Mapping the adult and community education sector in the ACT

  • Michael Hurrell

    Student thesis: Master's Thesis


    This thesis has as its origins a desire by the Ministerial Advisory Council on Adult and Community Education in the Australian Capital Territory to learn more about the sector with whom they interact. There was a clear perception that, due to its diversity, a strong reliance on volunteers and an underlying mistrust of beaurocracy, the sector was quite poorly delineated. If this was in fact the case, then the capacity of the Council to support the sector - for example through the grants scheme - was being greatly handicapped. In the case of grants, it was known that requests commonly outnumbered available grant funds by three or four to one. What was not known was the extent of other worthwhile ACE activity that was either electing not to apply for funding or was simply unaware that the facility even existed. The research, based on the results of a broad ranging questionnaire distributed to all known ACE providers in the ACT, has furthered the level of understanding of the sector. The research approach was modeled on the South Australian Pathfinder Project (1996). Key findings include that: . the ACE sector is extremely diverse and active in the ACT; . it is client focussed in that it develops its programs in response to the identified needs of its target group(s); . in the twelve months covered by the survey there were over 190 000 attendees in ACE programs; . a range of programs are available to most community groups; . there is a strong reliance on volunteers; . the sector generally feels that there is a demand for even more programs than are currently offered; . many individual providers do not see themselves as part of the overall ACE sector. While there are some marked similarities between the ACT ACE sector and the South Australian findings, there also some clear differences. For example, many of the factors that restrict access to ACE in other parts of Australia are less relevant to the ACT. An example of this is that travel distances/times for participants to access programs are generally less of a problem in the ACT than in some other jurisdictions due to the small area and the concentration of population in the ACT.
    Date of Award2000
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorBarbara Chambers (Supervisor)

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