This page lists some learning resources for beginners (and more experienced paddlers).
The River Canoe Club paddler competencies document
An excellent and extensive guide to kayaking and canoeing produced by Australian Canoeing
All about the Australian Canoeing award scheme for skills, guide and instructor level accreditation.
An explanation of the Sea and Open Water grade system devised by Paddle NSW
An explanation of the International System of River Grading
Some excellent videos showing basic strokes courtesy of Canoe Tasmania
An article about safety by Jeff West, originally posted on the Jackson Kayak web site