Last minute state election round-up

2010 state election
At the OurSay event on 22/11/10, three of the candidates for Brunswick answered the following question from HSC:

“A recent demographic study has shown there is a definite need for a high school in Coburg. We need a real commitment and action, not more bureaucratic wrangling over this crucial issue. How will the candidates ensure that a high school is reinstated to Coburg and its broader community in as timely a fashion as possible?

Watch their responses below:




Comments on the answers and the debate in general can be found on the OurSay site and on the report in the Moreland Leader, Brunswick candidates on the issues that matter (24/11/10).

The high school for Coburg issues has been receiving plenty of media attention including in the Age, 
All set for high school but closures leave no place to go, Northern Schools full by 2016
Veteran Cleary fancies his chances of election upsetLabour threatened across inner city, the Moreland Leader Boost for new Coburg school, Shaky Coburg school pledge. There has also been discussion of the HSC issue in the comments section of another Moreland Leader article, Planning a key issue in Brunswick.
HSC co-founder, Cate Hall made the following comment;

Marita and Ben I think it is wrong to look at planning as a separate issue to the others you mentioned. What is missing is a whole of government response to some of these issues. Planning necessitates parallel infrastructure and service provision . A good example is open entry state secondary provision in Coburg - there is none. High School for Coburg are painfully aware of the lack of communication between the departments of planning ,community development and education even though it is all inter-related. The Coburg Initiative have assessed that a school is required as a PRIORITY at 2010 -even before all the new dwellings are built. The DEECD report highlighted a "provision shortfall " This needs to be planned for in conjunction with TCI and is for the benefit of the whole community -local education provision positively impacts not just on education but on on health, transport, environment, economy, community development and even by increased youth engagement -crime.


The following response from Adrian was a fantastic and unprompted acknowledgement of the work that Cate (and the rest of the group) has been doing;

Cate Hall is absolutely right and I would like to congratulate you Cate on the energy and dedication you have brought to your struggle for a high school. All these issues are inter-connected and we need as many people as possible to ignore the party lines we are constantly fed and stand up for our vibrant suburb. Grassroots democracy is democracy at its best and most powerful.

The Socialist Alliance have also released their education policy.
Socialist Alliance Releases Victorian Education Policy

How will you be voting tomorrow?

2010 state election candidate profiles

by Janet Grigg
When you vote on November 27, how important is the issue of a high school in Coburg for you? I am concerned about climate change, social justice, healthcare, public transport and planning but the education issue has become very personal for us. I wonder whether my daughter and her friends in prep will be able to go to a high school in their community. Or whether they will be scattered amongst the various schools in the region with a little room here and there. I worry that for many kids in Coburg, getting into a state school of their "choice" will depend on how hard their parents can push the system. I want my daughter and her friends and all the other children in Coburg to have the option to go to a local high school. The local high school where many of their classmates go because it's the closest school. And because it's a good school. And because the school's in our community, they'll be able to walk or bike there. Families will be involved too, because the local high school is an extension of the community we already have.
Bronte and Mel
I have gone through websites, facebook pages and other online or readily available public material and collated information for candidates in the seats of Brunswick and Pascoe Vale that refers to the issue of a high school in Coburg. At the bottom of each post are links to where you can find out more about the candidates, their other policies and where relevant, the political party they belong to.

Read all the candidate profiles here.

HSC strongly encourage readers to enter into debate about the issue of a high school in Coburg either by making a comment in the comments section of each post or on our Facebook page. Any debate will be moderated and although we are willing to engage with dissenting views, any offensive content will be removed. We will not publish responses to these profiles from any candidate or party as separate web post unless they or their party issue an official press release referring to the provision of secondary education in or for Coburg. Responses via the comments or Facebook are most welcome.

Christine Campbell - MP and candidate for Pascoe Vale

Christine Campbell is the Australian Labour Party candidate and current member for Pascoe Vale.

Christine Campbell

As the local member for Pascoe Vale,  Christine Campbell has worked with the High School for Coburg group since its inception in 2008. A press release dated 4 August 2009, states that she received “An investigation into the need for a 7-12 secondary school in Coburg” which presented a comprehensive investigation based on demographics and parental intentions. The parliamentary intern's report contended that there is such a need based on three main grounds; social, environmental and educational. Christine Campbell said that she had, "written to the Minister for Education asking that in the Expenditure Review Committee discussions, beginning in September and culminating with the May, 2010 budget, there be provision for a Year 7 intake in January 2011 at the current Coburg Senior High School site.”

On 30 November 2009, Christine Campbell issued another press release calling on Minister for Education, Bronwyn Pike, to establish a taskforce to examine all available information regarding the need for a year 7 entry high school in Coburg. She stated, “It’s time for a taskforce, led by an agreed independent person, to review the available demographic data, which is often disputed, and also to examine parent intentions including past practice of moving into zones such as Brunswick, Strathmore or others to access a 7 to 12 high school which meets their needs. The taskforce should include representatives from the High School for Coburg group, local Coburg primary school councils, Moreland Council, me as state member; and departmental representatives from both northern and western regions.”

In April 2010, the taskforce, or more officially, Review of Education needs in Coburg was announced. This was attended by Christine Campbell, Moreland City Council, DEECD representatives, Minister for Education Bronwyn Pike's advisor, Jane Garrett, Kelvin Thomson's representative and members of the High School for Coburg group.

On 20 November 2010 at the HSC candidates conference, Christine Campbell announced that the report into local secondary education needs had acknowledged there will be a shortfall of places for Years 7 to 9 over the coming years and that “The Premier has recognised that we have increasing demand for government schools in the Coburg area. He also said he is conscious of the need to provide more options and more places for Coburg students.” She also said that “Now that the evidence has been acknowledged, the next important step is to consider what is best for the students. To this end, tonight I can announce a taskforce will be established to investigate how to implement the best educational outcome for the children of Coburg and surrounding areas.”

This letter from Minister Pike to ALP candidate for Brunswick, Jane Garrett sums up the current situation.  "the Coburg Education Implementation Taskforce, which is being established to examine the best way to provide more schooling opportunities for secondary school students in Coburg. The taskforce will examine all options to meet Coburg's education needs, such as building a new school, providing new classrooms in existing schools and using existing facilities in more efficient ways."

Read more about the Victorian ALP and Christine Campbell:

Victorian Labour http://www.alpvictoria.com.au/
Profile on Victorian Labourhttp://www.alpvictoria.com.au/alp-victoria-people/electorate-search/christine-campbell/
Christine Campbell's website http://www.christinecampbell.com.au/
Adress 16A Bell Street, Pascoe Vale (entrance via Turner Street)
Phone 9354 9935
Fax 9354 3599
Email christine.campbell@parliament.vic.gov.au

*   *   *
HSC encourage readers to enter into debate about the issue of a high school in Coburg either by making a comment in the comments section of each post or on our Facebook page. Any debate will be moderated and although we are willing to engage with dissenting views, any offensive content will be removed. We will not publish responses to these profiles from any candidate or party as separate web post unless they or their party issue an official press release referring to the provision of secondary education in or for Coburg. Responses via the comments or Facebook are most welcome.

Cyndi Dawes - Greens candidate for Brunswick

Cyndi Dawes is The Greens candidate for the seat of Brunswick - from Brunswick for Brunswick.


Cyndi Dawes


Cyndi Dawes wrote HSC a letter of support in June 2010 stating, "As a candidate for Brunswick, I am happy to put on record my support for a High School for Coburg. The area has not been well served by state  secondary education over the last 10 years and I believe it is imperative that students and their families in Coburg and neighbouring suburbs have access to a quality, general entry local high school."  Following the HSC candidates conference, Cyndi Dawes also signed a pledge committing to the re-instatement of a general entry high school in Coburg which you can see here . In her media release of 05 October 2010  she states "There is a real and pressing need for a school in Coburg. The community has been saying this for some time, but it feels as if no one’s been listening. It’s time to make sure the community’s voice is heard.”

Listen to Cyndi Dawes talk about education in Coburg below.


To find our more about Cyndi Dawes and the Greens, see below

Victorian Greens http://vic.greens.org.au/
Website http://vic.greens.org.au/brunswick
Blog http://vic.greens.org.au/blog/user/389
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/CyndiDawesforBrunswick
Twitter http://twitter.com/cyndidawes
Youtube http://www.youtube.com/user/cyndidawes
Email cyndi.dawes@vic.greens.org.au

*   *   *
HSC encourage readers to enter into debate about the issue of a high school in Coburg either by making a comment in the comments section of each post or on our Facebook page. Any debate will be moderated and although we are willing to engage with dissenting views, any offensive content will be removed. We will not publish responses to these profiles from any candidate or party as separate web post unless they or their party issue an official press release referring to the provision of secondary education in or for Coburg. Responses via the comments or Facebook are most welcome.

Jane Garrett - Australian Labour Party candidate for Brunswick

Jane Garrett is the Australian Labour Party candidate for the seat of Brunswick - Equality, social justice and tackling climate change. Make it happen.


Jane Garrett


Jane Garrett's state election website states "she wants quality education for all" and that "Labor has always believed every child deserves a quality education no matter where they live. That’s why the Brumby Labor government is rebuilding, renovating or extending government schools across Victoria."  The ALP 2010 Education Policy can be read or downloaded here.


In a photo album on Jane Garrett's Facebook page, under a photo of an advertisment that was published in the Moreland Leader is the following statement, "Labour believes that every child deserves a world class education. That's why we will make a multi million dollar investment to improve and expand Brunswick Secondary College. And why we have set up an implementation taskforce to develop a solution for Coburg's secondary education needs."  On 20 October 2010, John Brumby and Jane Garret pledged to redevelop Brunswick Secondary College

HSC have also been sent a copy of this letter from Minister Pike to Jane Garrett which refers to the Coburg Education Implementaion taskforce.

Find out more about Jane Garrett and the Victorian ALP below:

ALP Victoria http://alpvictoria.com.au/home/
Website http://www.janegarrett.org.au/
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/janegarrett2010
Twitter http://twitter.com/Jane_Garrett/
Youtube http://www.youtube.com/user/janegarrettalp
Email jane@janegarrett.org.au
Phone 9380 9640
Location 175 Sydney Rd Brunswick, Australia, 3056

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HSC encourage readers to enter into debate about the issue of a high school in Coburg either by making a comment in the comments section of each post or on our Facebook page. Any debate will be moderated and although we are willing to engage with dissenting views, any offensive content will be removed. We will not publish responses to these profiles from any candidate or party as separate web post unless they or their party issue an official press release referring to the provision of secondary education in or for Coburg. Responses via the comments or Facebook are most welcome.

Phil Cleary - Independent candidate for Brunswick

Phil Cleary is standing as an Independent candidate for Brunswick - An independent community - An independent voice.

Phil Cleary

Phil Cleary signed a pledge committing to the re-instatement of a general entry high school in Coburg which you can see here. He also wrote a letter of support for the High School for Coburg campaign back in August which you can read below.

Phil Cleary - Letter of Support

Phil's election website contains many youtube clips of him talking with local residents about the issues that concern them. Below he is talking with Morena Milani, co-founder of HSC at our recent music afternoon at the Post Office Hotel.


You can find out more about Phil Cleary for Brunswick below:
2010 state election website http://philclearyforbrunswick.tumblr.com/
Youtube http://www.youtube.com/user/PhilClearyMP

*   *   *
HSC encourage readers to enter into debate about the issue of a high school in Coburg either by making a comment in the comments section of each post or on our Facebook page. Any debate will be moderated and although we are willing to engage with dissenting views, any offensive content will be removed. We will not publish responses to these profiles from any candidate or party as separate web post unless they or their party issue an official press release referring to the provision of secondary education in or for Coburg. Responses via the comments or Facebook are most welcome.

Liam Farelly - Greens candidate for Pascoe Vale

Liam Farelly is the Greens candidate for Pascoe Vale.

Liam Farelly

Liam Farelly's state election webpage states that he "will advocate for a major increase in the investment in public infrastructure in the north western suburbs including:  ... Free, local and first class quality kinder to tertiary education facilities." There is also an election phamplet which mentions a high school in Coburg.

In the youtube clip below Liam Farrelly stands on the potential site of a high school in Coburg.


You can find out more about Liam Farelly and the Greens below

Victorian Greens website http://vic.greens.org.au/
Liam Farelly's 2010 state election webpage http://vic.greens.org.au/pascoevale
Liam Farelly on Facebook 


*   *   *
HSC encourage readers to enter into debate about the issue of a high school in Coburg either by making a comment in the comments section of each post or on our Facebook page. Any debate will be moderated and although we are willing to engage with dissenting views, any offensive content will be removed. We will not publish responses to these profiles from any candidate or party as separate web post unless they or their party issue an official press release referring to the provision of secondary education in or for Coburg. Responses via the comments or Facebook are most welcome.

Trent Hawkins - Socialist Alliance Candidate for Brunswick

Trent Hawkins is the Socialist Alliance Candidate for Brunswick - People & Planet Before Profit

Trent Hawkins

Trent Hawkins attended the HSC candidates conference and as reported in Green Left Weekly stated "that there was no need for further investigation and more taskforces." He said HSC had established the facts, we “now need to just build [the school]”. Hawkins linked the situation to the legacy of privatisation and the failure to provide public facilities. He said the $570 million of taxpayers’ money the government had earmarked for the controversial desalination plant would be better spent on community facilities such as a high school in Coburg.

You can read more about Trent Hawkins here at http://www.socialist-alliance.org/


*   *   *
HSC encourage readers to enter into debate about the issue of a high school in Coburg either by making a comment in the comments section of each post or on our Facebook page. Any debate will be moderated and although we are willing to engage with dissenting views, any offensive content will be removed. We will not publish responses to these profiles from any candidate or party as separate web post unless they or their party issue an official press release referring to the provision of secondary education in or for Coburg. Responses via the comments or Facebook are most welcome.

Liberal candidates for Pascoe Vale and Brunswick

Claude Tomisich is the Liberal candidate for Pascoe Vale and Kyle Dadleh is the Liberal Candidate for Brunswick.

Claude TomisichKyle Dadleh

You can see the background for Claude Tomisich here and for Kyle Dadleh here. Neither have mentioned the issue of secondary education provision in Coburg.

The shadow minister for education, Martin Dixon spoke at the HSC candidates conference. He stated that he supports the building of a high school in Coburg. He wrote the following letter of support to HSC on 03 June 2010
Martin Dixon - Letter of Support 03/06/10

Read more about Liberal policies at http://www.liberalvictoria.org.au/guest/Default.aspx
Contact Claude Tomisich
Email claude.tomisich@vic.liberal.org.au
Phone 0400 579 688
Mail PO Box 108, Pascoe Vale South,VIC 3044
Contact Kyle Dadleh
Email kyle.dadleh@vic.liberal.org.au
Mail 104 Exhibition Street, Melbourne VIC 3000

*   *   *
HSC encourage readers to enter into debate about the issue of a high school in Coburg either by making a comment in the comments section of each post or on our Facebook page. Any debate will be moderated and although we are willing to engage with dissenting views, any offensive content will be removed. We will not publish responses to these profiles from any candidate or party as separate web post unless they or their party issue an official press release referring to the provision of secondary education in or for Coburg. Responses via the comments or Facebook are most welcome.

Bill Cawte - Independent Candidate for Brunswick

Bill Cawte is standing as an independent single-issue candidate for Brunswick - "Better Bike Paths Now!"

Bill Cawte

He has stated his support for High School for Coburg on his website 

I would like to offer my wholehearted support to the High School For Coburg Campaign. Moreover, I can do so without in any way compromising my own status as a single-issue active transport candidate. Every time schools are amalgamated new motor traffic is generated, as more students fall outside a 'radius of viability' for walking or cycling to school. This is never taken into account by education bureaucrats, who are primarily answerable only to their budget and not to the broader concerns of local communities.
I was working at Brunswick Secondary College during the time that Moreland City College suffered its long and painful death by a thousand rumours, and our school struggled to accommodate a large cohort of significantly demoralised and undermined kids when Moreland finally closed. 
The deeper one delves into the complex problems that beset modern Australian society, the more one is brought back to the conclusion, that perhaps there is, after all, only one issue, and that by pushing active transport further up the hierarchy of considerations we arrive at better solutions in a broad range of areas, of which physical health and well-being is merely the most obvious.
Read more about Bill Cawte
http://www.betterbikepathsnow.com.au/billcawte.nsf/brunswick/home
http://twitter.com/billcawte


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HSC encourage readers to enter into debate about the issue of a high school in Coburg either by making a comment in the comments section of each post or on our Facebook page. Any debate will be moderated and although we are willing to engage with dissenting views, any offensive content will be removed. We will not publish responses to these profiles from any candidate or party as separate web post unless they or their party issue an official press release referring to the provision of secondary education in or for Coburg. Responses via the comments or Facebook are most welcome.

Joke's on us, John

This letter was paublished in today's Age

IN THE article ''John and Ted's school days'' (The Sunday Age, 21/11) about Ted Baillieu and John Brumby's shared experience of Melbourne Grammar, Brumby says that the long haul to and from Ivanhoe each day - he was one of only about half a dozen kids ''from that side of the river'' - meant the school was missing a sense of family and community'' for him.
But he has forced many families to endure a similar absence of family and community by abandoning public secondary schools (''All set for high school but closures leave no place to go'', (The Age, 20/11).
The communities in and around Oakleigh and Coburg have no public high school - a callous and absurd joke that must be rectified.

Andy Stewart, Coburg

Overlooked in education pledges

This letter appeared in The Age today.

FOLLOWING education pledges by the state government, Coburg - the north's secondary education black hole - is now ringed by regeneration. The Coburg Initiative - Australia's largest urban renewal project - is set to bring more than 8000 people to the area in two decades. Yet a state secondary school is already a requirement, according to a new draft framework.
That a recent Education Department report identified a significant secondary provision shortfall in the north came as no surprise to Coburgians - 53 per cent of whom are considering moving away because of the issue, according to a survey by High School for Coburg.
Although this area generates up to 10 times more state secondary students than surrounding school catchments, it doesn't have a high school.
An indication of local support is the almost $20,000 that business and community have pledged to the HSC civic fund launched this month. Pledges to the potential school would be matched by the government, through its Business Working with Education Foundation.
This government must pledge to re-establish open-entry state secondary provision during the next term.

Catherine Hall, Coburg North

Rock N Roll High School

Well I don't care about history 
we want a Coburg High School
'Cause that's not where I wanna be
we want a Coburg High School
they must think that we’re all hicks
living out here in the sticks
we wanna we wanna Coburg High School

well we’re all thinkin’ ‘bout movin’ out you know 

we want Coburg High School
the kids are here but about to go
we want a Coburg High school
the people are here and it’s a principle:
you can’t have community without a school
we want we want Coburg High School


We want a Coburg High School
We want a Coburg High School
We want a Coburg High School 

( lyrics by Joey, Dee Dee and Benny Ramone)

Boxty

Eve

kids playing pool

Big thanks to the Post Office Hotel for hosting an awesome afternoon of music and chat. Not to mention total  kid mayhem. And for donating $3 from each roast to the HSC civic fund. Thanks also to Courtney Barnett, Boxty and the Short Order Schefs. You guys all rocked. And thanks also to Joey, Dee Dee and Benny, very special indeed. Thank you to the state election candidates who attended, Liam Farrelly Greens candidate for Pascoe Vale, Christine Campbell MP for Pascoe Vale and Phil Cleary, Independent candidate for Brunswick.  And thanks also to Moreland councillors, Cr Enver Erdogan and Cr Lambros Tapinos.

And most of all, thank you to everyone who came and made it such a great afternoon!

The evidence is in - we need a high school in Coburg

Our community needs a local high school:
Our community supports a local high school:
banner in Victoria Mall, hung by unknown villager

So, where are we at now?
HSC made the following recommendations in response to the DEECD report:
HSC Recommendations:
  1. That an implementation task force be set up in Feb 2011 to plan for the establishment of, at minimum a year 7 intake at CSHS in 2012. That the Minister for Education commences initial discussions and task force make up immediately after swearing in. 
  2. That the Victorian Government and DEECD build on the really good work being done at the Coburg Senior High School (CSHS) by making financial provision for the establishment of, at minimum, a year 7 intake in 2012 at the CSHS with the aim of having full open access secondary provision in 2014, thereby creating more education opportunity for the greater Coburg community and thus enabling the Family-School-Community partnership. 
  3. As well as opening the CSHS to junior year levels, the DEECD with co-operation from all levels of government plus families, Moreland Council and community, work on establishing the Coburg High School (CHS) as a Community Hub. By opening up the excellent facilities to the broader community, increasing the schools identity and involvement in the local community, especially in conjunction with the Coburg Initiative, CHS could take its place as a valuable and integral community asset. 
  4. That the DEECD facilitate, with support of families and community, the establishment of a cluster of local primary schools which can work together sharing knowledge and facilities and can establish a relationship with, and pathway to, a Coburg High School thus further enabling the Blueprint mission - “a high quality and coherent birth-to-adulthood learning and development system.” 
On 28 October, 2010, Kelvin Thomson, MP for Wills  read out the first two HSC  recommendations in his parliamentary speech on the HSC issue.



*  *  *  *  *
HSC are still seeking a firm commitment from the government to the actual establishment of an open entry high school in Coburg during the next term of government.

Letter of support from Brunswick East Primary School

Below is a letter of support from Brunswick East Primary School Council. It indicates how the lack of a general entry high school in Coburg is likely to affect children and families from across the whole Moreland area - not just around Coburg, Preston West and Pascoe Vale.
Brunswick East Primary School Letter of Support High School for Coburg

Education choices sacrificed for power

This letter appeared in The Age today.

THE ALP's announcement that it will provide even more funds to private schools (''Private schools get $200 million pledge'', The Age, 10/11) reveals it to be made up of the lowest-rent form of power-hungry professional politicians, without a shred of vision other than maintaining their own positions of power.
For two years, residents have demonstrated the obvious need for a general-entry high school in Coburg. It is a touchstone issue in the seat of Pascoe Vale and will also play out in Brunswick, where the Greens and Phil Cleary are committed to working towards its establishment. But from the government we get nothing other than weasel words and postures because we live in a safe ALP seat.
The real-politik world of the professional politician renders the choices for my children fewer than for others, simply because of where I live.
The ALP does not represent a more equal society, it represents crass individuals bereft of compassion. The political world has changed in Canberra. It must change in Spring Street in two weeks.
Peter Robertson, Coburg

Rock & Roll High School

On Sunday 14th of Novemember, HSC presents Rock & Roll High School - a benefit to support the re-instatement of a general entry high school in Coburg. It starts at 2.30pm at the Post Office Hotel (visit on Facebook here) and entry is by gold coin donation.

It promises to be a great afternoon of music and good times. Feel free to download the flyer and hope to see you there!
High School for Coburg Rock & Roll Afternoon at the Post Office Hotel Flyer

HSC candidates conference 2010

The HSC Candidates Conference was well attended by concerned parents and residents for whom the lack of a general entry high school in Coburg is clearly a vote changing issue in the upcoming State Election. We would like to thank all who attended on the night, including MC Shane Maloney who did a most able job in keeping the night reasonably civil. Even when discussions became somewhat heated. Our children's education is clearly something we value highly.
Martin Dixon and the panell
audience
A full panel of politicians, mostly from the seats of Brunswick and Pasoe Vale, including Christine Campbell, Jane Garret, Martin Dixon, Trent Hawkins, Liam Farelly and Cyndi Dawes gave short speeches outlining their positions on the high school for Coburg issue. 
question
question from the floor
There were many questions from the floor and discussions continued at an individual level after the panel discussion was over. HSC intends to post more detailed candidate profiles summarising the position of each candidate based on what they said on the night of the candidates conference and in other media. Highlights of the candidates conference can be found on the youtube clip below.

HSC's big week

1. The DEECD report looking into secondary education provision in the Coburg area was released. Unfortunately there is no link to the report yet, but we'll let you know when there is. In spite of numbers being demonstrably too conservative, it still showed a huge shortfall in secondary education provision in our area. HSC had a crucial part to play in this report not being a white wash.
  • Primary enrolment numbers up three years in a row( including projected 2011). 
  • Shows no South -North travel to secondary school, so spaces in the north become irrelevant to HSC issue. 
  • Capacity shortfall for years 7-9 in schools to south: 837 at 2016 and 1,027 at 2021. 
  • Capacity surplus overall for years 7-12 but in schools to the south the shortfall is: 1,358 at 2016 (partially offset by space at Coburg Senior High School) and 1,689 at 2021. 
  • The Coburg area will generate 2,443 at state secondary by 2021 The average forecast demand generated by the Coburg area is 1.8 to 10 times more than that of surrounding school catchments.
  • Executive summary doesn't include the additional 229 kids in Coburg /Brunswick who will require state secondary - from the updated new dwelling numbers provided by Moreland Council. 
2. The Premier, John Brumby acknowledged the demand for state secondary in Coburg at the press conference for Brunswick High Regeneration.
3. Moreland Council hangs banner on council building "This community needs a high school".
4. The Age published this article on page 4 -"Northern Schools Full" and HSC spokeswoman Catherine Hall was interviewed on ABC radio.
5. We hosted the HSC Candidates Conference - a lively night attended by two primary principals, the Mayor and several councillors, the media and ofcourse the community and the candidates .Thanks to all who came.
6. Member for Pascoe Vale, Christine Campbell announced a task force will be set up to work with the community to determine best method of implementation for increased secondary education provision for Coburg.
7. HSC BBQ at DEECD/Moreland Council funded Kids Day Out next to Coburg Leisure centre -weather not great but still sold lots of snags, got lots of support and interest from the many families attending the fun day.

I want to go to high school in Coburg
2010 state election

NEXT: 
1. HSC will seek and provide more clarity on some of the above over next few days.
2. HSC will provide brief response to final report to Bronwyn Pike's advisor - hopefully enabling her to make an announcement.
3. HSC will also seek strong commitment ( before the government goes in to caretaker mode) to provision IN Coburg during the next government term.

HSC 2010 state election candidates conference

Follow the link to download a copy of the flyer for the HSC state election conference. Our chance to question all the candidates about where they stand on this crucial issue. This Wednesday night, 20th of October at Coburg Concert Hall from 7.00pm to 9.00pm. Spread the word!
HSC 2010 State Election Candidates Conference

Education is about children, lives and families

by Darren Saffin
I live in Jamieson Street, Coburg. If my boys were to go to high school now, where could they go? The options mentioned in a letter from Minister for Education Bronwyn Pike to a member of the High School for Coburg group are:
  • Strathmore High – zoned - can’t go there
  • Brunswick Secondary College – zoned with an enrolment ceiling – can’t go there
  • Coburg Senior High School – years 10 to 12 only – can’t go there
  • Pascoe Vale Girls Secondary College – girls only – can’t go there
  • Fawkner Secondary College – available - years 7 – 10 revolve around VELS (Victorian Essential Learning Standards). VCE available in years 11 and 12 – possible but not necessarily what we need
  • Box Forest Secondary College – available – 5km away
As an aside, there are other schools similar distances away but these were not mentioned in Minister Pike’s letter. These include Princess Hill (zoned), Northcote (apparently over capacity) and Thornbury (apparently told by the Department of Education to raise its cap from 800 to 1200 because Northcote is over capacity and will be capped in 2012).

darren and harrison

Minister for Education Bronwyn Pike states “Education is the Brumby Labor Government’s number-one priority” but if you live in the Coburg area you would be hard pressed to find evidence of this statement. In this broader area we have seen seventeen secondary schools closed down or merged in the past eighteen years.

The result in our area is that kids have to move around to find a secondary school, and this is what the government wants. Their policy has made education a free market like trade or economics but they obviously aren’t the same. Education is about children, lives and families. Education is not money or a trading commodity and can’t be treated the same way.

The government thinks competition between schools will improve the system, and making parents move around to find a school will force schools to get better in order to attract students.

So will I send my boys to the schools available near here?

Stephen Lamb, Associate Professor in Education at University of Melbourne, who researches education issues found that people who have to travel to send their children to a secondary school travel to a school in an area with a higher socioeconomic status.

This is logical. If you have to travel to take your kids to school, you aren’t going to travel to an area where the perception is that schools are funded less and students achieve poorer results. Unfortunately these schools tend to be in areas of lower socioeconomic status (SES).

Mr Lamb’s findings show schools started out equal across all SES areas but after the Government introduced its policy of forcing students to travel, the schools in areas of high socioeconomic status have gotten bigger and receive more funding and can offer more choice, while the schools in areas of lower socioeconomic status have gotten smaller and receive less funding and their options become limited. It’s creating a two tiered education system.

The bigger schools get the choice of high achiever students who are travelling to find an education while the smaller schools don’t have this choice.

I will be joining the ranks of parents who send their children to a school where they believe their individual needs will be met and where they think will get the best education.

Darren Saffin is member of the HSC working group. He lives in Coburg with his wife and two small sons. In his "free" time, he handles our media. This is his personal story about how the lack of a general entry high school will affect his family. If you would like to tell your story please email us at highschool4coburg@gmail.com .

HSC response to OxYgen draft report

This is a copy of the email sent to Moreland councillors on 14/09/2010 regarding the draft OxYgen Youth report. This report is open for feedback on the Moreland Council website.

Hi Oscar, Alice and all
Congratulations on the OxYgen report which I just had a look at on the net. I note in the report that:
  • Youth service providers identified Education as the biggest issue facing Moreland Youth
  • Co-location was a highly regarded potential solution to provision of space for youth.
  • Disengagement, mental health and the need for resilience are also big issues.
High School for Coburg are working very hard to come up with solution for a big chunk of Moreland youth and I see a lot of duplication in our arguments -the report cites, as HSC does, the benefits to the broader community of getting in early with help for young people. We have come to understand that the most vulnerable group in terms of potential disengement are middle years boys -this is the specific group that are let down by the current secondary school provision scenario in Coburg.

We also understand that while young people need their own spaces, the family-school-community partnership is also crucially important in terms of building resilience and education outcomes.This partnership cannot occur when schools are far away. Contrary to what some on the committee may believe not all in Coburg can get in to Brunswick High and Coburg North is out of what is effectively the enrolment zone for Brunswick High.

One of the solutions we are suggesting is a junior intake at the under utilised Coburg Senior High. While we acknowledge this school is doing some great work with young people - it would be put to wonderful use servicing a broader age range and opening the excellent facilities to more of the community.

One option we are considering is an education Hub however a Youth Hub could also be something to consider in relation to any new secondary school provision that arises in Coburg. We see an opportunity to work in conjunction with the Coburg Initiative ( right in the centre of Moreland ) to increase provision to our youth and to co-locate services with a Coburg High. I am writing to ask if HSC could be invited/involved in any discussions around this issue given that education has been highlighted as the major youth issue.

Kind Regards Cate Hall

How not having a high school in Coburg will affect my family

by Traci Stubbs
In 2005 my husband and I moved from Newcastle to Melbourne with our two year old son Lucien. I was 15 weeks pregnant with our daughter Charlotte at the time. We chose to live in Coburg North, near Merlynston. We made this decision because being able to easily access the train to the city was a priority. Affordability of a house was also a consideration. As I don’t drive, living near a gorgeous little village like Merlynston and being able to shop in Coburg but live in a quiet street was a plus as well.

Over time we made connections in our community through playgroup, swimming lessons and the various other activities I did with the kids. I began to find my way around and figure out how to get where I needed to be via public transport.
Lucien and Charlotte
In 2009 Lucien started school at St Mark’s in Fawkner, Charlotte will start in 2011. When Lucien started school we began to think about where he would go to high school. While he is currently going to a Catholic school, this is because it is the best school close to us, also it is a small school as opposed to our family following a religious belief. We do not want to send our son to John Fawkner. That school has been rebranded but I am still yet to hear anything good about it.

  • He will not get in to Brunswick as we live north of Bell Street.
  • Northcote/Thornbury or Northland- well they are just too hard to get to by public transport.
  • Parade- it’s just too far away, plus I have heard it is a big school over over 600 boys.
  • Penola- again just too hard to get to by public transport.

Recently Lucien was diagnosed with mild Asperger’s syndrome. He is very smart but a bit socially awkward.  I do not want him going to a big school where he gets overlooked or branded a ‘troublemaker’ because there are not resources to give him a bit of extra support. My husband wants us to move to the Strathmore zone. I cannot justify buying a house that in 5 year’s time ‘might’ be in a position to get him into Strathmore. I also do not want to leave our community, our friends, our lovely parks. I do not want to be in a position of being uprooted again and having to learn where things are and how to get around and do all the things I need to. If he goes to a school that is far away, I am worried that if something happens to Lucien at school I would not be able to get there quickly.

This issue is a hot topic at our playgroup. One mother said to me recently that her family is considering SELLING their home in Coburg North and then RENTING in Parkville so her daughter (currently in year 3) can go to a decent high school. This is not acceptable. People should not have to sell their homes just so their kids can go to school.  So many houses are being sold around our area and then subdivided into two, three, even four lots. More and more young families are moving into the subdivisions of Pentridge, with more to come when the former Kodak site is built on.  It is ridiculous we do not have a high school in Coburg for our kids to go to.

Traci Stubbs has been following and supporting the High School for Coburg campaign via our Facebook page. Are you on Facebook? We'd love to have you and your friends join us! If you would like to share your family's thoughts on secondary education in the Coburg area, please contact us here.

Starting the high school shuffle

by Morena Milani
Just the other day my nine year old son asked me if it’s OK for him to go to high school with at least a couple of his friends when the time comes. I looked at him rather blankly for a moment or two before I had to remind myself that here in Coburg we don’t have a high school so the answer was - I really wish you could Gab’ but it doesn’t seem likely at the moment but you’re a sociable kid and we are sure you’ll do OK wherever you end up going to high school.

Boy, did I feel inadequate. It seemed a woeful response to such a straight forward and common place request. Saying it out loud seemed like crazy talk and something a parent just shouldn’t have to tell their child. A surge of pure emotion came over me, a mixture of utter sadness and rage. How could a place like Coburg, with such a huge number of young families, find itself without a secondary school? It just doesn’t make any sense at all.
Morena and family
And so with Gab’, now half way through Grade 4, we find ourselves on the brink of doing the ‘high school shuffle.’ Now you may ask, what is the ‘high school shuffle?’ This, my friends, is something of a time honoured tradition in Coburg, or at least it  has been for at least the last  six years or so which is when we were stripped of our last secondary school option. The high school shuffle is a tortuous process whereby parents start looking for solutions to deal with the fact that Coburg is ‘no high school land’. 
And it goes something like this.

Do you think we’ll be able to get Gab’ into Brunswick Secondary College or maybe Princes Hill?
Oh no, they won’t take him. We don’t live in the zone.

Maybe we could Gab’ to learn a couple of obscure instruments and a language that could get him into Princes Hill?
But I feel that is like making him into something of a trained monkey. We can’t make him love an instrument or be good at it.

How about we get him all prepped for one of those tests and get him into an accelerated learning programme at Northcote High or Uni High?
Oh, it seems wrong to put him under so much pressure and what if he doesn’t do very well? It could damage his confidence ra ra ra.

Well, we’re kind of running out of options. Not too many more schools we can look into. Maybe a private school could be the ticket?
I don’t think so. I don’t feel comfortable going down that road. I really believe in the power of a quality public secondary school.

And finally the big one rears its ugly head….
Do you think we should move somewhere else? Somewhere there’s a better choice of high schools?
I would really hate to leave Coburg. It’s such a wonderful place with a fantastic community. All our friends live here and the kids just love it.

Yeah I know all that, but what about Gab’? There’s just nowhere for him to go to high school.

So like so many parents and families in Coburg, this is where we find ourselves. A place where there’s been no forward planning for the huge influx of young families. A place that has been overlooked and forgotten by our politicians. Yet this is also a place with a huge heart and a massive willingness to embrace a high school and it’s time for politicians to stand up and listen to the parents and families of Coburg. It’s time for the bureaucratic rhetoric to stop. And for the powers that be to restore a high school to our community now. 
****
Morena Milani has lived in central Coburg with her husband and 2 children, aged 9 and 7, since August 1999.  She is a co-founder of the High School for Coburg working party and as well as lobbying for a high school in our community, also acts as a spokesperson for the group.


“It may be that in 10 or 15 years there will be need for a new school”

by Janet Grigg
Wayne CraigHave you seen last weeks Moreland Leader? I was outraged when I read the interview with Wayne Craig Northern Metropolitan Region Director of the DEECD and he said “It may be that in 10 or 15 years there will be need for a new school.” Were you outraged too? Well, there have been 35 online responses to that interview so far.  Not all of them favourable, but I suspect that means we are starting to be heard. Would you like to add your voice to the chorus? If you think it probably wouldn't make a difference, go read this. In an election year, everything we read, every comment we make, every facebook page we "like" is monitored by those who seek our vote. Let's show them how much we care about education in Coburg!




Darren Saffin, a member of  High School for Coburg wrote this letter to the The Age and I think it sums up our issues very neatly:
Window dressing
It is all very well for the government to set up a ministerial taskforce to look at the need for a new secondary school for Coburg and surrounding suburbs, but it is clear from the Department of Education's northern metropolitan region director, Wayne Craig, that the study is really just pre-election window dressing.
Our suburb desperately needs a new high school: there are now 22 primary schools but no open-entry state high school.
Mr Craig recently told our local newspaper that the suburb might need a new school in ''10 or 15 years''. I believe that Mr Craig is just saying what Education Minister Bronwyn Pike and the department won't.
While the City of Moreland annual community indicators survey of residents shows that satisfaction with secondary schools in the area keeps falling and is at an all-time low, the department is playing games in the lead-up to the state election.
It's time for the department to start treating this community with respect and to deliver realistic secondary education options for the local community.

So, actions to take:
Let's make our voices heard. Loud and strong. Our community needs a high school!


Campaign Update - July 2010

by Cate Hall
Media Coverage
In the last few months High School for Coburg (HSC) have achieved generous print, TV and radio coverage, particularly during education week. We've been featured in the Moreland Leader, The Age, The Sunday Herald Sun, on ABC Stateline , Channel 7! and Class TV on Channel 31.

Victorian Budget Submission
We lodged a Victorian Budget Submission on behalf of HSC. Since then, more data has emerged, further strengthening the HSC case. For example, of the inner city municipalities, Moreland has the greatest expected increase of primary school aged children, followed by Darebin. In both areas this demographic trend looks set to continue, with an increase in the number of babies being born, including to first time mothers. Moreland community indicators show that satisfaction with secondary education provision in the Coburg area continues to plummet.

We will provide a more detailed analysis of this data soon.

cutouts in bridges reserve

Task Force
The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) have commissioned Spatial Vision to produce an independent “Review of Secondary School Provision for the Coburg Area".

HSC members are part of the Consultation Group, which has the role of raising issues and questions about the study and providing input into the study and its findings. We attended the first meeting on 15 June 2010 at Parliament House. This represents a new phase of "clear and transparent" communication with the DEECD and Education Minister Bronwyn Pike's office.

Our aims during the report process are to:
  • Have as much of our data included as possible.
  • Bring inter-connected factors such as community, environment and health to the table at every opportunity.
  • Encourage a “triple bottom line” and “whole of government” approach to the solution.
  • Continue to lobby, making the best use of every opportunity the process presents us with.
filming for sky tv
Thornbury High students filming an episode of Class TV for channel 31 which you can see here

Community Support
While we have the attention of the decision makers, it is vital that we show that HSC represents the broad community in calling for the reinstatement of a neighbourhood school for the benefit of the whole community.

To date we have received wonderful letters of support from school councils including Newlands, Preston West, Coburg and Pascoe Vale primary schools and from community groups including Moreland Energy Foundation Ltd (MEFL) and Parents Victoria. These letters are available to read here and will be sent to policy and decision makers at each level of government.

What you can do:
  • Help add to our collection of letters of support via your connections with local primary schools, kindergartens, child care centres, community groups and businesses.
  • Write to MPs, newspapers and the DEECD to explain your issues with state secondary education provision for this area.
  • Write to us with your personal stories of secondary education in the Coburg area. We are interested in publishing such stories on our website to show how the lack of choice is affecting families in the Coburg area.
  • Join us on Facebook. The number of our Facebook supporters will be noticed by politicians, policy and decision makers so it is an effective way to show that you support the HSC campaign. It is also easy to suggest High School for Coburg to your own Facebook friends in the area. You will also see any developments with the campaign on your Facebook newsfeed. And we love comments on Facebook!