28 April 2009





Victorian Government a Disgrace

The Victorian Government is willing to celebrate International Education Week 2009, from March 1 to March 7, 2009, but never a Public Education, or even a State Education Week!

The Victorian Government appears to have a mental blackout when it comes to the celebration of National Public Education or even a Public Education Day or Week dedicated to the public system of this State.

For this reason, supporters of public education should reject the  Victorian government's proposal of a mere Education Week which they declare will be celebrated by kindergartens and Victorian Government Schools from 17 May to 23 May 2009. Their proposed miserable event can be viewed on the web page of the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.

 The Victorian government and their political appointments in the bureaucracy cannot even present parents and teachers with a Public Education Week, let alone a State Education Week. Year after year they have left the words 'Public" and "State" out of the equation. This mealy-mouthed promotion has resulted in the latching on to  the Education Week by the private sector. Yet the  Catholic Church school faction is prepared to not only spruik their sectarian wares during their own Catholic Education Week. They get a second bite of the cherry during another Education Week promoted by the Minister responsible for public schools.

 A reading of the Education "Free Events" reveals that of over 50 listed free events, only four are related to historical themes, but not one of these relates to the history of public education in Victoria.

This is not surprising given the performance of Victorian Labor Governments. After being out of office for more than twenty five years one of the first cuts to public education made by the Cain government in the 1980s was the elimination of the History Section of the Victorian Education Department.

Compare the miserable Victorian Labor Government's performance with that of other States  and territories

 Australian Capital Territory

The Australian Capital Territory Department of Education and Training has declared a Public Education Week from 17 to 23 May 2009. The Australian Education Union in the ACT has declared, under the banner Public Education Works a National Public Education Week from 18-22 May 2009. All public schools are requested to display the banner or poster containing the words Public Education Works  in a prominent place. Imagine this occurring in Victorian Public Schools when the Minister and members of her bureaucracy have forgotten the existence or meaning of the word 'public' in public education.


In Queensland. the Education Department under the newly re-elected Labor Government are promoting a State Education Week from 1-6 June 2009, These dates coincide with Queensland Day, a day in which Queenslanders are asked to celebrate their 150th anniversary. They declare that:

State Education week 2009 is an opportunity for all Queenslanders to celebrate the history of education in Queensland and recognise the amazing talent and achievements of students and teachers in State schools. The Labor Government also suggests as one of the ideas for an event, the exploration of the history of individual State schools. 


 New South Wales

The Government  of New South Wales plans to have an Education Week from 24  to 31 May 2009 with the theme: New South Wales Public Schools Leading the Way.  A week before Public Education Week, on May 21 2009, the government has also advertised the National Public Education Day.

The New South Wales Teachers' Federation have also declared that Public Education Day will be celebrated nationally on 21 May 2009. They note that:

'This day provides an opportunity to highlight the wonderful achievements of public education as a cornerstone of Australian society. It also enables us to highlight the Federation's continuing public education campaign.' 

Schools in New South Wales are requested to :

'plan an open day type activity for 21 May and involve members of the broader school community in celebrations of the crucial role of public schools in the provision of a quality education for all. ..and Federation will distribute support materials including leaflets, posters and new corflute signs for display on school fences.'

It is usual to see posters supporting public education on public school fences in New South Wales. To date, DOGS members have not sighted any on the fences of public schools in Victoria.


We have seen that the Victorian Labor Government doesn't even recognise a State or Public  Education Week, let alone a Public Education Day.

But what is the Victorian branch of the AEU planning? According to their website they suggest the following:

Wear Red and celebrate on Public Education Day - May 21.

Wear red and give yourselves and your fellow AEU members a pat on the back for your role in supporting the campaign for public education.

The First National Public Education Day:

 The first National Public Education Day was celebrated on March 15, 2001. The then Australian Education Union federal President, Denis Fitzgerald said that the day would be used to launch a year-long multi-million dollar campaign to celebrate the achievements of public education. He said that:

It will be used to defend public education from political attacks.

'He also said that Australia had the best public education system in the world and it was his intention to keep it that way.

How Can Supporters Create a Public Education Week Worthy of the History, Ideals and Value of Public Education?

Public and Private Purpose

Public Education was established by our Founding Fathers for both a public and private purpose. It was meant to advantage both the common and the individual good.

Any celebration of Public Education should recognise the public as well as the private  purpose of public education.

Without denigrating the good work of the National leadership of the AEU and the NSW, ACT. Queensland and Tasmanian branches of the AEU, DOGS note that their emphasis on Public Education tends to concentrate on the individual benefits of public education. DOGS suggest that more emphasis should be placed on the public purpose and outcomes, or the communal benefit of public education to the Australian taxpayer and citizenry.


DOGS suggest that supporters of public education should create discussion and documents related to the history, ideals, definition and value of public education, understanding both the strengths and weaknesses of the public system and comparing these with those of the private system.


DOGS urge supporters of public education to challenge and promote the communal benefit of public education with:

  •  staff, parents, and community associated with public schools

  • academics and the media

  • persons in leadership positions in the unions, principal and parent/citizens organisations.

  •  educational bureaucrats  placed over public education

  • politicians of all parties.


  • DOGS also urge supporters of public education to encourage all involved in public systems of education to an even greater effort in the promotion of the communal ideals of public education.

  • DOGS salute and thank all those who have stayed true to the cause of public education since its inception.

Areas for Discussion, Thought and Publication

  • DOGS remind supporters of public education of the historic eight-fold definition of public education. ( See www.adogs.info/definition.htm ;  Press Release 255 at www.adogs.info/pr255.htm ; Press Release 264 at www.adogs.info/pr264.htm  and Press Release 272 at www.adogs.info/pr272.htm .

  • Why is the DOGS eight-fold definition of public education crucial for the survival of public education as we now know it?

  • Why does Public Education have an invaluable public purpose? See Press Release 191 at www.adogs.info/pr191.htm.

  • Why is the history of public education in Australia no longer included in teacher training courses?

  • Where are the champions of Public Education of days gone by? Where nowadays can you find a Barton, a Parkes or a Stephen? See Press Release 166 at www.adogs.info/pr166.htm and Press Release 193 at www.adogs.info/pr193.htm.

  • Why do private church schools impose commitment tests and public schools do not?

  • Why should commitment in word and deed be required for those involved with Public Education? See Press Release 259 at www.adogs.info/pr259.htm and Press Release 260 at www.adogs.info/pr260.htm

  • Why are private and public education as different as chalk and cheese? See Press Releases 212 at www.adogs.info/pr212.htm and 245 at www.adogs.info/pr245 .

  • Why is the integrated system of education a disaster for the future of public education?

  • What are the weaknesses of our public education systems such that they appear hobbled in their  fight against the tribal, selfish , self-centred church school faction?

  • Why is the church school faction a cancer in the body politic? See Press Release 193 at www.adogs.info/pr183 .

  • Why and who are currently in leadership positions in the administration of public education?

  • Why have so many people in leadership positions in public education proved so disastrous for public education in this country?

  • Why do people in leadership positions in public education refrain from a public commitment to the public system of education. For example, in the last forty years in Victoria there have been 15 Ministers over public Education and ten bureaucratic heads of the Victoria State Education Department. They have all failed to promote the history of public education. They have all failed to uphold the eight-fold definition of public education. And they have all failed to promote the ideals of public education. 

  • How has it happened that such persons have been put into leadership positions? For example, how did it happen that Susan Ryan was chosen to be the lead speaker at a Sir Henry Parkes commemoration when her support of State Aid to church schools is so well known. Unfortunately when Susan Ryan addressed the Commemoration, she used it to declare her support of State Aid. Sir Henry Parkes would have turned over in his grave.

  • Why is it that the Melbourne media is so much weaker on issues of public education and State Aid to private schools than the Sydney Media. Why is the New South Wales media more willing to deal with issues of State Aid, private schools and public education

  • Give information and warnings to new chums in the Public Education field. See Press Release 192 at www.adogs.info/pr192.

  • If readers want to find out much of what is NOT in the mainstream media, visit our website regularly at www.adogs.info  and listen to our Radio Program on 3CR.


In conclusion, DOGS urge any person committed to the well-being and future of public education to beware of wolves in sheep's clothing. Only those who are committed in word and deed to the eight-fold definition of public education enunciated on this website can be trusted with the future of public education in this country.

The public education systems of this country have been badly served by those with an agenda which places the future of public education well down the list of their priorities: whether these be political, administrative or academic careers; religious affiliation; and family affiliation. etc. etc.




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Last modified:Sunday, 03 May 2009