Friday, 6 September 2013

TAFE Community Alliance Launch

Media and community groups are invited to attend the launch of the TAFE Community Alliance on:
Friday 22 February 2013
10.30 am start
Western Sydney Community Forum Level 4, 146 Marsden Street Parramatta
Government funding cuts to TAFE! Loss of some 800 professional teachers! Moves to a competitive training market, student vouchers and no guarantee of a quality TAFE qualification! Increases in student fees and charges! And the list goes on....

The TAFE Community Alliance is being formally launched in the heart of western Sydney on Friday, but already hundreds of concerned citizens have signed up to the Alliance. They call on both state and Federal governments and all political parties to ensure that TAFE continues to be supported in NSW, and that we do not face the loss of courses and campuses like our colleagues in Victoria.

Speakers at the launch represent a wide range of concerned groups:

  • Maree O’Halloran – National Welfare Rights Network
  • Jozefa Sobski – former Institute Director TAFE NSW
  • Carmel Tebbutt – Shadow Minister for Education and Training
  • John Kaye – NSW Greens MP and spokesperson for Education
  • Mary Waterford – Western Sydney Community Forum
  • TAFE students  

Quotes from our speakers:
"For the first time in a century, NSW is staring at a future without a public provider of vocational education and training. Budget cuts, attacks on the conditions for teachers and students and increasingly aggressive competition for funds and students are taking TAFE to the brink of collapse. This will have appalling consequences for the future of the state. Today's meeting is the first step in building community awareness of what is at stake if the O'Farrell government continues with its attacks on TAFE."

TAFE is described as the backbone of the training system in the publicity on Smart and Skilled. Why are governments intent on breaking this back with increasing commercialization and competition and decreasing funding? There is pressure to cheapen its courses while making it dearer to study them. The downgrading of teaching qualifications is eroding the quality of its teachers. The standard
of its facilities is at risk. The community, commerce, business and industry need a widely distributed, effective, accessible and affordable TAFE system, there for the most vulnerable as well as the most well-heeled.

TAFE is well known as the major provider of 'second chance' education opportunities for those who may not have enjoyed successful educational experiences previously. It is the biggest provider of affordable, accessible training in key skills for our communities, especially for people on income support or low incomes and poor transport options. Many communities across Greater Western Sydney will be adversely impacted upon by cuts to TAFE.

The TAFE Community Alliance is an advocacy and strategy group. It recognises and cares about TAFE’s role in not just educating individuals, but also in the building of the social, cultural and economic capacity of communities across NSW. TAFE accommodates the needs of people who have disabilities, Aboriginal students and those from non-English speaking backgrounds. The Alliance knows that TAFE is too important to lose, and will campaign to stop its demise.

Speakers will be available for comment on the day.  Go to for
further information.

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