TAFE Directors Australia

Supporting our member institutes since 1998

Newsletter: 23 November 2009

National Regulator signed off by Education and Training Ministers

At the meeting of the Ministerial Council for Tertiary Education and Employment (MCTEE), in Canberra last week, Ministers agreed to the establishment of a national regulator, replacing historic arrangements for states and territories to manage training regulation.

The Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Julia Gillard MP, described the agreement as a “landmark” decision. A communiqué issued after the meeting provided some details on the plan, with most states and territories proceeding to assign powers to the Commonwealth for the national regulator.

The decision follows public concern over the number of private college closures in recent months, and concerns by international students at the quality of courses and colleges, especially focused on private college approvals.

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Federal Treasurer delivers 2009 Mick Young Oration

The Treasurer, the Hon Wayne Swan MP, advocated his vision that education opportunities should reach all Australians when delivering the third Mick Young Oration in Canberra last week.

The Treasurer outlined his own writings from the book ‘Postcode’, in which he tracked key issues facing those disengaged from work and study. He also praised the success of the Mick Young Scholarship Trust, which encourages many disadvantaged students to complete a TAFE course. View the Treasurer’s address here.

The NSW Community Services Minister, and Minister for Women, the Hon Linda Burney MP, also addressed the audience, and introduced the new Chair of the Mick Young Scholarship Trust (MYST), Ray Wilson.

TAFE Directors were joined in Parliament House by industry representatives, Members of Parliament, parliamentary officials, members of the Mick Young Scholarship Trust. See a photo gallery here.

Attendants also heard the inspirational story of former scholarship recipient, Bettye Ford from Kempsey, who thanked the MYST for helping her obtain an education, and the North Sydney Institute of TAFE showed a revealing student video presentation on education barriers.

TDA thanks everyone who attended the evening in support of the Mick Young Scholarship Trust, and in particular, the Treasurer, Mr Swan for delivering the 2009 Oration.


Federal Treasurer, the Hon Wayne Swan MP


TAFE NSW – Sydney Institute CEO, Pam Christie, Chair of Skills Australia, Philip Bullock, and Associate Director, Education & Training, Australian Industry Group, Megan Lilly.

CEO TDA, Martin Riordan, Federal Treasurer, the Hon Wayne Swan MP, and Janine Young





MYST scholarship recipient, Bettye Ford with the Treasurer, Mr Swan


Staff from Meadowbank College (NSI TAFE) Mark Howe, Claire Buckley and Mike Horan, with the Treasurer and Martin Riordan.


Chair of the Mick Young Scholarship Trust, Ray Wilson

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Swinburne awarded National Large Training Provider, and Northern Sydney Institute of TAFE inaugural Skills for Sustainability Award

Swinburne University of Technology (VIC) has won the National Large Training Provider of the Year Award at the Australian Training Awards. Two other TAFE Institutes – Western Sydney and CIT Canberra – were both awarded runner-up. Congratulations to Swinburne’s Deputy Vice Chancellor (TAFE Division) Linda Brown and her team, for their hard work, and to the other TAFE Institutes nominated for the award.

Northern Sydney Institute of TAFE NSW won the inaugural Skills for Sustainability Award. Congratulations to NSI’s Director and TDA Board Member, Kevin Harris and his team including Audette Benson for their work in green skills.

To view all the winners and finalists click here.

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TAFE represented at National Apprenticeships Roundtable

Kevin Harris, Institute Director Northern Sydney Institute of TAFE NSW, represented TAFE Directors at a roundtable of vocational education and industry experts in Canberra last Friday.

The Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon. Julia Gillard MP, addressed the forum with Ministerial colleagues. TDA will circulate a detailed paper to members, with feedback on proceedings.

Click here for a media release from the Deputy Prime Minister.

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Parliamentary report on school and part-time work

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Education and Training have released a report, Adolescent Overload, on improving support and conditions for school students working part-time.

The report has 13 key recommendations. To view the recommendations click here. Some of the key recommendations include:

  • The establishment of a National Commissioner for Children and Young People
  • The undertaking of research into the impact of part-time employment and extra-curricular activities on student academic performance
  • The establishment of a consistent national definition for what constitutes engagement in part-time senior secondary study and part-time work

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Sustainable skills under the spotlight

Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Julia Gillard MP, participated in a WorldSkills Try A Trade event at Parliament House last week to promote the importance of skills and urge more employers to take on an apprentice or trainee.

The theme of the day was sustainable skills. Ms Gillard was joined at the event by Minister for Climate Change, Senator, the Hon Penny Wong MP, along with the Minister Assisting the Minister for Climate Change, the Hon Greg Combet MP, Minister for Employment Participation, the Hon Mark Arbib MP, and Parliamentary Secretary for Employment, the Hon Jason Clare MP. To view a transcript of the press conference held at the event click here.

An article from The Australian outlined some of industry’s concerns regarding the implementation of sustainable skills into Training Packages from 2010. Click here to view the article.

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New resource industry skills taskforce

The new National Resource Sector Employment Taskforce met in Canberra recently to set a framework that will support the large number of skilled workers needed in the resource sector over the next decade.

The Taskforce is chaired by Parliamentary Secretary for Western and Northern Australia, the Hon Gary Gray MP, and will report to Minister for Resources and Energy, the Hon Martin Ferguson MP and Minister for Employment Participation, the Hon Mark Arbib MP.

One of the first projects will be to consider the skills needs for the Gorgon LNG Project in Western Australia. For more information click here.

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Tougher rules for private training in Victoria

The Victorian Government has announced new rules to increase the quality of education providers in the state (view a media release here). The new guidelines will focus on six areas including:

  • Financial and management capacity
  • Governance and reporting
  • Quality assurance and continuous improvement
  • Consumer protection
  • Student welfare
  • Educational resources and facilities

The announcement comes ahead of another private college collapse. Maewill English College in Sydney has announced its closure, leaving 15 teachers and 172 students without jobs and training places.

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Diary Dates

3rd National Conference for Enabling Education


25-27 November 2009


Toowoomba Queensland


Click here for more information



26-27 November 2009


Rydges Melbourne


Click here for more information



25-26 February 2010


Hilton on the Park, Melbourne


Click here for more information

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