Mission, vision and values

  • Mission: Atwea enhances people’s lives by delivering quality learning, accessible to all.
  • Vision: Atwea is quality learning
  • Values: Integrity – Innovation – Inclusion

About Atwea College

Atwea College, formerly known as WEA Hunter (Worker’s Educational Association – Hunter), was established as a way of providing education to blue collar workers more than 100 years ago. The Workers’ Educational Association originated in England and was introduced into Australia in 1913. In its heyday it operated in every state except Western Australia and the Northern Territory. Nowadays, the WEA exists in New South Wales (Newcastle, Sydney and Wollongong) and in South Australia (Adelaide).

Today, these humble beginnings remain a proud and fundamental part of our legacy, but we have become so much more. The organisation is now the fifth largest provider of community based education in NSW, offering a diverse range of senior secondary and vocational education to thousands of students across the state.

In keeping with this progress, and to help position the organisation for the future, WEA Hunter was recently renamed Atwea College – a new name to unify our approach and unlock our potential.

Atwea makes a substantial contribution not just to the local economy but more importantly to the wellbeing of individuals within the community. Be it through skill enhancement, personal development or increased self-esteem, Atwea’s objective of being a conduit through which individuals unlock their potential is being realised every day. We hope that by contributing to the development of individuals, Atwea in turns allows those individuals to contribute fully to their community and society in general.

While most of our income is generated from the general community, we also successfully tender for government funded and private sector business funded courses and programs. A course guide is produced and distributed, detailing all programs available as fee-for-service. With around 350 courses being offered each year, Atwea is committed to ensuring training is available to all sectors of the community, including business operators and corporate clients.

No matter who the client is, Atwea’s aim is to enhances people’s lives by delivering quality learning, accessible to all.

Atwea is accredited by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) as a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) and provides VET Student Loans eligible courses for full qualifications at Diploma level and above. Atwea is also a registered charity with the Australian Government’s Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission (ACNC).

A Board of Directors is elected annually. Full Board meetings are held every second month with the executive meeting in alternate months. The Board’s primary functions are to make policy decisions and oversee the direction and operation of the company. The Board appoints an Executive Director who is responsible for the efficient and effective running of the organisation and translating the Strategic Plan into operational activities

Why our logo is a Waterlily.

The Waterlily is the symbol for Atwea College – it can be seen in our logo.

A Waterlily is a very unique flower, not like any other typical flower. It is strong, and beautiful in its simple geometric design; but not only that a Waterlily has some pretty interesting quirks.

A Waterlily will grow to accommodate whatever size vessel it is planted in. Place it in a small pot and they will grow to a small size. Place a Waterlily in a large pot and they will keep on growing until they’ve reached their full potential.

To this end, the Waterlily is representative of our students, and the pot is the size of the opportunity provided to them by their learning experiences. If the course or engagement opens them up to greater potential, if the soil that their roots are in is quality, much like the course they enrol in, then the Waterlily has the potential to grow large and strong.

But there is still something missing. Without water, a Waterlily doesn’t have the strength to grow towards the sunlight on its own. Atwea and the community of support we give our students is much like the water that holds up a Waterlily. We are there to assist and support the learner reach their potential. We surround and nurture the learner to grow and develop ever upward with strength.

It is fitting that the learner is on our logo in the form of a Waterlily. It reminds us that if we are not there the learner may falter, but without the learner we are not supporting anything of value.

Unlocking potential – A new name for a new start

WEA Hunter has a new name.

Atwea College was launched on 5 April 2019 and unifies the organisation’s seven campuses, almost 100 staff, thousands of students and hundreds of courses and programs across the Hunter and Mid North Coast.

Executive Director, Rowan Cox said the name was created to respect the organisation’s education legacy while setting a strong direction for the future.

Atwea College is a new name for a new era. As part of this, we have adopted the tagline of ‘unlocking potential’ which our immediate past Chairman, Martin Coates coined when he first heard the new name.

Atwea has an amazing history and deep community connection. You can’t go anywhere without someone commenting that their ‘Mum, Dad, Uncle or Aunt went to WEA,’ to learn a language or do a fun lifestyle course. This connection with all parts of the community is such an important and fundamental part of what we do.

In 2019, Atwea is the fifth largest provider of community based education in NSW, offering senior secondary and vocational education to thousands of people annually across more than 6,000 square kilometres. To express our ongoing development, we needed a new name to unlock our potential.

This has been a bold move by an organisation that has been around since the turn of the last century and is a commendation to the work and support of the Board who understood and supported the opportunity for organisation to continue to grow.

All services and educational products previously provided under WEA Hunter and WEA Coast will now be offered under Atwea College. The exception will be the high school education delivered through Alesco Senior College, which will maintain its name and brand as part of the Atwea College group.

The distinctive red lily, adopted by WEA Hunter a few years ago, has been retained as the organisation’s emblem graphic of Atwea College. The organisation will also retain its legal entity name of WEA Hunter (Workers Educational Association – Hunter) but uses Atwea College for promotional and communication activities.

The values of Atwea College are integrity, innovation and inclusion and this is demonstrated by its ability to create connections and to collaborate with people from all walks of life with the aim of helping them unlock their full potential.

Executive Director, Rowan Cox

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