Standing up for Canberra



Norfolk Island's rebate battle

Last week, on my second visit to Norfolk Island, my final for this year, I met with the Banyan Park Playcentre management committee to discuss the challenges they are facing on the road to a regulated facility, accredited educators and also, most importantly, child-care rebates. 

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The Transformative Powers of a Quality Public Education

My sisters and I are living proof of the transformative powers of a quality public education and the transformative powers of a tertiary education. Like so many Australians, and so many in this chamber, I am the first in my family to go to university. It was thanks to the changes that the Whitlam government introduced in the seventies that I was allowed that transformative opportunity. 

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Cuts will devastate Canberra universities

Just prior to question time I had the opportunity to go to my alma mater, the Australian National University. I was there to take part in the national day of protest that is taking place in every campus right across Australia to protest the attacks that this government has made on the higher education sector.

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Cuts to education will hurt Canberra schools

There are a lot of facts around school funding that are flying around at the moment.

Today, I want to use the opportunity of my 90-second statement to actually deliver the facts. The fact: under Labor's school funding plan, 80 per cent of the extra money went to public schools. That is because public schools teach the vast majority of Australia's poorest kids, Indigenous kids and kids with a disability.


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National Day of Action on Fair Funding for Schools

Today is the National Day of Action on fair funding for schools. As part of that campaign, I want to share extracts from a letter I was copied into last Friday from the ACT's Barnardos Mother of the Year, Selina Walker. The letter was sent to the Minister for Education and Training, Minister Birmingham. She writes:



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Vocational Education and Training

Today I had the great pleasure of joining the Leader of the Opposition at the ACTION Tuggeranong bus depot to discuss Labor's plans for apprentices and building the trade skills of the future. It was the second time that the opposition leader and I had been to the depot. The first was in 2015 with my dear friend and colleague the former shadow minister for vocational education, the member for Cunningham. Back then we discussed how Labor's trade training centres were providing a pathway to apprenticeships.

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Wanniassa Preschool

Yesterday afternoon, I had the great pleasure of attending the Wanniassa Preschool Family Fun Day, another 40th birthday celebration. The Valley is turning 40! The preschool is part of the Wanniassa school network that essentially runs from P right through to 10—the junior school and the preschool, as well as the senior school. I want to take this opportunity to congratulate and thank the P&C. It is a small P & C—four fabulous women—so it is a quality not quantity P & C. But they put on a great day

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Higher Education Speech

This week is Orientation Week at Canberra's universities and this morning I joined the deputy opposition leader, the member for Kingston and Senator Carr in paying a visit to the ANU. It is Market Day at the ANU today, so the place was absolutely packed, with thousands of new and returning students excitedly signing up to various clubs and societies that will enhance their university experience.

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Science Speech 2016

In 2010 the Prime Minister said "All of us are here accountable not just to our constituents but to the generations that will come after them and after us." In 2011 the Prime Minister said "We cannot afford to allow the science to become a partisan issue as it is in the United States." In 2015 the Prime Minister said "It is really important for leaders, for prime ministers, for ministers, for people in the media to talk about the importance of change, to talk about the importance of science, to talk about the importance of technology." And just two months ago the Prime Minister launched his innovation statement at the CSIRO.

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University of the Third Age

It is a great pleasure to rise today to speak about the University of the Third Age, Canberra, a fantastic organisation that provides lifelong learning opportunities for its members, who are in their third age. U3A Canberra has more than 4,000 members and offers more than 200 long and short courses across a broad range of topics.

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