This diploma gave her an entry into the Bachelor of Social Work at the same university. Despite being a mother of four, Ms. Dalton did not hesitate in accepting the placement and said that she was very motivated. 

According to a report by the Department of Education, Science and Training, Australia has a high level of participation in both informal and formal education and training. This participation among 55-64 year-olds was found to be the lowest at 53 per cent.


However, this trend may be shifting as older people become aware of the choices and opportunities they have.


Although education and training may have economic benefits for individuals, it is not necessarily sufficient to motivate people to engage in education and training.


An Australian survey of participants in adult education courses identified a range of factors motivating people to undertake adult learning of which the two most common reasons were to upgrade work skills and to extend the learner’s knowledge of the subject.


The European Lifelong Learning Initiative believes that lifelong learning stimulates and empowers individuals to acquire all the knowledge, values, skills and understanding they will require throughout their lifetimes and to apply them in all roles, circumstances, and environments.


“Continuing education keeps my cognitive ability functioning and give me a younger outlook in life,” Ms. Dalton said. 

Ms. Dalton is also one of many older people who move on to assume new important roles in their lives, such as carers and volunteer workers in community organisations.


“Learning needs of this third age thus include appropriate training for these new roles, as well as a range of life skills in relation to health, housing, financial management, recreation and so on,” said Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University Bill Donovan.


The Adult Learning Australia is the national peak body for the Adult and Community Education field(s) in the country. To celebrate Adult Learners’ Week 2011 during the first week of September, hundreds of events and activities have been organised across Australia to promote the benefits of learning.


At the Springvale City Hall on Tuesday, September 6, the City of Greater Dandenong Libraries has coordinated the Adult Learners’ Expo, focusing on education, training and job opportunities.


Around 10 a.m., the main hall was packed with visitors from different age group and heritage, eagerly moving from one information booth to another.


Mary Downs-Young, 56, stood in front of station three in a smaller hall. She was representing Keysborough Learning Centre where she teaches painting and sketching. 

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