It was a honour to be asked to give the Occasional Address at this year's La Trobe University Graduation in Shepparton.
I believe education is key to opportunity and freedom for our young people and it was a pleasure to share my thoughts on the privilege and responsibilities of further education and the many wonderful highlights of our strong and vibrant region.
Congratulations to the Class of 2017!Read more
There are so many people working hard to progress the Shepparton Education Plan - from educators, to students and parents, to community members and industry experts - and it was so good to get the "What We Heard" report on Friday from the first round of consultations with the community.
One of the really encouraging things about the community feedback was that it aligned so well with the work that the the local Strategic Advisory Committee had also been undertaking.Read more
When I campaigned for election to the Victorian Parliament in 2014, one of my key platforms was education.
We know our local schools are working tirelessly to provide our children with the best possible start to life.
However, we also know enrollments at three of our four public secondary schools have been declining significantly and continue to do so, that our educational outcomes are consistently below the state average and that financial investment has been lacking.
In April this year, the State Government committed $1 million to a community consultation process that will help develop a 10-year plan to transform the education system across Shepparton and Mooroopna.Read more
We’re beginning to make some headway with the development of a 10-year Education Plan to transform how we approach school-based learning in the district.
The Shepparton Education Plan will cater for children from the age of 0 to 18.
Community consultation has been taking place during the past month across a range of mediums including online. A public forum was also held in Shepparton last night.
Thank you to all those who have contributed – your ideas and feedback will help carry us forward in our endeavour to improve education outcomes for our children and young people.Read more
The Shepparton Education Plan Community Advisory Group has met for the first time this week.
This group has the task of devising an Education Plan starting with the four secondary schools in Shepparton and Mooroopna.
A $1mill funding announcement was made as a pre-budget commitment in the 2017/18 Victorian State Budget by the Minister for Education to enable the planning phase to proceed this year. This is an exciting step in improving education outcomes for our children.
We cannot sit back and hope for better – now is our chance for real change and when the community consultation commences in the very near future I ask you to contribute to this important task by sharing your own knowledge and experience.Read more
Well it has been a bit of a rollercoaster over the last few days with a rail announcement that seemed to leave Shepparton high and dry and then we discover in the Victorian State Budget on Tuesday that we have a commitment of $43.5 million. These funds are coming straight from the State, and, unlike the other regional rail announcements, will not be dependent on the federal government paying the money it owes to the state through the asset recycling scheme. The funding for Shepparton is therefore secure and will mean the government can commence works without the uncertainty about federal money being paid before works can start.Read more
This week’s million dollar pre-budget announcement for a Shepparton Education Plan is an exciting opportunity to investigate the best possible options for schooling in the Shepparton District.
The ten year plan will be rolled out over three stages, with the first stage to look at revitalising our secondary schools.
From mid-2018 there will be an action plan for our primary schools, followed by a focus on early childhood education in 2020.
I am pleased the Education Minister has listened to the concerns of the community, regarding these issues within our state system in the Shepparton District.
We will now work to bring together an advisory committee, with a formal plan expected to be put before the Government by the end of the year.Read more
I am pleased Education Minister James Merlino has agreed to visit Shepparton next month.
It is important we move with enthusiasm to change the education outcomes for our children. Three of our secondary colleges have had significant falls in enrolments in recent years. There are many factors which are affecting this and it is a well-known fact that students in regional areas, of indigenous background, and from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds can have poorer educational outcomes.
This issue goes beyond funding for school facilities and we need government support and intervention to help us make the changes we need.Read more
I made two important speeches regarding education in the Shepparton District in Parliament this month.
Adjournment – Wednesday, March 8. Education
My adjournment is for the Minister for Education, and the action I seek is that the Minister visit Shepparton to meet with concerned community representatives who seek government assistance in finding solutions for the current situation in our four senior secondary colleges in Shepparton and Mooroopna.
Looking at the NAPLAN results just released of the four state secondary colleges in Shepparton and Mooroopna alone, each of these schools are performing substantially below the national average in both reading and numeracy.
This is not what we want for our children.Read more
Last week, I visited five primary schools in the Shepparton District. It is so heartening to see the excellent work that our teachers do, often in circumstances where their buildings and grounds are less than satisfactory.
I have discovered that historically, schools in this electorate have been significantly underfunded for infrastructure spending.
I have called on the Government to investigate funding to replace many of the old and ageing buildings at our schools that are no longer fit for purpose.Read more