Pre-conference Forum

Details of the one day pre-conference forum are now available.

Conference keynote speakers

Join them at the 2009 ACAL 32nd Annual Conference from Thursday 1st October – Saturday 3rd October 2009 to be held at the Esplanade Hotel in Fremantle, Western Australia.

Full Program


Dr Peter Waterhouse

Workplace Learning Initiatives

The Strengths in Us All

[First attempt - synopsis for ACAL, Fremantle, October 2009]


Searching for a synopsis, aching for an abstract,

The problem is,
The writer doesn’t know, til it’s written.
The speaker doesn’t know, til it’s spoken.
The researcher doesn’t know, til it’s found.
I’m sure I’ve got something to say,
Something worthwhile
I’m sure.
I’m dead sure of it.
I’m just not sure exactly what it is
It’s about identity, personal and professional.
Who do you want me to be today?
It’s about why (still) literacy matters
And numeracy too.
It’s about bookshelves and biographies
It’s about stories of strength and inspiration.
Yes, it’s about strengths,
Finding our strengths,
Re-cognition of our strengths,
Owning our strengths,
Working from Strengths.
It’s about the research, and
It’s about the strengths in us all.


© P.J. Waterhouse.
28th May 2009


Peter Waterhouse is the Managing Director of Workplace Learning Initiatives, a specialist RTO and research company he established with colleagues in the early 1990’s. Peter is (amongst other things) an employer-manager, practitioner-researcher, VETrepreneur, adult educator, storyteller, bush-walker, photographer and poet; and (more recently) a Grandfather! All of which he tackles with great enthusiasm, passion and (he says) less ability than he would wish for. He has worked as a TAFE teacher, an ALBE consultant, teacher educator and university lecturer. He has had a lifelong interest in adult literacy and learning, particularly informal and experiential learning. His recent research projects have focussed on appreciative enquiry and strength-based practice, themes which will resonate well with our 2009 Conference.

'What counts, who counts; developing understandings of numeracy teaching from international and cross cultural experiences'


Dave Baker
London Institute of Education


Dave Baker's keynote will draw on his research over many years and in many countries, including parts of Africa. His findings have led him to argue that theoretical models  arising from viewing numeracy as social practice lead to a more inclusive and equitable approach to the teaching of mathematics. These models are more likely to allow a more nuanced understandings of relationships, contrasts and tensions between adults’ everyday numeracy practices and formal educational mathematics.  For the many teachers in Australia who are teaching numeracy to students from different cultures, Dave's workshops and presentations will provide useful insights into the issues for both teachers and students.


Dave Baker is based at the London Institute of Education in the UK where he is a Reader in Adult Numeracy and post-16 Mathematics. Dave is passionately interested in the issue of social justice and mathematics. His aim is to transform dominant practices in mathematics education by developing teaching models and policies based on understanding maths as social practice. He currently works with teachers in the UK, South Asia and Ethiopia, training them to use socially and culturally sensitive approaches to teaching numeracy. Dave's Keynote presentation and workshops at the Adults Learning Maths conference in Melbourne in 2005 were very popular and we are delighted to welcome him back to the ACAL conference in Perth.



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