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Training innovation for the Deaf up for national award

25 Mar 2013

Following on from their resounding success at this year's Victorian Training Awards, the staff from NMIT's Centre of Excellence for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing are now in contention for a national award.

Centre of Excellence Coordinator, Cathy Clark; Interpreter/Administration Officer, Teresa Cumpston Bird; Head of Department (Vocational Pathways), Libby Hughes and Certificate IV in Training and Assessment teacher, Carla Anderson will attend the Australian Training Awards Ceremony at Sydney's Olympic Park Sports Centre on November 19. They will represent the Centre of Excellence which has been nominated in the category of Australian Training Initiative.

The Australian Training Initiative Award is presented to an organisation that demonstrates excellence and innovation in a leading-edge initiative, program or product in the field of vocational education and training.

The Centre of Excellence is in the running for the award for its work in developing a customised program of delivery for the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment to meet the learning needs of Deaf and Hard of Hearing people who want to teach in TAFEs, RTOs and other training organisations.

“The Certificate IV in Training and Assessment has been delivered in Auslan by the Centre of Excellence since 2008,” says Cathy Clark.

“Tailored for deaf learners, it's taught by Deaf trainers who have also done the course. It is unique in its mix of e-learning and face-to-face teaching methods including plain English, video, online access, and additional tutorials. The program supports the literacy needs of deaf learners and opens up their opportunities to teach within the VET sector. Deaf people need this qualification to work as Auslan and deafness awareness trainers within Registered Training Organisations throughout Victoria.”

The short listing as a national finalist follows on from the Centre of Excellence's success in this year's Victorian Training Awards where the Centre won in two categories - Victorian Training Initiative of the Year and Victorian VET Client Service / Support Excellence Award.

“This additional achievement, following our win in two State Training Awards categories, has the potential to create further training opportunities for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people,” adds Cathy Clarke. “It emphasises the value of niche class delivery to a cohort of students that faces significant challenges when undertaking mainstream training. These issues are not completely recognised and addressed by the VET sector. We at the Centre are proud of our history in creating innovative and challenging opportunities for our student body and our ability to have an impact on the national training system is a significant achievement for us.”

The Australian Training Awards are the peak, national awards for vocational education and training, recognising innovation and excellence in the training sector. Finalists in the Australian Training Awards are selected from state and territory training awards with winners competing across seven organisational and five individual student categories. For more information on The Australian Training Awards go to

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Media enquiries should be directed to the NMIT Communications Officer, James Gardener, on (03) 92691579, 0413 483 182 or

NMIT (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE) - Situated on six campuses and six training centres throughout Melbourne's north plus a regional campus at Ararat, NMIT delivers vocational training, higher education and lifelong learning capabilities for a global workforce. NMIT forges partnerships with community, industry and government to produce practical, solution orientated graduates capable of making meaningful contributions to their chosen field of endeavour.

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