Standing up for Canberra

Higher education


Higher Education Support Amendment: VET FEE-HELP

I want to commend the Member for Bass on that speech. I want to commend him for the fact he actually underscored the fact that TAFE is there for various parts of your career.

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Changes to Student HELP Debt

What is it with conservative governments, education and access to opportunity and education for all—no matter what your postcode, no matter what your gender, no matter how much your parents earn, no matter what your race and no matter what your religion is?

What is it with conservative governments?


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Gough Whitlam's Higher Education Legacy

I do not believe I would be standing in this chamber today making this speech about higher education had it not been for the changes that Gough Whitlam introduced in the seventies to allow access for people like me —people from disadvantaged backgrounds—access to education. As a result of the changes Gough Whitlam introduced, he allowed me and my sisters to escape a cycle of disadvantage—three generations of poverty, three generations of single mums, three generations of women going out to clean in multiple jobs just to keep a roof over their kids heads, just to keep food on the table. 

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Australian National Internship Program

I will take the member for Hasluck up on that offer. For the last 11 weeks, I have been lucky enough to host Darian Clark in my office as part of the Australian National Internship Program. Darian is studying a Masters of Globalisation at the ANU and throughout his placement has been writing a paper assessing the potential for a workable international agreement to regulate the use of cyberweapons.

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Higher Education and Research Reform Amendment Bill 2014

I want to start today by telling a story about two young Australians. One was a bright young man who wanted to become a doctor. Unfortunately, his parents were not wealthy and they could not afford for him to go to university. He left school at the age of 15 and became an apprentice electrician. 

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Higher Education cuts affect everyone

Today we resumed the debate on the government's higher education policies. I congratulate the Leader of the Opposition on his powerful speech in the second reading debate. Those opposite do not seem to understand that their higher education policies affect all Australians. 

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Higher Education cuts

Today, the Minister for Education introduced legislation that will make the dream of a higher education unaffordable for thousands of Australians. Under the Abbott government, university fees will increase, the Commonwealth contribution to the cost of degrees will decrease, students will pay a higher interest rate on their HECS debt and students will have to start paying that debt back sooner. These policies are bad for lowand middle-income earners, they are bad for women and carers, and they will deter people from entering higher education.

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Budget pain continues for Canberrans

It has now been more than three weeks since the Abbott government handed down its budget of broken promises, but, in that time, the shock and outrage in the community has not subsided one bit. In fact, as people have become fully aware of the extent of the damage caused by this budget, outrage has grown.

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Student Identifiers Bill 2014

Members will be aware of my passion for education. In my first speech in parliament I spoke about how I was living proof of the transformative powers of education, and this is a sentiment I have repeated again and again. Through education my sisters and I escaped the cycle of disadvantage, and there are thousands more like me.

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Canberrans united against proposed changes to higher education

This weekend I held a mobile office in Calwell in the south of my electorate, and constituents spoke to me about the very many concerns they have following the Abbott government's budget of broken promises: the increased fuel tax, the GP copayment and the thousands of public service job cuts, to name a few.

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