VCE Transnational Conference returns to China

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17 July 2023

Bringing together educators from Australia and China, the 2023 VCE Transnational Conference has taken place in Jining. Tom Bridges, Assistant Principal – International and Community Partnerships at Thomas Carr College, Tarneit, reflects on the conference, and the way teachers and students are making meaningful connections beyond Australia:

At Thomas Carr College, we think it takes a global village to educate a child. That’s why, for the 12th year, we were pleased to bring together educators from Australia and China to create opportunities for global engagement for the mutual benefit of our students through the VCE Transnational Conference.

The conference is an annual event that brings together approximately 250 educators from Australia and China over a week in the July school holidays. It first commenced in 2012 and has since been held in Wenzhou, Lianyungang, Suzhou, Harbin, Tianjin, Nanjing, Xi’an, Haikou, Shanghai, online and, this year, in the birthplace of Confucius, Jining.

VCE Transnational Conference

Throughout the conference, both formally and informally, teachers within the VCE transnational network learnt from each other and, in doing so, improved the quality of learning experiences we can provide our students, regardless of their location.

Reflected in this year’s conference theme, ‘Innovation through Integration’, the conference integrated the whole VCE transnational education ecosystem for which we are grateful to so many. The conference was opened with a video message from the Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, and the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) CEO, Stephen Gniel. Supporters and participants included our offshore partner school leaders and teachers, Australian mentor teachers and policymakers, and representatives from the Victorian Government, the Australian Embassy, China’s Ministry of Education, the VCAA and the Australian university sector.

VCE Transnational Conference

The conference renewed dialogue, established long-lasting friendships among the VCE transnational family and created ideas for future collaboration. As the conference closed, our offshore VCE students prepared to fly to Melbourne where they will be welcomed by their Victorian host students at Thomas Carr College as they embark on the Summer Camp Study Tour, the next exciting step in their journey to study abroad. As hosts, our students in Tarneit will develop new perspectives and insights into another culture: skills essential for them to see and grasp opportunities within the increasingly mobile and interconnected workforce.

VCE Transnational Conference

The conference was co-hosted by Thomas Carr College, Caroline Chisholm Catholic College, Braybrook, AIDE Education and Firbank Grammar School.