2016 marked the inaugural Wyndham Learning Festival, a festival of learning for people of all ages throughout the City of Wyndham for the week of September 1- 8. This learning festival came out of Wyndham City Council’s Learning Community Strategy 2014-2017.The Wyndham Learning Festival 2016, was the first ever learning festival in the City of Wyndham. The response from the community was fantastic with 100 plus free events offered from across Wyndham for all life stages. The festival’s aim was to promote life-long learning for all age groups: early years, school years, young adults, adults and seniors. Events included talks, practical workshops, exhibitions, displays, open days, walking tours, films and information sessions in an array of locations and environments.
The Festival was launched on 31 August 2016 at the Wyndham Cultural Centre. The evening brought together event holders, sponsors and other key stakeholders in Wyndham’s learning future. The evening showcased some local musical talent of Wyndham’s W-Factor winner, singer-guitarist, Niall Dunsmore and Burmese-Karen Harpist, Mai Mai. ‘Charlie’ a humanoid robot from the Gordon TAFE introduced the Master of Ceremonies, Jennie Barrera, to the delight of the audience. The keynote speaker was Maxine McKew, a former news journalist, TV current affairs presenter and Federal MP and now Vice Chancellor’s fellow at the University of Melbourne’s Graduate School of Education. She provided a thoughtful and passionate insight into learning for the future and stories of success and challenge in Australian education. The CEO of Avalon Airport and major sponsor of the Festival, Justin Giddings also spoke to the audience of his own personal learning journey from cleaner to CEO. This story provided context for the evening and reinforced the importance of accessible learning opportunities for people when they are ready to engage. The Stringendo Ensemble ended the evening with beautiful string sounds and then provided much hilarity with audience participation in singing and percussion on stage.
The 2016 Wyndham Learning Festival was made possible by: Avalon Airport, Victoria Polytechnic, Wyndham Community & Education Centre, AMES Australia, Bendigo Bank, Deakin University, The Huddle-North Melbourne Football Club, Myriad Consulting, Your Tutor and WynBay LLEN and the City of Wyndham.