On Course with Bingara Community College

April 28, 2008

Bingara Adult Learning Association Inc held its’ final Annual General Meeting recently. The organisation will continue with the new name of Bingara Community College Inc. Toinette Moodie has been returned as President for 2008. She will be assisted by Vice President, Catherine Egan; Secretary, Ros Moulton and Treasurer, Jenny Hawkins. The other committee members for 2008 are Leeah Daley, Peter Jones, Jenni Reddy and Marlene Brown.

In her annual report the coordinator, Robyn Gasson, reflected on the achievements of the organisation in 2007. Although originally daunted by the seemingly impossible target of 4600 vocational student contact hours required for the funding allocation, BALA delivered 7759 vocational student contact hours in a total of 32 vocational courses. There were 137 vocational enrolments.

In a town with a population of around 1300 people, many of whom are retired or not seeking employment for a number of reasons, this is a remarkable achievement. If distributed evenly across Bingara’s population, each person undertook 6 hours of vocational training in 2007. This translates to 10% of Bingara’s population enrolled in a vocational course with Bingara Adult Learning Association. This result was achieved with a volunteer committee and a coordinator paid for 11 hours per week.

The leisure and lifestyle courses were not neglected in 2007. Marlene Brown successfully coordinated both the Sewing Group and the Needlecraft Group. Members of these groups must be congratulated for the beautiful work they are producing.

BALA also provided fitness classes, bushwalks, digital camera classes to name some of the recreational classes provided.

The support of both Bingara Central School and Gwydir Shire Council must be acknowledged. Bingara Central’s Principal, Peter Macbeth, makes the school’s computer room available for IT classes. This is very much appreciated by students and tutors.

Gwydir Shire Council allows BALA to use Council venues free of charge. This allows course costs to be kept to a minimum.

Meanwhile, Computers for Beginners (BSBCMN107A: Operate a personal computer) has one week to run. Participants report that they are learning a lot and enjoying themselves as well. Jacqui Breneger is teaching this course.

Jacqui is also planning to teach us how to "Make a Shirt in a Few Hours". This will run for three Saturdays starting April 12, from 10am to 2pm at the Bingara Arts Centre. Contact the coordinator for details. Jacqui, as well as her qualifications in IT and Business Services, has a background in commercial sewing. BALA has been most fortunate in securing her services.

Peter Jones will begin a course in Internet Essentials (ICAU1133A: Send and retrieve information using web browsers and email) on Wednesday, April 16, 6.30 – 8.30pm. This will run for three sessions and will cost $60. It will cover using the internet quickly and efficiently, sending and receiving emails, the World Wide Web, advanced searching and downloading information from web sites. Basic computer skills are essential. Please book for this course as positions are limited.

We are asking for expressions of interest in a Certificate III in Business. The Certificate is made up of 12 Units of Competency. Students can enrol in individual Units or undertake a full Certificate. See Robyn for a list of available Units. This training will be facilitated by Jacqui Breneger under the Scope of Registration of Tamworth Community College.

Lisa Moore conducts two great aerobics classes weekly. These classes are held at the Civic Centre at 5pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Registration fee is $5.50 (an annual one-off charge) and each class costs $5. Come along to tone up, improve aerobic fitness and maybe lose weight! Wear comfortable clothing and joggers. Bring water, mat/towel and hand weights if you own any. Some weights are available. These are fun classes and the music is great.

Pilates is held on Saturday mornings at 10am at the Civic Centre. Pilates is great for strengthening core muscle groups and improving flexibility. It is also good for relaxation and stress relief. Wear loose, comfortable clothing and bring water and a mat or towel. Registration fee is $5.50.

We are also keen to run a Gentle Exercise class for those new to exercise or who have not exercised for a long time. This class would focus on mobilisation, improving flexibility and relaxation. If you would be interested in attending such a class, please let our coordinator know so we can choose a suitable time and venue.

Operate and Maintain Chainsaws (RTC2304A) will be available in Bingara on May 28 and 29. This course should be attended by all those who operate a chainsaw within the work environment. A Statement of Attainment will be awarded on successful completion of training. Day 1 will cover theory: sharpening, tuning, kick back, safety, maintenance, cutting attachments and felling. Day 2 is practical with the topics of safety, tree assessment and preparation, heading and limbing. Booking are essential for this course as positions are limited.

We are taking bookings for our next Senior First Aid class. It will be held on Saturday, May 31. Please contact the coordinator if you need this qualification.

We are looking for someone to tutor Dog Obedience classes. If you are able to help us in this matter we would very much like to hear from you.

If you have ideas for courses you would like to enrol in or teach, please contact our coordinator, Robyn Gasson either by phone on 0267241965 or call in to John Gasson & Co’s office at 36 Maitland St, Bingara.