COAG Ministerial Declaration on ACE

First Some History:

In 1997, MCEETYA (the Ministerial Council for Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs) released the National Policy on Adult and Community Education to provide a framework for government activity to recognise and support adult community education. In July 2001, Ministers asked the Adult Community Education Taskforce to review this policy to ensure that the ACE sector is well placed to maximise its contribution to the national education and training effort.

The taskforce developed a Ministerial Declaration on Adult Community Education, which was endorsed by State, Territory and Commonwealth ministers at the 13th MCEETYA meeting in July 2002.

The 2002 Ministerial Declaration on ACE was reviewed in 2007. ACEVic provided a response to this review on behalf of its members.

2008 COAG Declaration on ACE

This new statement supercedes the previous 2002 Declaration. It is designed to inform the policies and actions of all Australian State and Territory governments and the Commonwealth Government. A full copy of the Declaration is available here.

ACE is a unique field in that it sits in both the education and training and the community sectors. It is concerned with not just supporting individuals with skill development, but with empowering and developing communities. ACEVic values the recognition in the Declaration of this dual role. The Declaration identifies that ACE contributes to COAG’s productivity and workforce skills agendas and also to the Federal Government’s Social Inclusion policy.

The Declaration identifies the unique opportunties for ACE to deliver vocational education and training to individuals, while at the same time acknowledging the important role of ACE in building community capacity and encouraging social cohesion.

ACE varies widely from state to state with Victoria frequently acknowledged as the leader in fostering its development. Despite different approaches, the COAG Declaration indicates a shared view of its value and potential amongst all Australian governments, which bodes well for the future development of the sector.