In conversation This week we had a chat with AILC program Leader Amanda Van Wyk about her work and what it has been like adapting courses to a COVID world. Amanda talks about what’s it’s like to change tack at just two days’ notice and the strength and resilience of our students during this really difficult time. AILC Program Leader Amanda Van Wyk AILC: Describe the changes to your work in response to COVID. Amanda: We deliver most of our courses online now. But where possible, we do still have face to face sessions. We've been lucky to continue some face-face sessions for a program we are delivering with the Indigenous Marathon Foundation (IMF). These students have had to really adapt their learning during COVID and the AILC is only part of the journey that these amazing athletes are undertaking. AILC: What happens when there is a lockdown, and you have a face-to-face course planned? Amanda: Sometimes we get a week to adapt and sometimes it may only be 48 hours. No matter the time period, we just work to make it happen. We work with the organisation and students about what is best for them and what will work for their learning. More recently we had some students who had already made their way to Cairns for Certificate IV in Indigenous Leadership, so we held the course for 6 students in Cairns, 3 students together in Darwin, 2 students learning individually in SA and 1 Student in NSW. AILC: How do students respond to the changing nature of learning? Amanda: Students are so commitment and adaptive in this current climate. There is so much uncertainty, but people are still wanting to learn and participate and are willing to be flexible about how that happens. We had a student who was making her way to Cairns for a face-face course and she went from a regional area to Sydney and then to Brisbane and then lockdown happened in Brisbane, so she had to go back to Sydney and then return to her regional town. She was travelling the whole 3 days of the course but still attended when she wasn’t travelling by using her phone. She was incredibly committed and by the end exhausted! She then worked with the AILC trainer to catch up on the subjects that she had missed out on to meet the requirements! AILC: What is it like being a Program Manager at times like this? Amanda: Well, it can be hectic and at times a bit stressful. But I also enjoy the challenge. As as a program leader our job is to think outside the box and make things happen for our students. It is a privilege to be a part of our students' learning journeys. Thank you so much Amanda, and all our Program Leaders, for your work in supporting student learning.