Marrickville Forum

On April 5 2013 the first TAFE Community Alliance forum was held at Addison Gallery, Addison Road Community Centre in Marrickville for the Inner West area of Sydney. The event was facilitated by Rosanna Barbero.
Speakers were:
  • Vivi Germanos-Koutsounadis - Executive Director of the Ethnic Childcare,
    Family and Community Services Co-Operative and People of Australia Ambassador
  • Carmel Tebbutt - Local State Member for Marrickville
  • John Kaye - NSW Greens education spokesperson
  • Vivi Martin - Community worker
  • Nicole Ryan and Elena Julca - Students 
Around 75 community workers and members from around the inner west and southern Sydney participated in the forum. The state government’s funding cuts and new funding model that affect TAFE provision in NSW were discussed along with what our communities stand to lose and how we can maintain TAFE as the major public Vocational Education and Training (VET) provider.

Below is the resolution that was passed unanimously at the end of the forum:
We the TAFE Community Alliance are appalled by the O'Farrell governments destruction of NSW TAFE and we call for full restoration of TAFE funding and the abandonment of 'Smart and Skilled' and plans to replace teachers with lower paid less qualified tutors and assessors in the proposed Enterprise Agreement.
The students who spoke also work in community organisations Metro MRC, Catholic Care and with Multi-Mix Mob. Their learning journeys began in TAFE Outreach programs which included creating Commuinty Events and coordinating the White Ribbon Festival in Marrickvlle for the past two years.

Nicole is currently doing Diploma Community Services and working part time in child care. Many of the Multi-Mix Mob participants have completed TAFE Outreach community classes and have pathwayed to Certificate III, IV and Dipolma courses and some have gone on to university. Many would not have started studying without support of TAFE. 

Speakers points
Carmel Tebbutt 
NSW MP for Marrickville
  • Concerted attack on TAFE from many angles - fee increases, staff cuts, state and national reforms
  • Risk to TAFE's capacity to look after disengaged
  • Year 10 equivalent program at Randwick was pulled 2 days before due to start due to funding cuts
  • Need to protest - prepare to fight
  • Hold politicians accountable to their pledge to TAFE
  • The TAFE budget is going backwards for the first time

John Kaye 
Greens spokesman for education NSW
  • If you don't fight you lose
  • TAFE has created wealth and justice
  • The magnitude of the disaster facing TAFE is unprecedented
  • There is a ‘trifecta of evil’ - funding cuts, Smart and Skilled, impact on TAFE staff
  • Qualification shopping will lead to dodgy qualifications
  • Profit has no place in education
  • Education is a public service
  • Will be left with a brand name with no substance like Victoria
  • The neoliberal agenda says ‘it’s better done in the private sector’
  • Bankrupting TAFE. If we hand this over to the private sector there is a self-fulfilling prophecy –  fee increases – fewer students – sell assets
  • The tragedy of losing the intellectual capital of TAFE teachers is equal or greater than the tragedy of losing buildings/assets
  • Government is fixated on the AAA rating - we have to pay for it - the same people who created the GFC
  • Time to name and shame - mining companies who aren't paying their way 
  • Need to address the infatuation with neoliberalism - this country was built on the public sector 

Community partner 
  • Connect Marrickville works with disconnected families - community partnerships
  • TAFE Outreach programs run in the school - community hub inside the school
  • TAFE Outreach programs work because they’re flexible, onsite, provide students with the confidence to higher level pathways

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