Log in
Log in

Disruption Down Under: Action Learning and Skills Reform in Australia

  • 17 Apr 2024
  • 14:00 - 15:30 (UTC)
  • Online in Zoom


Registration is closed

is proud to present this event as part of our series
'The International Varieties of Action Learning: Origins and Practices'

Disruption Down Under
Action Learning and Skills Reform in Australia

presented by Robert Cother and Genevieve Cother

Robert (Bob) Cother and Genevieve (Gen) Cother are a dad and daughter team from the Action Learning Institute (ALI) in Australia. In 2013, ALI became an Australian Registered Training Organisation (RTO) and the first education institution to deliver nationally recognised vocational qualifications, entirely through action learning.

Bob will share his personal experience of action learning, beginning as a graduate at Ford Motor Company in the early 1970s, through his ‘academic’ years lecturing at Swinburne Institute of Technology in the 1980s, and as a management consultant in the manufacturing industry, throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. In 2006, this experience culminated in the launch of ALI’s flagship program Lean Action Learning.

Gen will provide an overview of the range of action learning models applied by the Institute, including project-based, work-based, and virtual action learning, and the groundbreaking software and smartphone app, which allow ALI to seamlessly integrate assessment and comply with the requirements of the Australian VET regulator, without subverting the action learning process.

A newly accredited vocational qualification, a Course in Action Learning, will be presented together with two enterprise micro-credentials currently under development: Facilitating Action Learning in VET (Vocational Education and Training) and Facilitating Action Learning in the Workplace.

Learn how ALI is using action learning programs to facilitate collaboration across supply chains, industry sectors and regional areas, tackling wicked problems to achieve measurable outcomes for employers and learners.

Finally, Bob and Gen will provide a brief glimpse of their pioneering work employing AI and natural language models to map workflows to skills descriptors extracted from the National Register of VET, and ultimately connect educators, employers and learners directly into a SMART competency ecosystem.

Join Bob and Gen as ‘comrades in adversity’ for a conversation about using technology to elevate action learning in mainstream education for the benefit of learners, employers and the wider community.

About Bob and Gen

Bob is an Industrial Engineer and Master of Engineering Science with over thirty years experience in manufacturing, business management and socio-technical systems. Bob is an ILM Certified Action Learning Facilitator, with a Graduate Diploma in Adult Education.

Bob has designed and facilitated action learning programs in a diverse range of industry sectors. Bob developed the Lean Action Learning program to deliver the Australian vocational qualifications MSS40322 Certificate III and MSS40422 Certificate IV in Competitive Systems and Practices, using competency-based assessment. Bob is a staunch advocate of action learning as a vehicle for authentic skills reform in Australia, inspiring him to author the 11063NAT Course in Action Learning, which was added to the Australian National Register of VET in 2022.

Genevieve is an Industrial Designer and Master of Sustainable Design, an ILM Certified Action Learning Facilitator, and qualified vocational trainer currently undertaking a Graduate Certificate in Adult and Vocational Education at Charles Sturt University. Genevieve followed her father into manufacturing and then again into education. She has also designed and facilitated highly successful action learning programs in a variety of contexts, including the Business Resource Efficiency Program, which is delivered in partnership with the Tasmanian government and supports small businesses in Tasmania to reduce emissions and participate in the circular economy.

Bob and Gen are both contributors to the ALRP Journal and enjoy participating in the International Action Learning Conference and IFAL events throughout the year.

You can read some of their publications here: 


This event will be recorded and made available to IFAL members in the Members Area of the IFAL website.

Join us online in Zoom for an interactive 90 minute experience, facilitated by the IFAL team.

Register now to receive your confirmation email, including a Zoom link to this event. A reminder with the same link will be sent to registrants 24 hours prior to the event.

Email us at:

Find us at:  


  • Join our mailing list to be notified of our next event.

Charity Registration Number: 273243  Company Registration: 1301020 England

Registered Office: 39 Bramber Road, North Finchley, London, England N12 9ND

Privacy Policy

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software