28 November 2010

DOGS note that a new appointment, -  Bill Scales - has joined the Review of Funding for Schooling. This consists of a panel of  education ‘experts’ who , with one exception, are graduates or promoters of the private sectarian system of education.

The panel is chaired by David Gonski AC, a businessman and philanthropist who is also the Chancellor of the University of NSW and chairman of the Australian Securities Exchange, Coca-Cola Amatil and Investec Bank. He has also been associated with Sydney Grammar School.

The panel also includes; Kathryn Greiner AO, chairman of Australian Hearing , former Deputy Chancellor at Bond University and committed Roman Catholic; Carmen Lawrence, Director of the Centre for the Study of Social Change, School of Psychology, University of Western Australia , former Federal Minister and Premier of WA and graduate from Roman Catholic schools; and Peter Tannock AM, noted international educationalist and former Vice-Chancellor at University of Notre Dame Australia. Peter Tannock is a well-kown champion of the Roman Catholic system of education.

Ken Boston AO, the former Director-General Department of Education and Training (NSW) is the only member with a background or interest in public education.

But now, Bill Scales AO, Chancellor of Swinburne University and Chairman of the Port of Melbourne Corporation has been appointed. What is his background and where does he fit on the public/private divide? 

 When he was appointed as Chancellor to Swinburne  University of Technology  the following curriculum vitae was provided:

Acknowledged as one of the nation’s most powerful and influential public policy reformers, Mr Bill Scales has held a number of high-profile leadership roles in both the public and private sectors including Group Managing Director of Regulatory, Corporate and Human Relations at Telstra, Secretary at the Department of Premier and Cabinet in Victoria, Chairman of the Industry Commission and Chairman of the Automotive Industry Authority.

Mr Scales has also served on many boards, committees and councils, and is currently a Commissioner on the Australian Government’s Safety Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, and a member of the advisory Board of the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research. In 1993, he was made an Officer in the Order of Australia for his services to Industry.

Since retiring from Telstra in August 2005, Mr Scales has been appointed deputy Chair to the Australian Safety Compensation Council, whose role is to provide leadership and coordination for national efforts to prevent workplace death, injury and disease, and Chairman of the Port of Melbourne Corporation with responsibility for achieving the $577 million deepening of Port Philip’s shipping channel, considered the nation’s biggest and most pressing infrastructure project.

His appointment as Chancellor of Swinburne University of Technology reflects his personal understanding and commitment to the importance of education in people’s lives. Mr Scales began his working career at 15 completing a five-year fitter and machinist apprenticeship and finishing an Economics degree from Monash University 15 years later. He believes that having the opportunity to continue learning by completing part time university studies later in his life enabled him ‘to fulfil a dream that would not otherwise have been available to me’.

"I feel very strongly that various forms of education should be available to people at different phases in their lives. The world we now live in requires all of us to have an attitude of life-long learning particularly if we are to make the most of our careers and of the career opportunities that are available to many of us,” Mr Scales said.



Mr Scales left school at 14 and there is no obvious information on his  ‘alma mater’ beyond his  positive experience of TAFE. Two things should be noted however:

1.      His involvement with the private sector

2.      The role he played in the Brimbank  Council’affair.

The Herald Sun on September 15, 2009 announced that the troubled

Brimbank City Council had been sacked and administrators appointed until November 2012 after further findings of misconduct.

3.      Local Government Minister Richard Wynne said a second report from Local Government Inspector Bill Scales, who was appointed following the Ombudsman’s report into council corruption in May, showed a failure of councillors to address misconduct issues.

DOGS note that Mr Bill Scales has been used by politicians as an effective ‘hatchet’ man when there is evidence of widespread corruption.

It is to be hoped that he has the courage to  enquire into, expose and  sack those responsible for the lack of transparency and accountability which currently exists in taxpayer subsidisation of  the private sectarian education industry of Australia.






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