National TAFE Day
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 127 No 7, 30 September 2022, page no. 6
Every year for most of the past decade, the QTU and the other branches/associated bodies of the Australian Education Union have celebrated National TAFE Day as a part of the ongoing campaign to support public vocational education.
This year, the celebration was held on 6 September, only a couple of days after the national Jobs and Skills Summit.
From Cairns to Emerald to Canberra, staff and students gathered in agreement that TAFE does deserve to be celebrated.
Representatives of the QTU travelled to Canberra to meet with the newly appointed Minister, Brendan O’Connor, to thank the government for its commitment to TAFE and public vocational education.
The combined delegates from the various branches/associated bodies of the AEU joined MPs, Senators, and advisors in the Government Party Room to share stories of the power and success of a public TAFE education.
Joining representatives of the AMWU later in the evening, TAFE Council representatives Scott Green, Eloise Gallagher and Jenny Trevino were not only able to thank the federal government for the additional funding slated for TAFE, but had the opportunity to share the concerns of TAFE Division members over the fragility of the system following a decade of neglect by the previous federal government.
Minister O’Connor stated publicly the necessity to return TAFE to the heart of the national system, and members of the Greens also attended in a demonstration of their support.
In a speech introducing the Minister, AEU Federal President Correna Haythorpe looked to what a future with guaranteed funding would bring.
“TAFE educates Australians from all walks of life, including students from disadvantaged backgrounds and learners with disability.
“With a stable and secure investment stream, TAFE can address skills shortages in the Australian labour market and create a robust pipeline of trained workers backed by high quality skills education.
“The AEU is lobbying federal MPs and Senators and calling for a guaranteed minimum of 70 per cent of total government VET funding for TAFE in the October budget.”