We’re embracing the challenge to become a UNESCO learning city – and we need your help.
While many of us might associate learning with our school years in the classroom, a learning city is one that supports their residents to live their best life by valuing and supporting learning at every age, whether or not they’re in the classroom.
One of the big ideas behind the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities,, is the concept of ‘lifelong learning’. This is the idea that we all continue to learn throughout our whole lives, and this improves the social, economic, cultural and environmental conditions of a community.
“Think about it in terms of your life – lifelong learning could look like becoming an expert pasta maker at home, it could mean participating in a community knitting group, returning to school at a later age to try a different career path, or even learning something new about your local environment on a bush walk,” Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM said.
“An educated community that values lifelong learning is a resilient community. Resilience helps us manage and survive external events such as climate change, extreme weather, economic hardships, or more recently, pandemics.
“The best part of it, is that lifelong learning is something we all do naturally all the time. What we’re seeing is that Wollongong is a city which greatly values lifelong learning, and there are a number of community organisations, education providers, and businesses which are key players in this space.”
What we want to do is to collaborate with community organisations, service providers, not-for-profit organisations and education providers who are already doing great work in this space, to develop a Learning City Plan. This Plan will set out a vision, objectives and actions for Wollongong as a learning city.
“There’s a lot of flexibility when it comes to deciding what a learning city means for our city. Each UNESCO learning city takes their own unique approach by looking at the gaps and opportunities in their individual communities, and setting their own targets,” Cr Bradbery said.
“That presents our community with a great opportunity to set the record, so to speak, for what they imagine Wollongong as a learning city would look like. What challenges does our community face? What are our city’s priorities and what do we want to see happen into the future?”
Right now, we’re calling for feedback through the Our Wollongong website. We want to hear from you about your learning experiences, and your ideas on what Wollongong as a learning city should look like.
Feedback is open until Monday 9 August 2022.