28 FEBRUARY   2008






On 8th February 2008, Julia Gillard, Minister for Education announced the appointment of Mr. Tony Mackay as Deputy Chair of the Rudd Government's new National Curriculum Board. The Tony Mackay appointment followed the recent announcement of Professor Barry McGaw as the chair of the Board. ( See Press Release 239 at )

What Julia Gillard Didn't Tell You

DOGS issued a Press Release Number 155 ( at ) which linked Tony Mackay with certain school persons and organisations. These connections are worth repeating as an illustration of the approach of the Rudd Government to their overall education strategy and appointments.

Tony Mackay's Connection with Private Schools

DOGS are unaware of any connection between Tony Mackay and the promotion of public education. They have no evidence of his having any connection with public education in Australia. On the contrary. He has been  the Executive Director of the Incorporated Association of Registered Teachers in Victoria ( IARTV) and Director of the Centre for Strategic Educational Thinking ( CSET)  set up as a new division of IARTV in the year 2000. He is the current executive director of the CSE ( the Centre for Strategic Education which was officially launched in 2006 in co-operation with the constituent bodies which are:

  • The Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia

  • The Victorian Independent Education Union ( Private School Teachers Union)

The CSE, amongst other roles, facilitates the involvement of the independent school profession on educational bodies and committees and undertakes to liaise with other organisations and governments. The  CSE also works in co-operation with the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Victoria (AHISAV) and the Victorian Independent Education Union (VIEU) . The CSE also works in co-operation with the Association of Independent Schools of Victoria (AISV) and the National Council of Independent Schools Association (NCISA).

An  earlier body that Tony Mackay was connected with,  the Incoporated Association of Registered Teachers of Victoria, the IARTV published seminar series and papers which enmeshes some of the above organisations with others connected with government school teacher unions.  We note the names of Bill Hannan, Gerry Tickell, Vic Zbar. We also note that Mackay was a Board member of the University of Melbourne Faculty of Education and a governing board member of two prep to year 10 church schools.

Education Foundation Organisation

The Education Foundation is one of the key organisations in recent years that has been spearheading an attack on the concept of public education and thus the public school system that we have known and fought for since our colonial days. Tony Mackay is listed as a key operative and patron of the Education Foundation. We note that Mackay is listed in various documents produced by the Education Foundation. Tony is not an inactive, uninterested bystander. A key Education Foundation document launched on the 29 April 2005 entitled, Equity, Excellence and Effectiveness; Moving Forward in the Schooling Arrangements in Australia the following comment is made in the Acknowledgements:

The Education Foundation thanks all those involved in the seminars, meetings and briefings which helped shape the final paper. The Foundation wishes to thank the following people and organisations and people in particular for their on-going support over the last eighteen months.

  • Case for Change Working Party

  • Tony Mackay, Director for Centre for Strategic Educational Thinking

  • Graham Marshall, Senior Fellow Centre for Applied Educational Research, Faculty of Education, University of Melbourne

  • Jack Keating, Deputy Director, Centre for Post Compulsory Education and Lifelong Learning, Faculty of Education, University of Melbourne.

  • Centre for Strategic Educational Thinking, Melbourne

  • Catholic Education Office in the Archdiocese of Melbourne

  • Goldman Sachs, J.B. Were

  • The Boston Consulting Group

  • Business Council of Australia

  • Merrill Lynch

In July 2006, Tony Mackay was the symposium facilitator of an Education Foundation event : The New Arrangements to Close the Gap Symposium.  This symposium  held at the Boston Consulting Group in Melbourne for 30 invited participants. Not surprisingly, the symposium involved aspects of the integration of the public with the private sector in education.

Tony Mackay and DEMOS 

Tony Mackay has been and still is ( 21.02.2008) listed as an Associate of DEMOS. Tom Bentley whom we have dealt with in an earlier Press Release,  was director of the London based Demos from 1999-2006. Prior to that he was a special adviser to David Blunkett MP, then Secretary of State for Education and Employment in the UK where he worked on issues, including 'social inclusion'. He was closely associated with Tony Blair at the time of his election in 1997. This organisation, with the involvement of Tom Bentley, was the group that advised the Education Foundation in their advocacy of public/private integration in Australia.  Of interest is the fact that a past DEMOS key operative, Tom Bentley, is now in Australia assisting the Australian and Victorian ALP governments. He is on a six months leave from the Victorian Government to advise Julia Gillard on 'social inclusion'.

Is Tony Mackay a Strong Supporter of Public Education? - NO!

If Tony Mackay was a strong supporter of public education he would not involved in any way with the integration of the public with the private sector.

The only socially inclusive system IS the genuinely public school system which is available to all children regardless of the class, colour, creed, ability of pay or geographic locality.

The private system has never been interested in ALL of the children, and its major rationale is the social exclusion of children at the schoolyard gate - on the basis of class, colour, creed or ability to pay.






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Last modified:Thursday, 28 February 2008