• State Member for Monbulk, Deputy Premier, Minister for Education, Minister for Emergency Services

    As your State Member of Parliament, I am passionate about representing our local community. My office and staff are here to help you and your family. Please feel free to contact my office in Belgrave, or send through an email.

  • Four New Schools For Melbourne’s Inner City Families

    More than 5,000 new student places will be created for Melbourne families, with a further three new primary schools and a high school to be built in the inner city. Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Albert Park Martin Foley today released the Docklands School Provision Review and Stage 2 of the Andrews Labor Government’s Inner City Schools Package in response.

  • Monbulk's own Champion of the Code

    One of Monbulk’s most dedicated grassroots footy volunteers has been declared a Champion of the Code. James Merlino MP, State Member for Monbulk nominated Danny Lamb, Kilsyth Football Club Junior President for an award at a special reception at Government House to pay tribute to the hard-working volunteers who make local footy tick.

  • Valuing our emergency services volunteers

    Emergency services volunteers will be able to get the equipment and facilities they need to keep communities safe, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s new volunteer grants program. Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino today visited Wattle Glen CFA to launch the new Emergency Services Volunteer Sustainability Grants Program, with $15 million in grants available to volunteers in 2016-17.

  • State Member for Monbulk, Deputy Premier, Minister for Education, Minister for Emergency Services

    As your State Member of Parliament, I am passionate about representing our local community. My office and staff are here to help you and your family. Please feel free to contact my office in Belgrave, or send through an email.

Media Centre

Anzac Day 2017

Anzac Day Services: Monbulk RSL - 5:45am Dawn Service. Morning march at 9:30am - service at 10am. Emerald RSL - 5:30am Dawn Service. Morning march at 10:00am - service at 10:55am. Mount Evelyn RSL - 5:45am Dawn Service. Cockatoo RSL- 6:00am Dawn Service. Main Service 10:30am Dandenong Ranges RSL - Dawn Service Rotary Club of Wandin -8:30am Gembrook RSL - Dawn Service 6:00am. March/Service 10:45am Silvan RSL - 10:30am Upwey-Belgrave RSL - Dawn Service 6:00am. March at 9:45am following by service at 10am Lilydale RSL - Dawn Service 5:45am

Anzac Day 2017

Anzac Day Services: Monbulk RSL - 5:45am Dawn Service. Morning march at 9:30am - service at 10am. Emerald RSL - 5:30am Dawn Service. Morning march at 10:00am - service at 10:55am. Mount Evelyn RSL - 5:45am Dawn Service. Cockatoo RSL- 6:00am Dawn Service. Main Service 10:30am Dandenong Ranges RSL - Dawn Service Rotary Club of Wandin -8:30am Gembrook RSL - Dawn Service 6:00am. March/Service 10:45am Silvan RSL - 10:30am Upwey-Belgrave RSL - Dawn Service 6:00am. March at 9:45am following by service at 10am Lilydale RSL - Dawn Service 5:45am

First Tech School Opens In Yarra Ranges

Around 12,000 local students will soon be using the latest technology, including robotics and virtual reality, as part of their everyday education. Premier Daniel Andrews, Minister for Education James Merlino, Member for Eastern Victoria Daniel Mulino and Member for Eastern Metropolitan Region Shaun Leane today visited the Yarra Ranges Tech School to officially open the groundbreaking new facility. The former Swinburne Lilydale campus had its doors padlocked in July 2013, following the former Liberal Government’s cuts to the TAFE sector. But under this Labor Government the Lilydale Campus was saved, reopened and is now run by Box Hill Institute. The Yarra Ranges site is one of ten new Tech Schools being built under the Labor Government’s $128 million Tech Schools Initiative, which uses new technology to deliver advanced education and training in science, engineering and maths. Led by Director, Danny Tay, the Yarra Ranges Tech School includes 20 partner schools and has a local focus on precision manufacturing, digital technologies including medical robotics, sustainability and renewables, food, fibre and biotechnology. With advice from local industries, students will find real-life solutions to real-life problems using the latest technologies including robotics, virtual reality, 3-D printing and a simulation room. It is part of the Labor Government’s plan to boost performance in STEM subjects, including a 25 per cent increase in the number of Year Nine students reaching the highest level of achievement in maths, and 33 per cent more 15-year-olds reaching the highest levels in science. Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “Once boarded up and set to be sold off, this site will now give local students the skills they need for the job they want.” “It’s no longer a choice between school or getting a technical education. The Yarra Ranges Tech School will mean students can do both.” “Our Tech Schools will help meet the needs of the next generation of industry, and the next generation of Victorians.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This education hub at Lakeside Lilydale campus was on the scrap heap after years of neglect under the former Liberal Government – but thanks to the Labor Government, it’s been saved.” “The re-opening of this campus – combined with the launch of our first Tech School – shows how serious we are about the Yarra Ranges’ future.”     Background Information: List of Partner Schools School Address Principal Belgrave Heights Christian School 20 Wattle Valley Road, Belgrave Heights Andrew Callow Billanook College 197-199 Cardigan Road, Mooroolbark Roger Oates CIRE Community School 2463 Warburton Hwy, Yarra Junction Gus Seremetis Edinburgh College 33-61 Edinburgh Road, Lilydale Tim Borgas Healesville High School 10 Camerons Road, Healesville Allan Rennick Lilydale Heights College 17 Nelson Road, Lilydale Rosina Fotia Lilydale High School 25 Melba Avenue, Lilydale Wendy Powson Mater Christi College 28 Bayview Road, Belgrave Mary Fitz-Gerald Monbulk College 146-148 David Hill Road, Monbulk Margaret Uren Mooroolbark College 186 Manchester Road, Mooroolbark Ann Stratford Mount Evelyn Christian School 135 York Road, Mount Evelyn Narelle Sketcher Mount Lilydale Mercy College 120 Anderson Street, Lilydale Philip Morison Mountain District Christian School 325 Macclesfield Road, Monbulk Jason Riding Oxley Christian College 15 – 49 Old Melbourne Rd, Chirnside Park Doug Peck Sherbrooke Community School 311-313 Mt Dandenong Tourist Rd, Sassafras Sue Holmes Upper Yarra Secondary College 81-89 Little Yarra Road, Yarra Junction Scott Tully Upwey High School 1451 Burwood Highway Upwey Thomas Daly Worawa Aboriginal College 60 – 80 Barak Lane Lois Peeler Yarra Hills Secondary College 16 Reay Road Mooroolbark Darren Trippett Yarra Ranges Special Development School 20 Burdap Drive, Mt Evelyn Janet Taylor   For more information on Tech Schools, visit: http://techschools.education.vic.gov.au For more information on the Yarra Ranges Tech School, visit: http://yrts.boxhill.edu.au/

First Tech School Opens In Yarra Ranges

Around 12,000 local students will soon be using the latest technology, including robotics and virtual reality, as part of their everyday education. Premier Daniel Andrews, Minister for Education James Merlino, Member for Eastern Victoria Daniel Mulino and Member for Eastern Metropolitan Region Shaun Leane today visited the Yarra Ranges Tech School to officially open the groundbreaking new facility. The former Swinburne Lilydale campus had its doors padlocked in July 2013, following the former Liberal Government’s cuts to the TAFE sector. But under this Labor Government the Lilydale Campus was saved, reopened and is now run by Box Hill Institute. The Yarra Ranges site is one of ten new Tech Schools being built under the Labor Government’s $128 million Tech Schools Initiative, which uses new technology to deliver advanced education and training in science, engineering and maths. Led by Director, Danny Tay, the Yarra Ranges Tech School includes 20 partner schools and has a local focus on precision manufacturing, digital technologies including medical robotics, sustainability and renewables, food, fibre and biotechnology. With advice from local industries, students will find real-life solutions to real-life problems using the latest technologies including robotics, virtual reality, 3-D printing and a simulation room. It is part of the Labor Government’s plan to boost performance in STEM subjects, including a 25 per cent increase in the number of Year Nine students reaching the highest level of achievement in maths, and 33 per cent more 15-year-olds reaching the highest levels in science. Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “Once boarded up and set to be sold off, this site will now give local students the skills they need for the job they want.” “It’s no longer a choice between school or getting a technical education. The Yarra Ranges Tech School will mean students can do both.” “Our Tech Schools will help meet the needs of the next generation of industry, and the next generation of Victorians.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This education hub at Lakeside Lilydale campus was on the scrap heap after years of neglect under the former Liberal Government – but thanks to the Labor Government, it’s been saved.” “The re-opening of this campus – combined with the launch of our first Tech School – shows how serious we are about the Yarra Ranges’ future.”     Background Information: List of Partner Schools School Address Principal Belgrave Heights Christian School 20 Wattle Valley Road, Belgrave Heights Andrew Callow Billanook College 197-199 Cardigan Road, Mooroolbark Roger Oates CIRE Community School 2463 Warburton Hwy, Yarra Junction Gus Seremetis Edinburgh College 33-61 Edinburgh Road, Lilydale Tim Borgas Healesville High School 10 Camerons Road, Healesville Allan Rennick Lilydale Heights College 17 Nelson Road, Lilydale Rosina Fotia Lilydale High School 25 Melba Avenue, Lilydale Wendy Powson Mater Christi College 28 Bayview Road, Belgrave Mary Fitz-Gerald Monbulk College 146-148 David Hill Road, Monbulk Margaret Uren Mooroolbark College 186 Manchester Road, Mooroolbark Ann Stratford Mount Evelyn Christian School 135 York Road, Mount Evelyn Narelle Sketcher Mount Lilydale Mercy College 120 Anderson Street, Lilydale Philip Morison Mountain District Christian School 325 Macclesfield Road, Monbulk Jason Riding Oxley Christian College 15 – 49 Old Melbourne Rd, Chirnside Park Doug Peck Sherbrooke Community School 311-313 Mt Dandenong Tourist Rd, Sassafras Sue Holmes Upper Yarra Secondary College 81-89 Little Yarra Road, Yarra Junction Scott Tully Upwey High School 1451 Burwood Highway Upwey Thomas Daly Worawa Aboriginal College 60 – 80 Barak Lane Lois Peeler Yarra Hills Secondary College 16 Reay Road Mooroolbark Darren Trippett Yarra Ranges Special Development School 20 Burdap Drive, Mt Evelyn Janet Taylor   For more information on Tech Schools, visit: http://techschools.education.vic.gov.au For more information on the Yarra Ranges Tech School, visit: http://yrts.boxhill.edu.au/

Armstrong Creek Education Precinct Principal Announced

The inaugural principal has been appointed to lead Armstrong Creek Education Precinct in the booming area south of Geelong. Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Western Victoria Gayle Tierney have announced that Evan Savage will be the first principal of the brand new school. Opening in 2018, Armstrong Creek Education Precinct will comprise a Prep to Year six mainstream primary school and a Prep to Year 12 special education school on the one site. The Government is also relocating Oberon High School, which will serve Years 7-12, to the site. Mr Savage has extensive experience and is now recruiting staff and setting the future direction of the school. He has served as principal of Melton Specialist School and made major contributions to the review of the Program for Students with Disabilities. He also has experience in mainstream primary and secondary education and overseeing large capital works projects. Mr Savage is working with the community to begin forming a school council. He is also developing an enrolment strategy and looking at how the impressive facilities at this new school can meet the needs of all students. Armstrong Creek Education Precinct is one of 42 new government schools in the construction pipeline following a record $1.8 billion investment by the Andrews Labor Government in new schools and school upgrades around the state. Enrolments will open later this year, ahead of the school opening in January 2018. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Evan Savage has an outstanding record working with students with special needs and instilling a culture of excellence. His vast experience will ensure Armstrong Creek Education Precinct gets off to a great start in 2018.” Quote attributable to Member for Western Victoria Gayle Tierney “Appointing Armstrong Creek Education Precinct’s principal a year early gives local families the certainty they need about their new school, and allows the school to start forming relationships with the community.” Quote attributable to Armstrong Creek Education Precinct Principal Evan Savage “I’m over the moon with the opportunity to lead such an exciting new school. Getting the school up and running will be a big challenge, but it’s a challenge I relish and I’m looking forward to getting started.” Download the Media Release (354 KB)

Armstrong Creek Education Precinct Principal Announced

The inaugural principal has been appointed to lead Armstrong Creek Education Precinct in the booming area south of Geelong. Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Western Victoria Gayle Tierney have announced that Evan Savage will be the first principal of the brand new school. Opening in 2018, Armstrong Creek Education Precinct will comprise a Prep to Year six mainstream primary school and a Prep to Year 12 special education school on the one site. The Government is also relocating Oberon High School, which will serve Years 7-12, to the site. Mr Savage has extensive experience and is now recruiting staff and setting the future direction of the school. He has served as principal of Melton Specialist School and made major contributions to the review of the Program for Students with Disabilities. He also has experience in mainstream primary and secondary education and overseeing large capital works projects. Mr Savage is working with the community to begin forming a school council. He is also developing an enrolment strategy and looking at how the impressive facilities at this new school can meet the needs of all students. Armstrong Creek Education Precinct is one of 42 new government schools in the construction pipeline following a record $1.8 billion investment by the Andrews Labor Government in new schools and school upgrades around the state. Enrolments will open later this year, ahead of the school opening in January 2018. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Evan Savage has an outstanding record working with students with special needs and instilling a culture of excellence. His vast experience will ensure Armstrong Creek Education Precinct gets off to a great start in 2018.” Quote attributable to Member for Western Victoria Gayle Tierney “Appointing Armstrong Creek Education Precinct’s principal a year early gives local families the certainty they need about their new school, and allows the school to start forming relationships with the community.” Quote attributable to Armstrong Creek Education Precinct Principal Evan Savage “I’m over the moon with the opportunity to lead such an exciting new school. Getting the school up and running will be a big challenge, but it’s a challenge I relish and I’m looking forward to getting started.” Download the Media Release (354 KB)

Ballarat Emergency Volunteers $122,000 Funding Boost

Emergency services volunteers in Ballarat are receiving a $122,000 funding boost from the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino and Member for Wendouree Sharon Knight today visited the Ballarat Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) unit to congratulate volunteers on their successful grants under the $15 million Emergency Services Volunteer Sustainability (ESVS) grants program. Mr Merlino and Ms Knight also took a tour of areas affected by the high winds and heavy rain that hit Ballarat on Sunday night and Monday morning. Thousands of homes and businesses lost power and SES volunteers worked around the clock to help those in need. The SES’s MidWest region had 283 requests for assistance from midnight Sunday to early afternoon Monday. The Ballarat VICSES unit will receive $67,000 in funding to buy new operational equipment, repair a damaged car park and roof, and conduct rescue training. Local volunteer CFA brigades will also benefit from the ESVS program with grants totalling $55,000. Buninyong Brigade will purchase new chainsaws and helmets, while Eureka Group will receive a six hose testing trailer and the Sebastopol Brigade will undertake station renovations. Ballarat’s population is growing and outside of Melbourne, Alfredton is the second fastest growing suburb in the state – with growth of nearly six per cent a year. It is vital that our volunteers have the resources they need to protect this rising population. More than 260 grants worth almost $5.2 million have been approved so far under the Emergency ESVS grants program with plenty more to come. A list of successful grant recipients can be found at: www.emv.vic.gov.au/esvsgrants Quotes attributable to Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino “Congratulations to Ballarat VICSES units and CFA brigades on securing funding that will help them continue their outstanding work keeping the community safe.” “Ballarat’s emergency services volunteers put in long hours keeping the community safe. On Sunday and Monday there were hundreds of requests for help in the local area; it is vital that these volunteers are well equipped and properly trained to meet the challenging conditions they face.” Quote attributable to Member for Wendouree Sharon Knight “Our Emergency Services volunteers are the first line of defence and they deserve the best equipment, training and facilities.”   Download the Media Release (300 KB)  

Ballarat Emergency Volunteers $122,000 Funding Boost

Emergency services volunteers in Ballarat are receiving a $122,000 funding boost from the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino and Member for Wendouree Sharon Knight today visited the Ballarat Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) unit to congratulate volunteers on their successful grants under the $15 million Emergency Services Volunteer Sustainability (ESVS) grants program. Mr Merlino and Ms Knight also took a tour of areas affected by the high winds and heavy rain that hit Ballarat on Sunday night and Monday morning. Thousands of homes and businesses lost power and SES volunteers worked around the clock to help those in need. The SES’s MidWest region had 283 requests for assistance from midnight Sunday to early afternoon Monday. The Ballarat VICSES unit will receive $67,000 in funding to buy new operational equipment, repair a damaged car park and roof, and conduct rescue training. Local volunteer CFA brigades will also benefit from the ESVS program with grants totalling $55,000. Buninyong Brigade will purchase new chainsaws and helmets, while Eureka Group will receive a six hose testing trailer and the Sebastopol Brigade will undertake station renovations. Ballarat’s population is growing and outside of Melbourne, Alfredton is the second fastest growing suburb in the state – with growth of nearly six per cent a year. It is vital that our volunteers have the resources they need to protect this rising population. More than 260 grants worth almost $5.2 million have been approved so far under the Emergency ESVS grants program with plenty more to come. A list of successful grant recipients can be found at: www.emv.vic.gov.au/esvsgrants Quotes attributable to Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino “Congratulations to Ballarat VICSES units and CFA brigades on securing funding that will help them continue their outstanding work keeping the community safe.” “Ballarat’s emergency services volunteers put in long hours keeping the community safe. On Sunday and Monday there were hundreds of requests for help in the local area; it is vital that these volunteers are well equipped and properly trained to meet the challenging conditions they face.” Quote attributable to Member for Wendouree Sharon Knight “Our Emergency Services volunteers are the first line of defence and they deserve the best equipment, training and facilities.”   Download the Media Release (300 KB)  

Final Designs For Ballarat Tech School Unveiled

Students in the Ballarat region are a step closer to getting a brand new Tech School, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Wendouree Sharon Knight today visited Federation University Australia’s SMB Campus in Ballarat to unveil designs for the groundbreaking new facility. Expected to open in early 2018, the Ballarat Tech School will span over two floors and include an IT and virtual reality lab. It will also feature innovative project spaces dedicated to industries prominent in the region. Students from 15 partner schools will be able to access the Tech School’s learning programs free of charge. It is one of ten new Tech Schools being built under the Labor Government’s $128 million Tech Schools Initiative. Tech Schools will use leading technology to deliver advanced education and training in science, technology, engineering and maths. This will mean local students now won’t have to travel far and wide to get a Tech School education – opening up new opportunities for young people in Ballarat. Ballarat Tech School will have a local industry focus on health and science, new energy technologies, food and fibre, advanced manufacturing and information technology. Students will work on real-life problems provided by industry and use the latest technologies to come up with solutions. It is part of the Labor Government’s plan to boost performance in STEM subjects, including a 25 per cent increase in the number of Year nine students reaching the highest level of achievement in maths and 33 per cent more 15-year-olds reaching the highest levels in science. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This brand new Tech School will allow students across the Ballarat region to get the skills and experiences they need to thrive in the emerging jobs of the future.” “The Tech School will be based at the Federation University Australia’s SMB Campus, right near Ballarat’s city centre. Students will be matched with local industries and work on real life problems.” Quotes attributable to Member for Wendouree Sharon Knight “We want students in the region to have the best STEM education resources available in their own community.”  “The Tech School program, led by Director Sofia Fiusco, will support student decisions about future study and open up a world of opportunities.” Background – Schools Accessing the Ballarat Tech School: Ballarat Christian College Ballarat Clarendon College Ballarat Grammar Ballarat High School Ballarat Secondary College Ballarat Specialist School Damascus College Daylesford Secondary College Federation College Lake Bolac College Loreto College Mount Clear College Phoenix P-12 Community College St Patrick’s College Ballarat Yuille Park P-8 Community College For more information on Tech Schools, visit: http://techschools.education.vic.gov.au For more information on the Ballarat Tech School, visit:  http://www.schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au/Pages/Schools/Ballarat-Tech-School.aspx Download the Media Release (377 KB)

Final Designs For Ballarat Tech School Unveiled

Students in the Ballarat region are a step closer to getting a brand new Tech School, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Wendouree Sharon Knight today visited Federation University Australia’s SMB Campus in Ballarat to unveil designs for the groundbreaking new facility. Expected to open in early 2018, the Ballarat Tech School will span over two floors and include an IT and virtual reality lab. It will also feature innovative project spaces dedicated to industries prominent in the region. Students from 15 partner schools will be able to access the Tech School’s learning programs free of charge. It is one of ten new Tech Schools being built under the Labor Government’s $128 million Tech Schools Initiative. Tech Schools will use leading technology to deliver advanced education and training in science, technology, engineering and maths. This will mean local students now won’t have to travel far and wide to get a Tech School education – opening up new opportunities for young people in Ballarat. Ballarat Tech School will have a local industry focus on health and science, new energy technologies, food and fibre, advanced manufacturing and information technology. Students will work on real-life problems provided by industry and use the latest technologies to come up with solutions. It is part of the Labor Government’s plan to boost performance in STEM subjects, including a 25 per cent increase in the number of Year nine students reaching the highest level of achievement in maths and 33 per cent more 15-year-olds reaching the highest levels in science. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This brand new Tech School will allow students across the Ballarat region to get the skills and experiences they need to thrive in the emerging jobs of the future.” “The Tech School will be based at the Federation University Australia’s SMB Campus, right near Ballarat’s city centre. Students will be matched with local industries and work on real life problems.” Quotes attributable to Member for Wendouree Sharon Knight “We want students in the region to have the best STEM education resources available in their own community.”  “The Tech School program, led by Director Sofia Fiusco, will support student decisions about future study and open up a world of opportunities.” Background – Schools Accessing the Ballarat Tech School: Ballarat Christian College Ballarat Clarendon College Ballarat Grammar Ballarat High School Ballarat Secondary College Ballarat Specialist School Damascus College Daylesford Secondary College Federation College Lake Bolac College Loreto College Mount Clear College Phoenix P-12 Community College St Patrick’s College Ballarat Yuille Park P-8 Community College For more information on Tech Schools, visit: http://techschools.education.vic.gov.au For more information on the Ballarat Tech School, visit:  http://www.schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au/Pages/Schools/Ballarat-Tech-School.aspx Download the Media Release (377 KB)

Demolition Works Pave Way For Brand New CFA Station

Edithvale is a step closer to receiving a new CFA station, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino and Member for Mordialloc Tim Richardson today donned their hard hats for a tour of the site, which will be transformed into a $3.35 million station with four vehicle bays. Mr Merlino took a sledgehammer to the original fire station, which is being knocked down and redeveloped. Edithvale Fire Brigade members were consulted on amenities at the new fire station and their input has been vital. The new custom-designed, four-bay fire Edithvale Fire Station will feature a new meeting room and business hub so members can work or study on site while waiting for an emergency call out. The redevelopment will accommodate the brigade’s growing membership and increased demand for the local community. During the visit Mr Merlino and Mr Richardson met local resident John Hennessey –  who sold his property to the Country Fire Authority ahead of a range of attractive offers from developers. Mr Hennessey has been a long-time neighbour and supporter of the brigade. The brigade serves communities in Edithvale, Aspendale, Chelsea and Chelsea Heights, and regularly supports surrounding CFA brigades at Patterson River, Keysborough, Springvale, and Carrum Downs, as well as into the Metropolitan Fire Brigade area. The new station is due for completion in December 2017. Quotes attributable to Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino “In 2014 we promised to deliver a new fire station for Edithvale and we’re getting it done.” “This $3.35 million redevelopment will ensure firefighters have the resources they need get on with the job of keeping the community safe.” Quotes attributable to Member for Mordialloc Tim Richardson “I would like to thank the Edithvale Fire Brigade for carrying on their duties diligently from their temporary facility at Chelsea Heights while work is underway.” “I also thank John Hennessey, who sold his property to the CFA to make way for the new fire station. Your support is hugely appreciated.”   Download the Media Release (373 KB)

Demolition Works Pave Way For Brand New CFA Station

Edithvale is a step closer to receiving a new CFA station, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino and Member for Mordialloc Tim Richardson today donned their hard hats for a tour of the site, which will be transformed into a $3.35 million station with four vehicle bays. Mr Merlino took a sledgehammer to the original fire station, which is being knocked down and redeveloped. Edithvale Fire Brigade members were consulted on amenities at the new fire station and their input has been vital. The new custom-designed, four-bay fire Edithvale Fire Station will feature a new meeting room and business hub so members can work or study on site while waiting for an emergency call out. The redevelopment will accommodate the brigade’s growing membership and increased demand for the local community. During the visit Mr Merlino and Mr Richardson met local resident John Hennessey –  who sold his property to the Country Fire Authority ahead of a range of attractive offers from developers. Mr Hennessey has been a long-time neighbour and supporter of the brigade. The brigade serves communities in Edithvale, Aspendale, Chelsea and Chelsea Heights, and regularly supports surrounding CFA brigades at Patterson River, Keysborough, Springvale, and Carrum Downs, as well as into the Metropolitan Fire Brigade area. The new station is due for completion in December 2017. Quotes attributable to Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino “In 2014 we promised to deliver a new fire station for Edithvale and we’re getting it done.” “This $3.35 million redevelopment will ensure firefighters have the resources they need get on with the job of keeping the community safe.” Quotes attributable to Member for Mordialloc Tim Richardson “I would like to thank the Edithvale Fire Brigade for carrying on their duties diligently from their temporary facility at Chelsea Heights while work is underway.” “I also thank John Hennessey, who sold his property to the CFA to make way for the new fire station. Your support is hugely appreciated.”   Download the Media Release (373 KB)

Demolition Works Pave Way For New Prahran High School

Families in Melbourne’s booming inner suburbs will soon have access to a brand new school, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Southern Metropolitan Region Philip Dalidakis today visited the Prahran High School site to start the demolition of the existing seven storey building. The construction of the new school on High Street in Windsor will commence in coming months, with the school expected to open for Term one 2019. Prahran High School will be among Victoria’s first government vertical schools, giving students access to a first-rate local school in a built-up area with limited space. The school will be constructed over five levels – all featuring direct access to outdoor learning terraces. A large central atrium will run north to south through the building, creating a focal meeting point. In addition to science, art and food technology spaces and rooftop recreation area there will be a gymnasium on the third level. Large sectional doors will allow the gym to open up to an outdoor recreation space alongside a student-run café and lounge. The Andrews Labor Government acquired the site for the new school from Swinburne University in March 2016, which sits next to an existing educational precinct including Melbourne Polytechnic and the National Institute of Circus Arts. It is one of 42 new government schools in the construction pipeline – including 10 that opened this year – following a record $1.8 billion investment by the Labor Government in new schools and school upgrades across the state. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Every Victorian family deserves access to a first-rate school and we are getting it done.” “This five storey vertical school will help turn a site with limited space into a local school the entire community can be proud of.” Quotes attributable to Member for Southern Metropolitan Region Philip Dalidakis “Getting demolition works underway is just the first step in delivering a new school for families living in Melbourne’s booming inner-south.” “This high school will ensure 650 students get the education they need close to home.” Download the Media Release (356 KB)

Demolition Works Pave Way For New Prahran High School

Families in Melbourne’s booming inner suburbs will soon have access to a brand new school, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Southern Metropolitan Region Philip Dalidakis today visited the Prahran High School site to start the demolition of the existing seven storey building. The construction of the new school on High Street in Windsor will commence in coming months, with the school expected to open for Term one 2019. Prahran High School will be among Victoria’s first government vertical schools, giving students access to a first-rate local school in a built-up area with limited space. The school will be constructed over five levels – all featuring direct access to outdoor learning terraces. A large central atrium will run north to south through the building, creating a focal meeting point. In addition to science, art and food technology spaces and rooftop recreation area there will be a gymnasium on the third level. Large sectional doors will allow the gym to open up to an outdoor recreation space alongside a student-run café and lounge. The Andrews Labor Government acquired the site for the new school from Swinburne University in March 2016, which sits next to an existing educational precinct including Melbourne Polytechnic and the National Institute of Circus Arts. It is one of 42 new government schools in the construction pipeline – including 10 that opened this year – following a record $1.8 billion investment by the Labor Government in new schools and school upgrades across the state. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Every Victorian family deserves access to a first-rate school and we are getting it done.” “This five storey vertical school will help turn a site with limited space into a local school the entire community can be proud of.” Quotes attributable to Member for Southern Metropolitan Region Philip Dalidakis “Getting demolition works underway is just the first step in delivering a new school for families living in Melbourne’s booming inner-south.” “This high school will ensure 650 students get the education they need close to home.” Download the Media Release (356 KB)

New Docklands School Takes Shape

Docklands families are a step closer to having a brand new primary school, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino, Minister for Major Projects Jacinta Allan and Member for Northern Metropolitan Jenny Mikakos today announced that the new Docklands school will be built at 259-269 Footscray Road, on the corner of Little Docklands Drive. The Docklands community will be invited to contribute their vision for the new school. The Victorian School Building Authority will begin stakeholder engagement in the coming weeks, including a community workshop and online engagement. Local families can have their say on the education framework, the design of the school, and the needs across the broader school precinct. The Labor Government is delivering Docklands families a new primary school as part of its comprehensive response to the Docklands school provision review. The primary school site has good walking, cycling and public transport access, and is the right size to accommodate a modern primary school with outdoor space. The Labor Government is building the Education State so that every community can access a great local school where students are supported to achieve their best. There are 42 new schools across Victoria now in the construction pipeline – including 10 new schools that opened this year – and more than 1,000 building projects under way after an unprecedented $1.8 billion investment. To get involved and have your say, register to be part of the community engagement at www.engage.vic.gov.au/DocklandsPrimary Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We are getting on with delivering Docklands families a great new local primary school – we’ve have appointed  an architect, identified a site and community consultation will begin soon.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Major Projects Jacinta Allan “This new school is great news for local families and is part of the ongoing development of Docklands into a vibrant community on the doorstep of the CBD.” Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Metropolitan Jenny Mikakos “Docklands primary school will be an incredible local school that will be accessible for families, provide first-rate education facilities for local kids and ultimately help grow an already thriving inner-city community.” Download the Media Release (352 KB)

New Docklands School Takes Shape

Docklands families are a step closer to having a brand new primary school, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino, Minister for Major Projects Jacinta Allan and Member for Northern Metropolitan Jenny Mikakos today announced that the new Docklands school will be built at 259-269 Footscray Road, on the corner of Little Docklands Drive. The Docklands community will be invited to contribute their vision for the new school. The Victorian School Building Authority will begin stakeholder engagement in the coming weeks, including a community workshop and online engagement. Local families can have their say on the education framework, the design of the school, and the needs across the broader school precinct. The Labor Government is delivering Docklands families a new primary school as part of its comprehensive response to the Docklands school provision review. The primary school site has good walking, cycling and public transport access, and is the right size to accommodate a modern primary school with outdoor space. The Labor Government is building the Education State so that every community can access a great local school where students are supported to achieve their best. There are 42 new schools across Victoria now in the construction pipeline – including 10 new schools that opened this year – and more than 1,000 building projects under way after an unprecedented $1.8 billion investment. To get involved and have your say, register to be part of the community engagement at www.engage.vic.gov.au/DocklandsPrimary Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We are getting on with delivering Docklands families a great new local primary school – we’ve have appointed  an architect, identified a site and community consultation will begin soon.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Major Projects Jacinta Allan “This new school is great news for local families and is part of the ongoing development of Docklands into a vibrant community on the doorstep of the CBD.” Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Metropolitan Jenny Mikakos “Docklands primary school will be an incredible local school that will be accessible for families, provide first-rate education facilities for local kids and ultimately help grow an already thriving inner-city community.” Download the Media Release (352 KB)

 

$3.4 Million To Support Flood Affected Southern Grampians And Glenelg Communities

Minister for Justice Michael Keenan and Acting Victorian Minister for Emergency Services Lisa Neville today announced a Community Recovery Fund of up to $3.4 million for the Southern Grampians and Glenelg Council areas, which were significantly impacted by the Victorian floods in September and October 2016. Minister Keenan said the Community Recovery Fund is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA). “Communities suffered extensive damage during widespread flooding in Victoria in September and October last year,” Mr Keenan said. “After examining the impacts of the floods, the Commonwealth and Victorian State Government have worked closely to ensure the right assistance is provided to repair the most affected community facilities.” Minister Neville said the $3.4 million Community Recovery Fund is being provided in recognition of the significant impact on community facilities and assets in Southern Grampians and Glenelg Shires, particularly in the hardest hit communities of Coleraine and Casterton. “The impact of the flood event has been significant in these communities, with more than 65 community facilities damaged,” Ms Neville said. “Funding will be available to help cover the costs associated with the clean-up and restoration of flood damaged community facilities and assets, which play such a vital role in our rural and regional communities.” As part of the Community Recovery Fund, Southern Grampians and Glenelg Shire Councils will also receive funding for dedicated recovery staff. Information regarding disaster assistance available can be found on the Vic Emergency website at www.emergency.vic.gov.au/relief  or the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website at www.disasterassist.gov.au Download the Media Release (204 KB)

$3.4 Million To Support Flood Affected Southern Grampians And Glenelg Communities

Minister for Justice Michael Keenan and Acting Victorian Minister for Emergency Services Lisa Neville today announced a Community Recovery Fund of up to $3.4 million for the Southern Grampians and Glenelg Council areas, which were significantly impacted by the Victorian floods in September and October 2016. Minister Keenan said the Community Recovery Fund is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA). “Communities suffered extensive damage during widespread flooding in Victoria in September and October last year,” Mr Keenan said. “After examining the impacts of the floods, the Commonwealth and Victorian State Government have worked closely to ensure the right assistance is provided to repair the most affected community facilities.” Minister Neville said the $3.4 million Community Recovery Fund is being provided in recognition of the significant impact on community facilities and assets in Southern Grampians and Glenelg Shires, particularly in the hardest hit communities of Coleraine and Casterton. “The impact of the flood event has been significant in these communities, with more than 65 community facilities damaged,” Ms Neville said. “Funding will be available to help cover the costs associated with the clean-up and restoration of flood damaged community facilities and assets, which play such a vital role in our rural and regional communities.” As part of the Community Recovery Fund, Southern Grampians and Glenelg Shire Councils will also receive funding for dedicated recovery staff. Information regarding disaster assistance available can be found on the Vic Emergency website at www.emergency.vic.gov.au/relief  or the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website at www.disasterassist.gov.au Download the Media Release (204 KB)

Scholarships Awarded To Koorie Students

Twenty Koorie students have received $5,000 scholarships, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today presented the 2017 Marrung Education Scholarship Awards to students in recognition of their strong potential to succeed in their chosen career paths. The two-year Marrung Scholarships are awarded to Year 11 students studying at a Victorian government school. Since the program’s inception in 2009, some 167 students have shared in $820,000 worth of scholarships. The 2017 scholarship recipients were drawn from 17 different government schools across Victoria and include students who will be the first in their family to complete Year 12. The award winning students are looking to pursue careers in graphic design, youth work, engineering, pyschiatry, physipotherapy, teaching and football. This year’s awards come as figures show a steady increase in the number of Aboriginal students completing the Victorian Certificate of Education, Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning or VET in Schools Certificate. The number of students completing one of VCE, VCAL or VET has more than doubled in the last five years – with 570 student completions in 2016 compared to 272 in 2011. The Marrung Scholarships form part of the Labor Government’s Education State plan to close the gap between Koorie and non-Koorie students. The Marrung Aboriginal Education Plan 2016-2026 was launched last year and was developed in partnership with the Victorian Koorie community. The 10-year plan is helping Koorie Victorians succeed in their education choices and realise the full benefits of the Education State reforms across early childhood, schools and vocational education and training. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “With 15 recipients coming from regional Victoria, the benefits of the Marrung Education Scholarships will be felt right across the state.” Quotes attributable to Geraldine Atkinson, President, Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Incorporated (VAEAI) “VAEAI is excited about the opportunities that these scholarships present. Past recipients have gone on to pursue diverse pathways including university, training, being drafted into AFL clubs, and more.” “Recipients should be very proud. They have been selected because of their academic success, commitment to furthering their education, and strong involvement in their school and their Koorie communities.” Download the Media Release (456 KB)

Scholarships Awarded To Koorie Students

Twenty Koorie students have received $5,000 scholarships, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today presented the 2017 Marrung Education Scholarship Awards to students in recognition of their strong potential to succeed in their chosen career paths. The two-year Marrung Scholarships are awarded to Year 11 students studying at a Victorian government school. Since the program’s inception in 2009, some 167 students have shared in $820,000 worth of scholarships. The 2017 scholarship recipients were drawn from 17 different government schools across Victoria and include students who will be the first in their family to complete Year 12. The award winning students are looking to pursue careers in graphic design, youth work, engineering, pyschiatry, physipotherapy, teaching and football. This year’s awards come as figures show a steady increase in the number of Aboriginal students completing the Victorian Certificate of Education, Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning or VET in Schools Certificate. The number of students completing one of VCE, VCAL or VET has more than doubled in the last five years – with 570 student completions in 2016 compared to 272 in 2011. The Marrung Scholarships form part of the Labor Government’s Education State plan to close the gap between Koorie and non-Koorie students. The Marrung Aboriginal Education Plan 2016-2026 was launched last year and was developed in partnership with the Victorian Koorie community. The 10-year plan is helping Koorie Victorians succeed in their education choices and realise the full benefits of the Education State reforms across early childhood, schools and vocational education and training. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “With 15 recipients coming from regional Victoria, the benefits of the Marrung Education Scholarships will be felt right across the state.” Quotes attributable to Geraldine Atkinson, President, Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Incorporated (VAEAI) “VAEAI is excited about the opportunities that these scholarships present. Past recipients have gone on to pursue diverse pathways including university, training, being drafted into AFL clubs, and more.” “Recipients should be very proud. They have been selected because of their academic success, commitment to furthering their education, and strong involvement in their school and their Koorie communities.” Download the Media Release (456 KB)

New Deal For Teachers To Support Our Best And Brightest

A new agreement between the Andrews Labor Government and Victoria’s teachers will see quality teaching and professional development back on the agenda. As well as providing extra support for teachers, the new Schools Enterprise Bargaining Agreement also ensures better conditions for education support staff and gives principals the recognition they deserve. Reached as part of negotiations with the Australian Education Union, the four year deal will see the creation of 3000 new learning specialist positions. These positions will give our best and brightest teachers the option to advance their careers, without them having to leave the classroom. These specialist teachers will also provide ongoing support, advice and mentorship to other teachers. The agreement also gives at least 2,500 teachers and 5,000 Education Support Staff certainty, by moving them from contract to permanent roles. It’s a change that will deliver the security that many of us take for granted, including being able to apply for a mortgage or a car loan. Education support staff – the professionals who support teachers and work one-on-one with students who need extra support – will also be given a much needed boost. Under the new agreement, around 65 per cent of the state’s support staff will receive an additional bump in their wage. The agreement also recognises the importance of principals as school leaders, the long hours they work and the enormous contribution they make to improving student outcomes. Principals will receive a 4% pay increase per year, as well as further restructuring of principals’ pay classification. All teachers and education support staff will receive a 3.25% pay rise annually for the life of the agreement. This change will see Victorian teachers paid more than their NSW counterparts. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “The new agreement means our best and brightest can remain in the classroom, without having to hit pause on their teaching careers. Importantly, it will also allow them to share their experience and work alongside other teachers.” “We’re making sure that we have the best teachers in the classrooms so every child gets a great education.” Quotes Attributable to the Minister for Industrial Relations Natalie Hutchins “Quality teaching means a quality education for our kids. This agreement reflects our priorities, it’s a win for schools, for teachers, for parents and for students.” “It recognises the hard work of some of the lowest paid staff – and importantly it’s another EBA delivered without a single day of industrial action.” Download the Media Release (354 KB)

New Deal For Teachers To Support Our Best And Brightest

A new agreement between the Andrews Labor Government and Victoria’s teachers will see quality teaching and professional development back on the agenda. As well as providing extra support for teachers, the new Schools Enterprise Bargaining Agreement also ensures better conditions for education support staff and gives principals the recognition they deserve. Reached as part of negotiations with the Australian Education Union, the four year deal will see the creation of 3000 new learning specialist positions. These positions will give our best and brightest teachers the option to advance their careers, without them having to leave the classroom. These specialist teachers will also provide ongoing support, advice and mentorship to other teachers. The agreement also gives at least 2,500 teachers and 5,000 Education Support Staff certainty, by moving them from contract to permanent roles. It’s a change that will deliver the security that many of us take for granted, including being able to apply for a mortgage or a car loan. Education support staff – the professionals who support teachers and work one-on-one with students who need extra support – will also be given a much needed boost. Under the new agreement, around 65 per cent of the state’s support staff will receive an additional bump in their wage. The agreement also recognises the importance of principals as school leaders, the long hours they work and the enormous contribution they make to improving student outcomes. Principals will receive a 4% pay increase per year, as well as further restructuring of principals’ pay classification. All teachers and education support staff will receive a 3.25% pay rise annually for the life of the agreement. This change will see Victorian teachers paid more than their NSW counterparts. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “The new agreement means our best and brightest can remain in the classroom, without having to hit pause on their teaching careers. Importantly, it will also allow them to share their experience and work alongside other teachers.” “We’re making sure that we have the best teachers in the classrooms so every child gets a great education.” Quotes Attributable to the Minister for Industrial Relations Natalie Hutchins “Quality teaching means a quality education for our kids. This agreement reflects our priorities, it’s a win for schools, for teachers, for parents and for students.” “It recognises the hard work of some of the lowest paid staff – and importantly it’s another EBA delivered without a single day of industrial action.” Download the Media Release (354 KB)

MEN’S SHEDS HELPING LOCAL COMMUNITIES IN MONBULK

Communities around Victoria are set to benefit from more Men’s Sheds, thanks to $879,000 in funding from the Andrews Labor Government. Member for Monbulk, James Merlino MP said the grants will help communities provide a space for men to meet, reconnect and participate in their local communities. Men’s sheds also give men the opportunity help their local communities, from creating nesting boxes for endangered species and doing maintenance work for pensioners. With over 350 men’s sheds already operating across Victoria, this funding will provide more opportunities for men to participate locally and interact in a safe and inclusive environment. Importantly, the sheds also provide community support especially during periods of economic and social change. Grants of up to $60,000 are available for communities to build a new shed, or up to $30,000 to refurbish an existing one. Community groups and local councils are encouraged to apply, especially those from rural and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and areas that are experiencing significant economic and social change. The Labor Government provides $1 million per year through the Men’s Shed program, including funding to support the Victorian Men’s Shed’s Association in strengthening the capacity of men’s sheds. For more information visit http://www.dhs.vic.gov.au/for-business-and-community/community-involvement/men-in-the-community/mens-sheds Quotes attributable to James Merlino MP, State Member for Monbulk “Men’s sheds are a huge asset for local communities – they give men the opportunity to interact in a safe space and give back to their communities.” “This new funding will help provide more spaces like this around the state.”

MEN’S SHEDS HELPING LOCAL COMMUNITIES IN MONBULK

Communities around Victoria are set to benefit from more Men’s Sheds, thanks to $879,000 in funding from the Andrews Labor Government. Member for Monbulk, James Merlino MP said the grants will help communities provide a space for men to meet, reconnect and participate in their local communities. Men’s sheds also give men the opportunity help their local communities, from creating nesting boxes for endangered species and doing maintenance work for pensioners. With over 350 men’s sheds already operating across Victoria, this funding will provide more opportunities for men to participate locally and interact in a safe and inclusive environment. Importantly, the sheds also provide community support especially during periods of economic and social change. Grants of up to $60,000 are available for communities to build a new shed, or up to $30,000 to refurbish an existing one. Community groups and local councils are encouraged to apply, especially those from rural and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and areas that are experiencing significant economic and social change. The Labor Government provides $1 million per year through the Men’s Shed program, including funding to support the Victorian Men’s Shed’s Association in strengthening the capacity of men’s sheds. For more information visit http://www.dhs.vic.gov.au/for-business-and-community/community-involvement/men-in-the-community/mens-sheds Quotes attributable to James Merlino MP, State Member for Monbulk “Men’s sheds are a huge asset for local communities – they give men the opportunity to interact in a safe space and give back to their communities.” “This new funding will help provide more spaces like this around the state.”

Launch Of The Independent Office To Resolve School Disputes

In an Australian-first, Victorian families will have access to an Independent Office responsible for resolving the most complex and difficult school disputes. Minister for Education James Merlino launched the new Independent Office for School Dispute Resolution at an event at Parliament today and said that the Office would provide a dispute resolution process for schools and families that will aim to achieve a shared agreement. The Independent Office is designed to resolve disputes concerning school-based decisions or actions.  Matters that may come to the Office include issues of access and inclusion, wellbeing and engagement, management of medical conditions, responses to bullying, appropriate setting for students at risk or disengaged students. Francis Handy will chair the new Office having worked in the public and private sectors in Australia, the United Kingdom, United States and Canada. He has more than 20 years’ experience in dispute resolution, including work in schools. Two experienced deputy chairs have also been appointed: Jo-Anne Mazzeo, a dispute resolution lawyer with a background in mental health and disability law, and Treasure Jennings, an expert in dispute resolution with a wealth of experience as the Public Transport Ombudsman. They will be supported by 13 other Independent Office members with expertise in primary and secondary education as well as a range of other areas likely to come before the office including family disputes, vulnerable children, disability, mental health, LGBTI issues and Koorie engagement. The members will come together on a case-by-case basis depending on the nature of a dispute with the aim of finding an outcome agreeable to all sides. For more on the new service visit the website: www.schoolresolution.vic.gov.au. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “By boosting complaint resolution services in our schools, more complaints will be resolved quickly and fairly. This is better for the student, the parents and the school.” “When the Liberals were in Government they did nothing to improve dispute resolution processes for parents and students. Thanks to the Andrews Labor Government parents will have a voice in resolving complex and difficult disputes.” Quotes attributable to Parents Victoria President Sharron Healy “Parents Victoria applaud the introduction of the Independent Office as a long-awaited systemic improvement for school complaint resolution.” “Independence in resolving our toughest cases is vital to finding a solution all parties will be happy with.  After fighting for this for over ten years, Parents Victoria is pleased that we finally have an independent avenue for school disputes.” Download the Media Release (355 KB)

Launch Of The Independent Office To Resolve School Disputes

In an Australian-first, Victorian families will have access to an Independent Office responsible for resolving the most complex and difficult school disputes. Minister for Education James Merlino launched the new Independent Office for School Dispute Resolution at an event at Parliament today and said that the Office would provide a dispute resolution process for schools and families that will aim to achieve a shared agreement. The Independent Office is designed to resolve disputes concerning school-based decisions or actions.  Matters that may come to the Office include issues of access and inclusion, wellbeing and engagement, management of medical conditions, responses to bullying, appropriate setting for students at risk or disengaged students. Francis Handy will chair the new Office having worked in the public and private sectors in Australia, the United Kingdom, United States and Canada. He has more than 20 years’ experience in dispute resolution, including work in schools. Two experienced deputy chairs have also been appointed: Jo-Anne Mazzeo, a dispute resolution lawyer with a background in mental health and disability law, and Treasure Jennings, an expert in dispute resolution with a wealth of experience as the Public Transport Ombudsman. They will be supported by 13 other Independent Office members with expertise in primary and secondary education as well as a range of other areas likely to come before the office including family disputes, vulnerable children, disability, mental health, LGBTI issues and Koorie engagement. The members will come together on a case-by-case basis depending on the nature of a dispute with the aim of finding an outcome agreeable to all sides. For more on the new service visit the website: www.schoolresolution.vic.gov.au. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “By boosting complaint resolution services in our schools, more complaints will be resolved quickly and fairly. This is better for the student, the parents and the school.” “When the Liberals were in Government they did nothing to improve dispute resolution processes for parents and students. Thanks to the Andrews Labor Government parents will have a voice in resolving complex and difficult disputes.” Quotes attributable to Parents Victoria President Sharron Healy “Parents Victoria applaud the introduction of the Independent Office as a long-awaited systemic improvement for school complaint resolution.” “Independence in resolving our toughest cases is vital to finding a solution all parties will be happy with.  After fighting for this for over ten years, Parents Victoria is pleased that we finally have an independent avenue for school disputes.” Download the Media Release (355 KB)

Ride 2 School Day A Great Chance To Get Active

Students in the local area are being encouraged to cycle or walk to school as part of a great initiative to get active. Minister for Education James Merlino today visited Billanook Primary School on National Ride2School Day to urge all students to find an active way to get to school. With physical inactivity levels on the rise, National Ride2School Day provides a reminder to school communities to ditch the car and embrace a healthier start to the day. In the 1970’s, eighty per cent of students rode or walked to school, but that figure has dropped to just twenty per cent today. Reversing this trend will go a long way to helping students get the recommended amount of daily exercise they need to stay on top of their game. National Ride2School Day is also a reminder for drivers to slow down and take extra care around schools. Drivers should slow down in school zones like the one around Billanook Primary, even if children don’t appear to be present at the time. By making sure the roads around our schools are safe, we can better encourage students to opt out of a car ride to school and get some fresh air instead. The Andrews Labor Government has set ambitious targets to improve the health of Victorian students. This includes achieving a 20 per cent increase in the number of students taking part in physical activity five times a week by 2025. It’s all part of the Labor Government’s drive to meet the Education State target of increasing the proportion of students taking part in physical activity five times a week. By encouraging students to ride or walk to school we can increase the proportion of kids staying active and make students happier, healthier and more resilient. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Happy, healthy students are better students – and walking or riding to school is a great way for children to keep active.”  “This initiative is also a good chance for parents to talk to their children about safely crossing the road and encouraging the basics of road safety.” Download the Media Release (350 KB)

Ride 2 School Day A Great Chance To Get Active

Students in the local area are being encouraged to cycle or walk to school as part of a great initiative to get active. Minister for Education James Merlino today visited Billanook Primary School on National Ride2School Day to urge all students to find an active way to get to school. With physical inactivity levels on the rise, National Ride2School Day provides a reminder to school communities to ditch the car and embrace a healthier start to the day. In the 1970’s, eighty per cent of students rode or walked to school, but that figure has dropped to just twenty per cent today. Reversing this trend will go a long way to helping students get the recommended amount of daily exercise they need to stay on top of their game. National Ride2School Day is also a reminder for drivers to slow down and take extra care around schools. Drivers should slow down in school zones like the one around Billanook Primary, even if children don’t appear to be present at the time. By making sure the roads around our schools are safe, we can better encourage students to opt out of a car ride to school and get some fresh air instead. The Andrews Labor Government has set ambitious targets to improve the health of Victorian students. This includes achieving a 20 per cent increase in the number of students taking part in physical activity five times a week by 2025. It’s all part of the Labor Government’s drive to meet the Education State target of increasing the proportion of students taking part in physical activity five times a week. By encouraging students to ride or walk to school we can increase the proportion of kids staying active and make students happier, healthier and more resilient. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Happy, healthy students are better students – and walking or riding to school is a great way for children to keep active.”  “This initiative is also a good chance for parents to talk to their children about safely crossing the road and encouraging the basics of road safety.” Download the Media Release (350 KB)

Beaumaris Secondary College Principal Announced

An inaugural principal has been appointed for Beaumaris Secondary College in Melbourne’s South East. Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Southern Metropolitan Region Phillip Dalidakis today announced that Debby Chaves will be the first principal of the new school. Opening in 2018, Beaumaris Secondary College will provide 650 Year seven to 12 students with first-class sporting facilities built in partnership with the Melbourne Cricket Club. The  school has been master-planned to accommodate up to 1,100 students in years to come. Ms Chaves is more than ready for the role, having taught in Victorian schools for 20 years. She is currently the principal of Parkdale Secondary College in Mordialloc and has previously worked as Head of Individual Needs at Wesley College in Glen Waverley. A community information session will be held in the first half of 2017 for local residents to meet Ms Chaves, discuss enrolments and learn about the new school’s design and features. Beaumaris Secondary School is one of 42 new government schools in the construction pipeline following a record $1.8 billion investment by the Andrews Labor Government in new schools and school upgrades around the State. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Debby Chaves has an outstanding record and her vast experience will ensure Beaumaris Secondary College gets off to a flying start in 2018.” Quote attributable to Member for Southern Metropolitan Region Phillip Dalidakis “Congratulations to Ms Chaves on her appointment. Beaumaris Secondary College is a beacon of strength and hope for many children in our community and I trust that she will provide the leadership needed to help this school thrive.” Quote attributable to Beaumaris Secondary College Principal Debby Chaves “I feel privileged to be leading a school that will have a strong local presence and work with parents and community to ensure that students get the education they deserve.” Download the Media Release (431 KB)

Beaumaris Secondary College Principal Announced

An inaugural principal has been appointed for Beaumaris Secondary College in Melbourne’s South East. Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Southern Metropolitan Region Phillip Dalidakis today announced that Debby Chaves will be the first principal of the new school. Opening in 2018, Beaumaris Secondary College will provide 650 Year seven to 12 students with first-class sporting facilities built in partnership with the Melbourne Cricket Club. The  school has been master-planned to accommodate up to 1,100 students in years to come. Ms Chaves is more than ready for the role, having taught in Victorian schools for 20 years. She is currently the principal of Parkdale Secondary College in Mordialloc and has previously worked as Head of Individual Needs at Wesley College in Glen Waverley. A community information session will be held in the first half of 2017 for local residents to meet Ms Chaves, discuss enrolments and learn about the new school’s design and features. Beaumaris Secondary School is one of 42 new government schools in the construction pipeline following a record $1.8 billion investment by the Andrews Labor Government in new schools and school upgrades around the State. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Debby Chaves has an outstanding record and her vast experience will ensure Beaumaris Secondary College gets off to a flying start in 2018.” Quote attributable to Member for Southern Metropolitan Region Phillip Dalidakis “Congratulations to Ms Chaves on her appointment. Beaumaris Secondary College is a beacon of strength and hope for many children in our community and I trust that she will provide the leadership needed to help this school thrive.” Quote attributable to Beaumaris Secondary College Principal Debby Chaves “I feel privileged to be leading a school that will have a strong local presence and work with parents and community to ensure that students get the education they deserve.” Download the Media Release (431 KB)

Moe And Morwell Volunteers Receive $30,000 Boost

Emergency service volunteers in Moe and Morwell are receiving a funding boost from the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino and Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing today visited Moe’s Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) unit to congratulate volunteers on their successful grants under the  Emergency Services Volunteer Sustainability Grants Program. Moe VICSES will receive $18,000 in funding for much needed new equipment, including almost $7,000 for a new tandem trailer. The new trailer, which replaces a 30 year old model in constant need of repair, will be used to transfer sandbags and other emergency response equipment to sites affected by flood and storm events. Morwell VICSES will receive $11,000 in funding to purchase new equipment for boat operations and water rescues. The money will also go towards fuel cabinets, a new freezer, a four-wheel-drive recovery kit and new lighting systems that can be set up in remote areas at night. More than 260 grants worth almost $5.2 million have been approved so far under the Emergency Services Volunteer Sustainability Grants Program with plenty more to come. A list of successful grant recipients can be found at www.emv.vic.gov.au/esvsgrants Quotes attributable to Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino “Congratulations to Moe and Morwell VICSES units on securing funding for new equipment that will help them continue their outstanding work keeping the community safe.” “Volunteers in Moe and Morwell, and right across our state, put in huge hours responding to floods, storms and rescues and they deserve the best equipment, training and facilities.” Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing “This new equipment will make a real difference for our hardworking volunteers. These units have seen a lot of growth over recent years and they need gear they can rely on.” “The new tandem trailer won’t just be useful for hauling equipment, it will allow volunteers to get a Utility Task Vehicle out to remote areas including the Strzelecki Ranges and Mount Baw Baw to search for missing people.” Download the Media Release (298 KB)

Moe And Morwell Volunteers Receive $30,000 Boost

Emergency service volunteers in Moe and Morwell are receiving a funding boost from the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino and Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing today visited Moe’s Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) unit to congratulate volunteers on their successful grants under the  Emergency Services Volunteer Sustainability Grants Program. Moe VICSES will receive $18,000 in funding for much needed new equipment, including almost $7,000 for a new tandem trailer. The new trailer, which replaces a 30 year old model in constant need of repair, will be used to transfer sandbags and other emergency response equipment to sites affected by flood and storm events. Morwell VICSES will receive $11,000 in funding to purchase new equipment for boat operations and water rescues. The money will also go towards fuel cabinets, a new freezer, a four-wheel-drive recovery kit and new lighting systems that can be set up in remote areas at night. More than 260 grants worth almost $5.2 million have been approved so far under the Emergency Services Volunteer Sustainability Grants Program with plenty more to come. A list of successful grant recipients can be found at www.emv.vic.gov.au/esvsgrants Quotes attributable to Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino “Congratulations to Moe and Morwell VICSES units on securing funding for new equipment that will help them continue their outstanding work keeping the community safe.” “Volunteers in Moe and Morwell, and right across our state, put in huge hours responding to floods, storms and rescues and they deserve the best equipment, training and facilities.” Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing “This new equipment will make a real difference for our hardworking volunteers. These units have seen a lot of growth over recent years and they need gear they can rely on.” “The new tandem trailer won’t just be useful for hauling equipment, it will allow volunteers to get a Utility Task Vehicle out to remote areas including the Strzelecki Ranges and Mount Baw Baw to search for missing people.” Download the Media Release (298 KB)