Last weekend High School for Coburg had a stall at the Sydney Rd Street Party. There was a huge amount of strong support and interest from people who sought us out. A number of themes emerged when we talked with parents and concerned community members.
- Concern that being a safe Labor seat works against us with both ALP and Liberal governments.
- Serious anxiety and worry for families about the lack of a local high school. Families don't want to or can't afford to move away but have no option for secondary education.
- Frustration. The obvious need for a high school in Coburg and the obvious suitability of the Coburg Senior High site provision solution
- Concern, suspicion and anger about the Coburg Senior High as it is and as it sits in this community - wasted public facility with empty space which could be utilised. Low enrolments mean huge amount of public money being poured into the school is not the best use of public money. There is a strong perception that the school is selective and there were negative personal stories from prospective parents who have done tours eg being told if they can't buy a lap top to forget it or if they didn't find out about the school via the website forget it because they are not right for the school. Anger about having a low enrolment, effectively selective school with empty buildings sitting in the middle of an area of such desperate need. Many parents said this story needs to be "put out there".
- Of significance was the strong support from the very large number of Brunswick community parents who approached us.They all said they support a high school for Coburg and do not see it as a threat to Brunswick High. Most were surprised to hear a possible Coburg High had been portrayed as a threat to Brunswick High.They are very aware of the numbers coming through Brunswick Primary schools and are worried about whether they will be able to access Brunswick High when the time comes.