular students will be supported to build the skills that enable them to be enterprising including creativity and innovation; confidence and agency; digital and financial literacy; critical thinking and problem-solving skills; and communication and teamwork.

With practical, project-based learning resources, the toolkit supports students’ individual interests and abilities, allowing them to learn at their own pace and track their progress.

Free copy or vist BGKLLEN resources

8. Research and reports

Mission AustraliaMission Australia – 2017 Annual Youth Survey

Each year Mission Australia encourages Australians aged 15-19 to ‘speak up’ about the issues that really concern them through Australia’s largest online youth survey. In 2017 they had over 24,000 responses.

In 2017, for the first time in the survey’s history young people identified mental health as the most important issue in Australia today. Concerns about mental health have doubled since 2015 and tripled since 2011. Other top issues of national concern included alcohol and drugs and equity and discrimination.

Young people continue to nominate coping with stress, school or study problems and body image as their top three issues of personal concern. This has remained consistent over the past 5 years.

Read the full report

Full report

Foundation of Young Australians – New Work Order reports

Download the reports