The Asia Pacific region ensured significant representation on the International Council for Adult Education (ICAE). Jose Roberto ‘Robbie’ Guevara was elected President of ICAE at the 2023 November Virtual General Assembly and Nani Zulminarni was elected Vice President Asia Pacific.

Robbie Guevara

President ICAE
Robbie says his knowledge, skills and confidence have been forged by many years of work within the Asia-Pacific region through the Asia South Pacific Association for Basic and Adult Education (ASPBAE), teaching and researching in international development at RMIT University in Australia, and by many more years of being an activist committed to ensuring that education continues to be a right for all rather than the privilege of the few.

Robbie says his reason for seeking a second term nomination was to contribute to the development of the monitoring programme of the Marrakesh Framework for Action (MFA), from the perspective of civil society; to help secure sustained funding for ICAE through innovative partnerships with regional members, and advance ICAE’s thinking and adult learning practice in addressing a key global challenge – the climate crisis.

Robbie is an educator with extensive experience within the Asia and South Pacific regions, in curriculum development, project design, delivery, monitoring and evaluation of adult, community and popular education, particularly in the fields of education for sustainable development, environmental education, global citizenship, development education and HIV-AIDS education.

ACE Aotearoa has been privileged to have Robbie attend many events including last year’s conference. Robbie was nominated by Asia South Pacific Association for Basic and Adult Education (ASPBAE).

Nani Zulminarni

Vice President Asia Pacific
Nani says she hopes to help nurture a global community of practice on transformative Adult Learning and Education (ALE) and will harness her passion for advancing ALE as a critical tool to meet the learning needs and interests, especially of marginalised groups and communities.

Much of Nani’s experience in promoting transformative ALE is drawn from her work in Indonesia where she is currently chair of PEKKA (Women Headed Family Empowerment), an organisation she founded in 2001 in Indonesia. PEKKA offers support to women who head their families – widows, divorcees, abandoned women, those whose husbands are disabled or ill, and single women – to help them recognise the important contributions they make to society and to create new roles for themselves, individually and collectively.

Through the years, PEKKA has worked with more than 100,000 families headed by women in more than 2,500 self-help groups across 20 provinces in Indonesia, fighting for their education, economic, legal, social and political rights.

Nani was nominated by Asia South Pacific Association for Basic and Adult Education (ASPBAE). Congratulations to all the successful Executive Committee candidates.

ICAE World Assembly

The ICAE (International Council for Adult Education) world assembly was held in Bali in late November 2023. This year’s conference was also a celebration of 50 years for the Council in Adult Learning and Education and the theme was Towards a Learning Planet. ACE Aotearoa was represented at the Assembly by CEO Hannah Pia Baral and Jay Rupapera (Tangata Whenua Co Chair).

A key theme for the Assembly was the sharing of international process and achievements to ensure that adult education is valued, recognised and upheld on an international basis.

Jay reported back that the workshops she attended had similar themes – advocacy, capacity building, intersectoral and holistic approaches to lifelong learning and organisational development and governance.

“The journey for me was obviously all about learning, with a key take out being the need to listen, learn and listen some more. Presentations were very much about taking a global perspective that can then be pared down to enable a regional response and then further channelled into community delivery and implementation.

“I went to the Assembly with the goal of gathering as much information about what ACE providers are doing internationally and how we might share the amazing things that we do here in Aotearoa. As tangata whenua my culture, values, perspectives, and experiences were very much about respecting the indigenous spaces and applying my indigenous knowledge as manuhiri, to the learnings.

“Despite language and cultural barriers, we were all there for the same cause and purpose – to celebrate Adult Education as advocates of lifelong learning no matter where you are or where you come from. I am looking forward to implementing some of what was experienced within our ACE Aotearoa community,” said Jay.