26 MAY 2009


IN EDUCATION WEEK  May 17-23, 2009




No Mention of the Concept of Public Education by Pike

Bronwyn Pike, the Victorian Minister of Education produced four News Releases and/or Statements  in relation to Education Week, Victoria 2009. They amounted to over 1500 words. Not once did she use the concept of public education nor public schools. With the exception of a throw-away line on the bottom of one of her releases, there was no mention of the communal value of public education. Nor was there any mention of National Public Education Day, namely May 21, 2009.

No Such Thing as Society:

The four epistles of Pike placed emphasis on the individual child and individual school reminds DOGS of the infamous statement of Margaret Thatcher:

"There is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women and then there are families."Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, October 31, 1987.

Julia Gillard Put-Down of Public Education During Education Week 2009:

Key Education Meetings Should be Held in Public, not Private Places

Once more, Julia Gillard has attempted to force public and private schools together. On May 19, 2009 she was  joined by Federal Member for Holt, Anthony Byrne at Don Bosco Catholic Primary School in Narre Warren where she addressed local principals about what the Education Revolution meant to their schools, teachers and students.

The fact that this meeting was held in a private religious school and principals from public schools were forced to attend such a meeting in a private school, is a put down for public education. Such meetings should be held in a public place or a public school not in a private school.

To rub salt in the wounds, her Media Release concentrates on the fact that the Don Bosco Catholic Primary has had $2.5 million approved for the construction of a multi-purpose hall and refurbishment to provide a contemporary library and classrooms and $150,000 through the National School Pride program for the construction of a covered outdoor learning area, a playground and a shade structure.

In other words, during Education Week, Gillard was unable to see beyond the Labor Party's search for the Roman  Catholic vote.

Speech on National Public Education Day May 21, 2009.

Julia Gillard delivered a speech on May 21, 2009, entitled Investing in Education and Innovation to Create the Jobs of the Future.

In this speech she failed

  • to mention it was national public education day (nor has she acknowledged its existence elsewhere)

  • to mention that she was a product of the public education system although she said that   'education made me'.

  • to mention public education under the heading 'School Years'.

The only time Gillard mentioned public schools in her speech was to belittle the approach of Howard. She said:

'Public schools were made into poor cousins'.

Although this statement is correct, it is hypocritical for Julia Gillard to make it. She is keeping intact and promoting the Howard funding formula until well after the next federal election. In capital funding Gillard is giving to the rich and poor alike, keeping up the poor cousin relation. She is making the large, wealthy private schools wealthier and throwing a few crumbs to small, struggling little State schools.

Bronwyn Pike's Insult to Public Education

Insult to both Public Education and Graduates:

A  Media Release from Bronwyn Pike dated 18 May 2009 - Living Legends Leave their Mark as Select Entry Schools insults both public education and its graduates. At the beginning of Education Week, the Victorian Minister announced the two persons selected to be used as the names of the two new selective entry schools in Victoria. The names chosen were Sir Gustav Nossal and Professor Suzanne Cory. Cleverly, either Pike or her advisers refrained from indicating which schools these two persons attended. Professor Suzanne Cory was product of Canterbury Girls Secondary Schools and University High School, both public secondary schools. But Sir Gustav Nossal is the product of a Roman Catholic secondary schools, St. Aloysius College, Sydney. What is more, he has been connected with the Education Foundation. Under their website, under the headings of "Our People: About Us" the following is revealed:

'Gustav Nossal warmly embraces the goals of the Education Foundation'.

In past News Releases  ( e.g. See Press Release 244 at www.adogs.info/pr244.htm ) DOGS have noted that the Education Foundation is not a friend of public education but in favour of integrated so-called public systems. Thus. on at least two grounds, Sir Gustav Nossal should not have been named, but  countless number of other eligible public education graduates should have been selected. What happened to the memory of Frank Tate and the many products of many public High Schools in Victoria?

Pike is either Unwilling or Unable to espouse the Value of Public Education:

 Pike, like Gillard, is completely out of step with the Federal Australian Education Union and its branches on this matter. Pike has avoided as much as possible the public value ( the communal value) of public education. She makes no mention of the history and ideals of public education in her Media Releases. She only refers to the communal value in the last sentence of one of her Media Release and remarks in one of her Media Releases about the effect of education on the ' liveability of our community'. DOGS are bemused about the meaning of this expression.

The stance taken by Gillard and Pike represents an insult not only to the graduates of public education but also supporters of public education current teachers in public schools.

Promotion of Public Education by the Australian Education Union

The federal branch of the AEU produced a Media Release entitled public Schools to Celebrate National Public Education Day. They were not backward in promoting the value of public education to Australian society. The Release, under the name of the President, Angelo Gavrielatos read, in part, as follows:

'Public schools are a foundation of our society. They are places of learning, of inspiration and opportunity where every Australian child can get the education they deserve,

national public Education Day provides an opportunity for school communities to showcase their wonderful achievements and to celebrate the values and traditions of public education in Australia.

Nothing is more important for our future than strong public schools. We owe the success of our nation to the work of public schools, which through history, have provided every child with an equal opportunity to succeed regardless of their background.

Australia's public education system is underpinned by the values of tolerance, acceptance, and the celebration of diversity and the pursuit of excellence for all.'

Promotion of Public Education by New South Wales Teachers Federation

Statement by Kathy Deacon, Public Education Campaign Co-ordinator, 20 May 2009

The following statement was made by Kathy Deacon from the NSW Teachers Federation:

'Public Education Day is being celebrated nationally on Thursday 21 May 2009. This day provides an opportunity to highlight public education as a key component to creating a prosperous economy, a harmonious, vibrant culture and a socially cohesive Australia.

Throughout New South Wales, the local public school is there at the heart of the community, responding to its needs, nurturing its children and developing young adults who are well-educated, motivated and confident in their ability to build a brighter future.

Public Education Day also provides the opportunity to acknowledge the dedicated and highly qualified teachers who provide quality learning opportunities for students.

'What a pity that Pike and Gillard cannot see past the religious school vote to recognise the work and values of the vast majority of parents and teachers in the public schools of this nation.

Advertisements Connected to Education Week Promotion

Bronwyn Pike is promoting an Education Week, not a Public or State Education Week. This means that  private religious schools and newspaper advertising managers have taken the opportunity to latch onto the week. This is a free country and they are free to do so. But at least Bronwyn Pike and her advisers could have limited the effectiveness of the private sector by making it look obviously odd to have the private sector advertising in relation to a Public Education Week.

Persons in leadership positions could have also made sure that the public education advertisements were put on the front page of local newspapers and not have incidents like the following:

The Whittlesea Leader May 5, 2009 and Diamond Valley Leader May 6, 2009 sported an Advertisement beneath the Heading '«elebrate Education Week' a prominent Advertisement on the front page for a brand new Uniting church school called Acacia College.

The Whitehorse Leader May 6, 2009 , beneath the heading «elebrate Education Week' is an advertisement for another private school, namely Kingswood.

Number/Size of Private School Advertisements

A perusal of the local papers like the Leader papers, the Melbourne Times, Melbourne Weekly Eastern indicates that, centering on Education Week, there was a domination of private school advertisements. The number and size of private school advertisements varied according to the publication. No doubt, the payment for these large scale advertisements would have been mad easier by the assistance of Julia Gillard's largesse from Public Treasury. The advertisement exercises indicate the failure of Pike, her Labor party apparachiks and consultants to fight for the concept of public education.

What happened to the Public Education Billboards promoting Public Education on school fences?

Public schools in New South Wales are happy to place billboards promoting public education on their fences and notice boards. The only such notice DOGS have discovered was on the fence of a little primary school which DOGS are informed is earmarked for closure and a housing development in the western suburbs.







12.00 noon  ON Saturdays.




If you have a message for supporters of public education:

Please Contact:
Ray Nilsen  on
(03) 9326 9277 or (03) 9329 8483
Postal address:
P.O. BOX 4869
Melbourne Victoria Australia 3001
E-mail: adogs@adogs.info
Or complete our
feedback form.
Last modified:Tuesday, 26 May 2009