Regional Development



TAFE-ACE Western Region Project

This project aims to improve and extend the efficient delivery of VET in Western NSW and enhance community capacity building through joint efforts by TAFE Western Region and Adult and Community Education through memoranda of understanding and joint initiatives. The project builds on the successful Board-funded project, the Gwydir Learning Region.
The project consists of a number of sub-projects currently in progress to extend the delivery of VET in the region. These include:

The Remote Collaborative Sub-Project is complete and has addressed the skilling and workforce development needs of Aboriginal people in Condobolin through joint venture arrangements between Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation (WCC), TAFE NSW – Western Institute and Central West Community College (CWCC). The Condobolin Vocational Training Alliance established under the sub-project is supporting the Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation in providing training and employment opportunities for the Wiradjuri community in Condobolin. Six Aboriginal students who completed the Certificate II qualification gained part-time employment at Barrick Gold Mines.

For more information about the TAFE - ACE Western Region project, contact Kathy Esson on (02) 9244 5009 or email

You can view the final report here (pdf).

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Gwydir Learning Regional Initiative (2006)

The Gwydir region faces many of the challenges of country and remote NSW including population decline and ageing, distance and socio economic disadvantages, and environmental and economic sustainability. The Gwydir Learning Region is a successful community and multi-sectoral education and training co-operative initiative.

The initiative promoted pathways into personal development, vocational education and training, and employment. It is drawing attention to the importance of informal, community-based and work-based learning in leading to such pathways. Its approach is cross-generational, whole-of-community, consultative, and designed to meet the diversity of community needs. It entailed the formation and ongoing cultivation of partnerships between key stakeholders. It activated and captured synergies between four education sectors – school, VET, university and Adult and Community Education.

The Board initiated this project to explore how this innovative, flexible approach, capitalising on multi-sectoral synergies to personalise learning pathways for students and benefit communities, can be developed more broadly across the NSW education and training system. The project investigated the success drivers of the Gwydir Learning Region initiative and identify changes that are required within the NSW education and training system and promote the model more widely to other regions. The project was completed in 2006 and final report available.


For more information about the Gwydir Learning Regional Initiative Project, contact Kathy Esson on (02) 9244 5009 or email

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Murray Youth Education Training Network (2006)

This project involved the development of a youth employment and training strategy for the Albury-Wodonga region, including of new ways to improve education, training and employment outcomes for young people, particularly those at risk of not finding work in the Albury area.

The project was completed in December 2005 and the final report indicates that two initiatives of MYETN 'Industry Bridge to Schools' and 'L Plate for Industry' have received strong community support with a shift in local community perceptions and knowledge of career opportunities offered by local industry to youth in the area.

The ‘L Plate for Industry’ initiative launched a campaign which put a renewed focus on the importance of training and employing young people as a strategy to meet labour shortages. The campaign highlights different career options and pathways available in the Albury-Wodonga region and demystifying some of the programs available and addresses one of the many solutions available to address skills shortages in the region.

The Industry Bridge to Schools initiative involved teams of students from local schools, each working with a local industry mentor to design, build and race a remote controlled solar powered car. The initiative fosters partnerships between local industry and schools and engages students in quality learning, develops employability skills, increases their awareness of career opportunities in the local manufacturing industry and responds to regional skill shortages. Each team of students is provided with the basic components to build the car and a budget to cover the costs of further materials used. The teams undertake research on solar energy and perform experimental work using a vide variety of engineering concepts with a strong focus on design innovation and creativity to ensure the vehicles remain competitive and functional in the final race setting. The first Solar Car Race was organised in Albury in 2004. Following the enthusiasm and interest from industry and students, the second Solar Car Race was organised in December 2005 and the race has now become an annual event and is also receiving support from Commonwealth Government under Career Advise Australia Adopt a School program.

The project also developed an Employers Resource Guide and a School Leavers Resource Kit in partnership with North East Local Learning and Employment Network Inc. The Employers Resource Guide describes the positive ways to engage with schools and young people in local region and the School Leavers Resource Kit assists the young people in understanding the choices available and places from where they can get help and support needed.

For more information about the Murray Youth Strategy, contact Kathy Esson on (02) 9244 5009 or email

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Innovation for the Regions (2005)

The Innovation in the Regions project aimed to diffuse the knowledge and strategies gained from the successful Board-funded project Bringing VET to Cellulose Valley. The project manager from the Cellulose Valley project mentored staff of three other TAFE NSW institutes to support local innovation projects to drive economic and social development. Professional development forums and workshops were organised to disseminate the outcomes of the projects and a case-study resource kit was also developed.

The three projects involved were:

Innovation Management - South West Sydney Institute

In this project, the Board funded development of an innovation model proposed by TAFE-NSW South Western Sydney Institute for fostering high-level skills in small-medium manufacturing/engineering enterprises so as to incorporate new technologies and increase productivity. The project, undertaken by the Manufacturing and Engineering Faculty of the Institute in collaboration with Berufs Forderung Zentrum Essen e.V. (BfZ) of Germany, was designed to act as a catalyst for change in skills development for South Western Sydney and potentially, New South Wales.

Linkages for Sustainability in Creative Arts – New England Institute

This project supported sustainable partnerships for practising artists in all fields of the creative arts in the wider community including Aboriginal communities. In collaboration with Tourism NSW, it promoted the New England and North West as an artistic centre of excellence by forming marketing partnerships for creative artists and linkages between artists and exhibitions and events held across the New England and North West.

Bag Yourself a Business - Western Institute

This project aimed to establish a model that can be used to develop community-based business development skills within small to medium size regional communities. The project provided multi-discipline training, mentoring and support services combined with project management in a whole-of-business approach.

For more information about the Innovations for the Regions Project, contact Kathy Esson on (02) 9244 5009 or email

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Using the Principles of Knowledge Management for Community Development at Byron Bay (2004)

The knowledge management tools project is encouraging North Coast training providers to become involved in business and regional development.

The Adult Community Education (ACE) Training Network, which comprises ACE Mullumbimby, ACE North Coast and the Alstonville Adult Learning Association, managed the project, which assisted local businesses to establish a framework for knowledge management.

Knowledge management means capturing the knowledge, information or ideas within an organisation in such a way that it can be used to improve the organisation. The project assisted Byron Shire businesses to implement knowledge management practices, with a view to fostering business growth and creating more job opportunities for local people.

Through the project, the ACE Training Network trained small and medium enterprises in knowledge management practices. Project partners included local government representatives, vocational and adult education providers and local businesses. Together they formed a number of networks, or Communities of Practice , including the Byron Innovators Network, Sustainable Agriculture, Appropriate Tourism, Event Organisers, Professional Artists Network and Youth in Business.

As well as running a series of seminars to introduce Byron Shire businesses to knowledge management practices, the ACE Training Network appointed knowledge managers in five industry sectors to share techniques with other like businesses and develop expertise in their specific industries. The project was completed in 2003.

For more information about the Knowledge Management Project, contact Kathy Esson on (02) 9244 5009 or email

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Bringing Vocational Education and Training to Cellulose Valley (2003)

The regional development focus of the Lismore project reflects the Board’s interest in the role vocational education and training can play in encouraging industry and community partnerships to increase skills development.

The project, which commenced in September 2001, was managed by Invest Northern Rivers, a body established by the Northern Rivers Regional Development Board to promote regional investment and development. The project was completed in 2003.

The project is implementing strategies to position the training sector as a leader in regional development. The project’s training solutions are enabling existing businesses to expand, attracting new businesses to the region, and creating new education, training and employment pathways for local people. The project is particularly focused on young people, mature workers and Indigenous communities, and has already created new training and job and career opportunities for local people in several enterprises.

One of the keys to the success of the Regional Development project is a new partnership management model, which involves collaboration between a wide range of businesses, industry associations, education and training, government agencies and community groups in the region.


For more information about the Regional Development Project, contact Kathy Esson on (02) 9244 5009 or email

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