Category Archives: Education

DAVID CHARLES. Venture Capital and Start Ups – Is Berlin an example for Australian capital cities?

  During a visit to Berlin in mid September this year I was struck by the way the venture capital and start up scene in Berlin had shifted from being something of an exotic hothouse flower to one of the … Continue reading

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CHRIS BONNOR. School funding ‘overs’ and ‘unders’

  Last week was one to remember: one school funding revelation after another. It began the previous Friday at the Education Minister’s COAG gathering in Adelaide. One big problem, as Bernie Shepherd and I pointed out, was that the gathering … Continue reading

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JOHN FITZGERALD. Beijing’s Guoqing versus Australia’s way of life.

Beijing’s role in the Chinese community media in Australia is increasingly in conflict with its own demand for respect. Beijing is tired of foreign analysts criticising China simply for being what it is. A former Chinese ambassador to Australia, Fu … Continue reading

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CHRIS BONNOR. Institutionalised farce: funding Australia’s schools.

  The nation’s education ministers have just had a day together to sort out school funding. There was considerable posturing but little agreement. And they managed to sidestep real problems and urgent solutions. They do have some awareness of the … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. ‘Aunty, with our prospects in life – what is the point of being healthy?’

  The ABC Boyer Lecture series this year is being delivered by Sir Michael Marmot, the World Medical Association President and Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London .The main thrust of his lecture series has been … Continue reading

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CHRIS BONNOR. Reports on schools: lift the bonnet … and ration the petrol.

  A couple of reports out on schools this week are urging policy shifts, but in different directions. The latest offering from the money-doesn’t-matter brigade comes from the Productivity Commission in its draft report Lifting the bonnet on Australia’s schools. … Continue reading

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LINDA SIMON. CEDA joins call for urgent VET Review

  The Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) has released a report into aspects of vocational education and training (VET) in Australia. The report is entitled ‘VET: securing skills for growth’ and makes a number of recommendations including the … Continue reading

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CHRIS BONNOR & BERNIE SHEPHERD. NSW public schools are bursting at the seams – but which ones and why?

  A news report in The SMH August 29th revealed that more than 800 public schools in NSW are operating at 100% of capacity or more. Apparently 180 of these are stretched beyond their limits. The report listed a large … Continue reading

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CHRIS BONNOR & BERNIE SHEPHERD. When public schools become part of the problem

  School education in Australia has been invaded from the west. In 2010 Western Australia added its contribution to free-market orthodoxy by declaring that its public schools would be given greater control over staffing and budgets. From 2010 an increasing … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. ‘Pale, male and stale’.

We are often told that we have a very egalitarian society and that social class hardly exists. It just isn’t true. A recent report on ‘Australia’s Diaspora Advantage: Realising the potential for building transnational business networks with Asia’  reveals that … Continue reading

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LINDA SIMON. Australian VET in crisis! Are there lessons to be learned from the UK?

  For some the crisis in vocational education and training (VET) and the fate of TAFE was a critical issue in the recent Australian Federal elections. For others it hardly made the radar. Unfortunately a number of those others included … Continue reading

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CHRIS BONNOR & BERNIE SHEPHERD. It’s NAPLAN time again!

  August is when the NAPLAN test results come out to schools and parents. It isn’t as exciting as the annual release of Year 12 results, but it is developing a life of its own. We are bombarded with media … Continue reading

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DEAN ASHENDEN. State aide, the ALP and the ‘needs policy’.

When Labor decided to support public funding of non-government schools fifty years ago, it created a legacy that is still misunderstood.

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LINDA SIMON. The national scandal in Vocational Education and Training (VET).

Redesigning VET FEE-HELP In late April the Federal Government released a discussion paper entitled ‘Redesigning VET FEE-HELP’. It had become apparent that continuing legislative changes put through the Federal Parliament were not enough to prevent the behaviour of some private … Continue reading

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LYNDSAY CONNORS. The schools funding question that Turnbull needs to answer

  ‘The quality of a student’s education should not be limited by where the student lives, the income of his or her family, the school he or she attends or his or her personal circumstances’. This is the statement of … Continue reading

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LINDA SIMON. Do the Parties really care about vocational education and training (VET) these elections?

  National TAFE Day was celebrated on June 16 this year, a little over two weeks before the Federal elections. Both Labor and the Greens took the opportunity to restate their support for TAFE and launch further policies. However the … Continue reading

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FAZAL RIZVI. Migration Ain’t What It Used to Be

That Asian-Australians are making a substantial contribution to the Australian economy is a fact that can no longer be contested. This contribution is of enormous significance, especially as Australia seeks to become integrated into the regional economy. The issues of … Continue reading

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WARWICK ELSCHE. Shorten should play to Labor’s strength.

  For more than 60 years, since opinion polling became important in shaping election strategies, there has been for the Australian Labor Party one awkward but stubborn consistency. Rightly or wrongly the Australian Electorate, with very isolated and brief exceptions, … Continue reading

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CHRIS BONNOR and BERNIE SHEPHERD. Will we really get Gonski?

So the election is in full swing and the word ‘Gonski’ is once more up there in lights. You have to feel a bit sorry for David Gonski. His achievements are indeed stellar but his name has become a proxy … Continue reading

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LINDA SIMON. Is this the vocational education and training system we need?

Hearing or reading about vocational education and training (VET) today, we expect it to be another story of rorts and wrongdoings. And it is an horrific story, a story of for-profit private providers accessing public funding and not delivering the … Continue reading

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DAVID STEPHENS. Honest History’s Alternative Guide to the Australian War Memorial

Questioning the received view: Honest History’s Alternative Guide to the Australian War Memorial Which word should we use to describe what happened on 25 April 1915: ‘landing’ or ‘invasion’? Why do we refer to dead soldiers as ‘the fallen’? Does … Continue reading

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MICHELE KOSASIH. Seven years on and still itching for change on the negative impacts of alcohol.

2016 marks seven years for the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education’s (FARE) Annual Alcohol Poll (conducted by Galaxy Research), and we continue to see Australia’s concern about the negative impacts alcohol has on the community.

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Chris Bonnor. My Gonski is bigger than yours

We should have known it would come to this. For years both Labor and the Coalition have ducked and weaved while the education sector battled to ensure that at least the Gonski funding hope was kept alive. Labor recast Gonski’s … Continue reading

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Michael Keating. The 2016-17 Budget. Part 1 of 2.

The Turnbull Government’s Budget for 2016-17 reflects an essentially ‘steady as she goes’ fiscal strategy. Not that that is a fault – indeed it can be a virtue, especially when matched against the give-aways in other previous pre-election budgets. Furthermore, … Continue reading

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Evan Williams. The seven sacred cows of Australian politics

We are indebted to the Hindu religion for that useful term sacred cow. As every schoolboy knows, Hindus venerate the cow and forbid its slaughter or abuse. Our political landscape abounds in sacred cows – institutions or practices that are … Continue reading

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David Stephens. Invading our smugness: thoughts on a diversity toolkit

Wednesday, 30 March, must have been a slow news day at the Daily Telegraph. It is difficult to find any other reasonable explanation for the fuss the Telegraph made about the ‘diversity toolkit’ it discovered on the website of the … Continue reading

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John Menadue. The fake discussion about state taxes.

Malcolm Turnbull’s ruse is obvious. He wants us to forget all about deficits and debt and the need for budget repair. To avoid these issues, he now tells us that if we want improved health and education services, we cannot … Continue reading

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Chris Bonnor. Malcolm abandons the middle in schooling

Two plus years of conservative government has given oxygen to a number of strange solutions to ill-defined problems. Malcolm Turnbull’s proposal to have the States alone fund government schools, leaving the Commonwealth to look after private schools, is the latest. … Continue reading

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Michael Keating. The Turnbull Proposal for State Income Taxes

Prime Minister Turnbull says his proposal for the States to levy their own income tax ‘is the most fundamental reform to the Federation in generations’. Well maybe. It certainly would be a significant change, but reform? Furthermore, even if this … Continue reading

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Ian McAuley. Labor’s policies.

Amid all the political chatter about tensions between Turnbull and Morrison, a possible early election, and the laundering of donations to the Liberal Party, Labor has released a substantial policy document –Growing together: Labor’s agenda for tackling inequality. With a … Continue reading

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