What is lifelong learning?

    Lifelong learning is the idea that we all continue to learn throughout our lives. We all learn in different ways and for different reasons.  Some people learn to improve their knowledge, gain skills, participate in their community, or to get employment.  Sometimes we learn without even realising it.  

    Lifelong learning can happen at school, TAFE or university.  Lifelong learning can also happen at home, with friends and family, at the Library, in an art gallery or museum in the playground, outside in nature or anywhere we are able to learn something new.

    What is a learning city?

    A learning city is a city that promotes lifelong learning for all members of the community.  The UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities inspires cities around the world to invest in learning initiatives to become an accredited learning city.  

    You can learn more about the UNESCO Key Features and Guide to Learning Cities here.

    Why does Council want to Wollongong to become a learning city?

    Wollongong City Council is committed to establishing Wollongong as a UNESCO learning city by 2024.  Our Wollongong 2028 Strategic Plan pledges a commitment to our community vision: "From the mountains to the sea, we value and protect our natural environment and we will be leaders in building an educated, creative and connected community". 

    We believe lifelong learning is central to delivering on this community vision.

    What would Wollongong look like as a learning city?

    Every learning city around the world is unique in how they approach lifelong learning.  That's because different communities have unique needs and aspirations that need to be worked on.  Here in Wollongong, our our goal is to build a learning city by empowering our community with the knowledge, skills and resources they need to face personal, local and global challenges.

    Are there other learning cities in Australia?

    There are currently three UNESCO-accredited learning cities in Australia: Wyndham Victoria, Melton Victoria and Circular Head Tasmania.  There are also learning communities who have not sought UNESCO accreditation.  In NSW Gywdir Shire Council has established itself as a learning region.  In Victoria, Brimbank is implementing a Lifelong Learning Strategy (2018-23) and Hume City Council has committed to supporting lifelong learning in the community through a Learning Together 2030 Strategic Plan.

    What is a Learning City Plan?

    A Learning City Plan will set out Wollongong’s vision, objectives, key priority areas and actions for our learning city. It will also includes how the learning city will be governed and reported on.

    We are seeking ideas and feedback from the community and stakeholders, that we will inform the draft Learning City Plan.

    Will other organisations work with Council to achieve the learning city accreditation?

    Yes, Council will partner with the University of Wollongong, non-profit organisations, NSW Government Department and Agencies, and the private sector to seek accreditation.

    I work at an educational institution, or service provider. How do I become involved with Wollongong's learning city journey?

    We want to hear about the learning experiences and challenges of the communities you work with, and your ideas on how to enhance and promote lifelong learning. You can share this by completing this survey for service providers.

    We will also continue to work closely with a range of stakeholders to develop and implement the draft Learning City Plan. If you are interested in being involved, or want to be updated on the progress please email engagement@wollongong.nsw.gov.au.