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

    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.

  • A BIGGER, BETTER PINKS RESERVE FOR THE OUTER EAST

    Families in the outer east will be able to rely on outstanding local sporting facilities, with a re-elected Andrews Labor Government to deliver $10.5 million towards the redevelopment of Pinks Reserve in Kilsyth. Pinks Reserve is one of the most well-loved and popular sporting precincts in the region – but despite record levels of participation, the facilities are struggling to keep up. The massive upgrade from a re-elected Labor Government will improve the reserve’s basketball, football, cricket, softball, netball, badminton, table tennis and recreational facilities.

  • MORE HOSPITAL AND AGED CARE BEDS FOR MELBOURNE’S EAST

    Families in Melbourne’s outer-east will be able to access better hospital and aged care services close to home with a re-elected Andrews Labor Government to deliver a massive expansion of the Angliss Hospital at Ferntree Gully. Premier Daniel Andrews today unveiled the $20 million new intensive care unit, second short-stay unit, refurbished paediatric area and new mental health spaces in the emergency department, promised and delivered by Labor.

  • MORE TRAIN STATION CAR PARKING FOR MOOROOLBARK COMMUTERS

    It will be easier for local commuters to find a car park with a re-elected Andrews Labor Government to build more car parking at Mooroolbark Station. Whether it’s building more car parking or removing dangerous and congested level crossings, only Labor will make it safer and easier for locals in Melbourne’s east to get where they need to go. We promised to remove the level crossings at Mountain Highway and Scoresby Road in Bayswater to allow more trains to run and stop drivers from getting stuck at the boom gates, and that’s exactly what we’ve done. There’s more to do and only Labor will build up to 450 new and upgraded car parks at Mooroolbark as part of Labor’s $150 million Car parks for Commuters Fund.

  • AWARD WINNING GARDEN TO BE RE-CREATED IN OLINDA

    Families across Victoria will be able to enjoy upgraded botanic gardens with a re-elected Andrews Labor Government to deliver a $5 million boost to ensure they have the facilities they need. The funding will mean gardens, picnic facilities, trails and nature play areas can be upgraded to ensure the gardens can cater to both visitors and local communities. The centrepiece of the upgrade package will be $1 million towards a re-creation of the ‘the Australian Garden’ exhibit, which was the first and only Australian garden exhibit to win the Best in Show Gold Medal at the prestigious Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show in London in 2013.

  • AWARD WINNING GARDEN TO BE RE-CREATED IN OLINDA

    Families across Victoria will be able to enjoy upgraded botanic gardens with a re-elected Andrews Labor Government to deliver a $5 million boost to ensure they have the facilities they need. The funding will mean gardens, picnic facilities, trails and nature play areas can be upgraded to ensure the gardens can cater to both visitors and local communities. The centrepiece of the upgrade package will be $1 million towards a re-creation of the ‘the Australian Garden’ exhibit, which was the first and only Australian garden exhibit to win the Best in Show Gold Medal at the prestigious Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show in London in 2013.

Media Centre

Building Begins On New Kinder Hub In Morwell

The Andrews Labor Government is creating more kindergarten places for Gippsland families with work beginning on a one-stop-shop for kinder, school and family services. Minister for Education James Merlino today turned the sod on the $6.5 million integrated children’s centre, which will be co-located at Morwell Central Primary School. The new facility, to be built by SJ Higgins, will deliver early childhood services such as three and four-year-old kindergarten, long day care, Maternal and Child Health services and multipurpose rooms for playgroups and other community activities. Having an early learning centre at the school means drop-off will be easier for parents of young children, while also providing greater support for children in their transition from kindergarten to school. The Labor Government has contributed $4.9 million to the new centre which is a collaboration that includes the Colman Foundation and social enterprise Goodstart, who has also contributed $1.6 million to the build. The kindergarten hub is expected to be operational by 2020. Victoria’s biggest early education build will continue over the coming years, with almost 1,000 new and upgraded kindergartens to come. The Labor Government will invest more than $1.68 billion over the next decade to build around 785 new kinders and expand 170 existing services. It’s part of the Government’s $5 billion commitment to deliver a full 15 hours of three-year-old kinder programs to every Victorian child over the next decade, with the rollout beginning in six Local Government Areas in 2020. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Making Victoria the Education State starts with the early years, which is why we’re delivering unprecedented investment in early childhood services.” Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing “This facility will ensure Morwell families have access to stronger support in early childhood, so kids are ready for kinder, ready for school and ready for life.” Download the Media Release (208 KB)

Building Begins On New Kinder Hub In Morwell

The Andrews Labor Government is creating more kindergarten places for Gippsland families with work beginning on a one-stop-shop for kinder, school and family services. Minister for Education James Merlino today turned the sod on the $6.5 million integrated children’s centre, which will be co-located at Morwell Central Primary School. The new facility, to be built by SJ Higgins, will deliver early childhood services such as three and four-year-old kindergarten, long day care, Maternal and Child Health services and multipurpose rooms for playgroups and other community activities. Having an early learning centre at the school means drop-off will be easier for parents of young children, while also providing greater support for children in their transition from kindergarten to school. The Labor Government has contributed $4.9 million to the new centre which is a collaboration that includes the Colman Foundation and social enterprise Goodstart, who has also contributed $1.6 million to the build. The kindergarten hub is expected to be operational by 2020. Victoria’s biggest early education build will continue over the coming years, with almost 1,000 new and upgraded kindergartens to come. The Labor Government will invest more than $1.68 billion over the next decade to build around 785 new kinders and expand 170 existing services. It’s part of the Government’s $5 billion commitment to deliver a full 15 hours of three-year-old kinder programs to every Victorian child over the next decade, with the rollout beginning in six Local Government Areas in 2020. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Making Victoria the Education State starts with the early years, which is why we’re delivering unprecedented investment in early childhood services.” Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing “This facility will ensure Morwell families have access to stronger support in early childhood, so kids are ready for kinder, ready for school and ready for life.” Download the Media Release (208 KB)

More funding announced for Victoria’s Environment Volunteers in Monbulk

The Victorian Government has announced the opening of the 2019-2020 Victorian Landcare Grants for projects that protect and restore Victoria’s land and environment in the Monbulk Electorate. Minister for Energy, Environment & Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio announced the $1.76 million grants program to support Landcare and other environmental volunteer groups. James Merlino MP said grants of up to $20,000 are available to Landcare, Friends of, Coastcare and other environmental volunteer groups and networks in the Monbulk Electorate for on-ground works, education and capacity building projects that protect and restore Victoria’s land and environment. Support grants of $500 are also available for new and existing groups and networks to assist with operating costs and provide a stable base for Landcare and environmental volunteering across Victoria. This funding will be delivered through Victoria’s ten catchment management authorities (CMAs), highlighting the great environmental outcomes that can be achieved through cooperation between CMAs, environment groups, local communities and the government. The Victorian Government also supports Landcare with funding for 78 Landcare facilitators, 10 Regional Landcare Coordinators and communications including the Victorian Landcare magazine, Victorian Landcare awards and Landcare Gateway website. The Victorian Landcare Grants support the implementation of Protecting Victoria’s Environment – Biodiversity 2037, the Victorian Government’s long-term plan to protect our environment and Victorians Volunteering for Nature – Environmental Volunteering Plan. For more information on the grants contact your local CMA, Regional Landcare Coordinator or go to www.environment.vic.gov.au/grants Quotes attributable to James Merlino MP “The Victorian Government invests over $9 million annually into the Victorian Landcare Program to ensure the ongoing protection and improvement of Victoria’s land, water and biodiversity “Since its inception more than 30 years ago, the Landcare movement has made an important contribution to Victoria’s environment and we are committed to supporting this work.”  “The Victorian Government has a strong commitment to Landcare, and these grants are an important way to support the community and environmental volunteer groups.” “These grants will go a long way in aiding the great on-ground actions of community and environmental volunteer groups who work tirelessly to protect Victoria’s land and environment.”          

More funding announced for Victoria’s Environment Volunteers in Monbulk

The Victorian Government has announced the opening of the 2019-2020 Victorian Landcare Grants for projects that protect and restore Victoria’s land and environment in the Monbulk Electorate. Minister for Energy, Environment & Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio announced the $1.76 million grants program to support Landcare and other environmental volunteer groups. James Merlino MP said grants of up to $20,000 are available to Landcare, Friends of, Coastcare and other environmental volunteer groups and networks in the Monbulk Electorate for on-ground works, education and capacity building projects that protect and restore Victoria’s land and environment. Support grants of $500 are also available for new and existing groups and networks to assist with operating costs and provide a stable base for Landcare and environmental volunteering across Victoria. This funding will be delivered through Victoria’s ten catchment management authorities (CMAs), highlighting the great environmental outcomes that can be achieved through cooperation between CMAs, environment groups, local communities and the government. The Victorian Government also supports Landcare with funding for 78 Landcare facilitators, 10 Regional Landcare Coordinators and communications including the Victorian Landcare magazine, Victorian Landcare awards and Landcare Gateway website. The Victorian Landcare Grants support the implementation of Protecting Victoria’s Environment – Biodiversity 2037, the Victorian Government’s long-term plan to protect our environment and Victorians Volunteering for Nature – Environmental Volunteering Plan. For more information on the grants contact your local CMA, Regional Landcare Coordinator or go to www.environment.vic.gov.au/grants Quotes attributable to James Merlino MP “The Victorian Government invests over $9 million annually into the Victorian Landcare Program to ensure the ongoing protection and improvement of Victoria’s land, water and biodiversity “Since its inception more than 30 years ago, the Landcare movement has made an important contribution to Victoria’s environment and we are committed to supporting this work.”  “The Victorian Government has a strong commitment to Landcare, and these grants are an important way to support the community and environmental volunteer groups.” “These grants will go a long way in aiding the great on-ground actions of community and environmental volunteer groups who work tirelessly to protect Victoria’s land and environment.”          

Brunswick West Kindergarten Children Learn In French

Brunswick West children will reap the long-term benefits of learning in another language while attending kindergarten, thanks to a program launched by the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today visited Dunstan Reserve Child Care Centre in Brunswick West to see its new French language program in action. Children attending the integrated kindergarten program at the centre have been participating in weekly language sessions since Term 1. The service is working to embed the language across their kindergarten program, including in their art, sport and music lessons. The kindergarten is one of eleven in Victoria that will deliver a French language program in 2019, as part of the Labor Government’s $17.9 million Early Childhood Language Program. The Andrew Labor Government is providing funding for around 160 kindergarten services across the state to deliver the language programs– at no cost to families. Weekly language sessions of up to three hours will be delivered in about 150 kindergarten services, and a further 10 kindergartens will become bilingual, where children will benefit from half their program being offered in a language other than English. These programs are expected to reach more than 5,000 children in a range of languages including Mandarin, Punjabi, Arabic, Italian, French, Spanish, Auslan and Aboriginal languages. There are many benefits to learning additional languages at a young age, including increased literacy. Making Victoria the Education State starts with the early years. That’s why, in an Australian first, the Labor Government is investing almost $5 billion over the next decade to deliver a full 15 hour per week subsidised kindergarten program for three-year-olds, to be progressively rolled out from 2020. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We are giving Victorian children the opportunity to learn languages other than English – helping them prepare for life in a more connected world.” “Learning in another language has fantastic rewards for young children – improving brain function as well as helping them to read and write in English.” Quote attributable to Member for Northern Metropolitan Jenny Mikakos “It’s fantastic to see Brunswick West children immersed in French at a young age and no doubt reap the long-term benefits of learning a language other than English.” Download the Media Release (215 KB)

Brunswick West Kindergarten Children Learn In French

Brunswick West children will reap the long-term benefits of learning in another language while attending kindergarten, thanks to a program launched by the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today visited Dunstan Reserve Child Care Centre in Brunswick West to see its new French language program in action. Children attending the integrated kindergarten program at the centre have been participating in weekly language sessions since Term 1. The service is working to embed the language across their kindergarten program, including in their art, sport and music lessons. The kindergarten is one of eleven in Victoria that will deliver a French language program in 2019, as part of the Labor Government’s $17.9 million Early Childhood Language Program. The Andrew Labor Government is providing funding for around 160 kindergarten services across the state to deliver the language programs– at no cost to families. Weekly language sessions of up to three hours will be delivered in about 150 kindergarten services, and a further 10 kindergartens will become bilingual, where children will benefit from half their program being offered in a language other than English. These programs are expected to reach more than 5,000 children in a range of languages including Mandarin, Punjabi, Arabic, Italian, French, Spanish, Auslan and Aboriginal languages. There are many benefits to learning additional languages at a young age, including increased literacy. Making Victoria the Education State starts with the early years. That’s why, in an Australian first, the Labor Government is investing almost $5 billion over the next decade to deliver a full 15 hour per week subsidised kindergarten program for three-year-olds, to be progressively rolled out from 2020. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We are giving Victorian children the opportunity to learn languages other than English – helping them prepare for life in a more connected world.” “Learning in another language has fantastic rewards for young children – improving brain function as well as helping them to read and write in English.” Quote attributable to Member for Northern Metropolitan Jenny Mikakos “It’s fantastic to see Brunswick West children immersed in French at a young age and no doubt reap the long-term benefits of learning a language other than English.” Download the Media Release (215 KB)

Celebrating Excellence At The VCAL Achievement Awards

The State’s top Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) students have been celebrated at an awards ceremony held at Deakin Edge in Federation Square. Minister for Education James Merlino presented VCAL Achievement Awards to young people who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and made a significant contribution to their schools and communities. The Awards also recognise the contribution of VCAL teachers and partner organisations in the development and delivery of innovative VCAL programs. This year there were 36 award recipients from across Victoria, recognised for their achievements in 22 categories, ranging from fundraising to community outreach and environmental projects. The VCAL Achievement Awards highlight the opportunities for practical learning available to Victorian students that will set them up for a wide range of future pathways. Since it was introduced in 2002, VCAL has kept many young Victorians engaged in education and training, helping them to build strong links with the community and to connect with training providers, industry and local businesses. The popularity of VCAL is demonstrated by the continued growth in the number of enrolled students. In 2018, there were 24,302 enrolments in VCAL and 468 providers. VCAL is a hands-on option that gives students practical work experience, as well as literacy and numeracy skills. It enables them to undertake structured workplace learning, providing them with a chance to work as part of a team and apply their knowledge from the classroom. It prepares students for apprenticeships, traineeships, further education and employment. For more information about the VCAL Achievement Awards visit: vcaa.vic.edu.au Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Congratulations to all those who have been recognised for their outstanding achievements in the VCAL program.” “VCAL opens doors for students and provides them with real world skills that set them up for future success, no matter which pathway they choose.” Download the Media Release (206 KB)

Celebrating Excellence At The VCAL Achievement Awards

The State’s top Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) students have been celebrated at an awards ceremony held at Deakin Edge in Federation Square. Minister for Education James Merlino presented VCAL Achievement Awards to young people who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and made a significant contribution to their schools and communities. The Awards also recognise the contribution of VCAL teachers and partner organisations in the development and delivery of innovative VCAL programs. This year there were 36 award recipients from across Victoria, recognised for their achievements in 22 categories, ranging from fundraising to community outreach and environmental projects. The VCAL Achievement Awards highlight the opportunities for practical learning available to Victorian students that will set them up for a wide range of future pathways. Since it was introduced in 2002, VCAL has kept many young Victorians engaged in education and training, helping them to build strong links with the community and to connect with training providers, industry and local businesses. The popularity of VCAL is demonstrated by the continued growth in the number of enrolled students. In 2018, there were 24,302 enrolments in VCAL and 468 providers. VCAL is a hands-on option that gives students practical work experience, as well as literacy and numeracy skills. It enables them to undertake structured workplace learning, providing them with a chance to work as part of a team and apply their knowledge from the classroom. It prepares students for apprenticeships, traineeships, further education and employment. For more information about the VCAL Achievement Awards visit: vcaa.vic.edu.au Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Congratulations to all those who have been recognised for their outstanding achievements in the VCAL program.” “VCAL opens doors for students and provides them with real world skills that set them up for future success, no matter which pathway they choose.” Download the Media Release (206 KB)

New School Facilities For Northcote Students

The Andrews Labor Government is making sure students in Northcote have the school facilities they deserve for a great education. Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Northcote Kat Theophanous today visited Northcote High School to officially open its new state-of-the-art $5.2 million performance hub, with the Labor Government contributing $4.5 million towards the project. The performance hub, complete with a 145-seat auditorium, provides teaching and learning areas for the music school and Drama and Theatre Studies – including planning and support facilities, social spaces, and amenities. Flexible VCE facilities with study and meeting areas are also part of the hub. Designed by Kerstin Thompson Architects and built by Foursquare Construction Management, the performance hub will mean teachers can deliver the 21st Century education Northcote High School students need to succeed. Northcote High School has been part of the local community for more than 90 years. The Labor Government has already invested more than $3.8 billion to deliver new schools and more than 1,300 school upgrades just like the one at Northcote High, supporting more than 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians. The Labor Government will open 100 new schools over the next eight years, ensuring every Victorian child has a great local school and start in life. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Every student deserves access to modern school facilities and that’s what we have delivered for Northcote High School.” “We know that the arts and performance opportunities give students so many skills – from creative thinking to greater confidence. This new performance hub will expand the horizons of Northcote High School students.” Quote attributable to Member for Northcote Kat Theophanous “This exciting new performance hub will give Northcote High School the modern facilities it deserves to better meet the needs of students and teachers.” Download the Media Release (214 KB)

New School Facilities For Northcote Students

The Andrews Labor Government is making sure students in Northcote have the school facilities they deserve for a great education. Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Northcote Kat Theophanous today visited Northcote High School to officially open its new state-of-the-art $5.2 million performance hub, with the Labor Government contributing $4.5 million towards the project. The performance hub, complete with a 145-seat auditorium, provides teaching and learning areas for the music school and Drama and Theatre Studies – including planning and support facilities, social spaces, and amenities. Flexible VCE facilities with study and meeting areas are also part of the hub. Designed by Kerstin Thompson Architects and built by Foursquare Construction Management, the performance hub will mean teachers can deliver the 21st Century education Northcote High School students need to succeed. Northcote High School has been part of the local community for more than 90 years. The Labor Government has already invested more than $3.8 billion to deliver new schools and more than 1,300 school upgrades just like the one at Northcote High, supporting more than 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians. The Labor Government will open 100 new schools over the next eight years, ensuring every Victorian child has a great local school and start in life. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Every student deserves access to modern school facilities and that’s what we have delivered for Northcote High School.” “We know that the arts and performance opportunities give students so many skills – from creative thinking to greater confidence. This new performance hub will expand the horizons of Northcote High School students.” Quote attributable to Member for Northcote Kat Theophanous “This exciting new performance hub will give Northcote High School the modern facilities it deserves to better meet the needs of students and teachers.” Download the Media Release (214 KB)

Helping Victorian Parents Find Their Local School

The Andrews Labor Government is making it easier for parents to find out what school zone they live in with the launch today of a new interactive website. The Labor Government has created a simple and clear website so, for the first time, Victorian parents will be able to enter their home address online and see their local school zone. A number of anomalies in school zoning have also been addressed. Previously, some homes were excluded from a school zone, and in some cases, school boundaries overlapped. The Find My School website also includes zones for the new schools opening in 2020. The website allows parents to search for their closest school as well as find other nearby government schools. Schools can be found by typing in a residential address or suburb or searching by school name or categories such as primary, secondary, or specialist school. The new website will provide parents with clarity and consistency on what their government school options are. Every child has the right to enrol at their closest government school. School choice is also very important. Schools have always had the choice to accommodate children living outside a school’s zone if there is enough space – this will not change. No student currently enrolled in a school will be required to change schools. As part of the Labor Government’s school building boom, 100 new schools will open over the next eight years to ensure all children have a great local education and a great start to life. The Labor Government has already invested more than $3.8 billion to deliver new schools and more than 1,300 school upgrades, supporting more than 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians. Parents can look up school zones online at: findmyschool.vic.gov.au Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “For the first time, parents will be able to look up the enrolment zone of local schools online and find out quickly and easily what school zone they live within.” “For decades parents haven’t had easy access to enrolment zones, causing unnecessary stress for thousands of families. Since the start of last year alone, we’ve received nearly 6,000 calls, letters and emails from families wanting to know their local school zones.” Download the Media Release (214 KB)

Helping Victorian Parents Find Their Local School

The Andrews Labor Government is making it easier for parents to find out what school zone they live in with the launch today of a new interactive website. The Labor Government has created a simple and clear website so, for the first time, Victorian parents will be able to enter their home address online and see their local school zone. A number of anomalies in school zoning have also been addressed. Previously, some homes were excluded from a school zone, and in some cases, school boundaries overlapped. The Find My School website also includes zones for the new schools opening in 2020. The website allows parents to search for their closest school as well as find other nearby government schools. Schools can be found by typing in a residential address or suburb or searching by school name or categories such as primary, secondary, or specialist school. The new website will provide parents with clarity and consistency on what their government school options are. Every child has the right to enrol at their closest government school. School choice is also very important. Schools have always had the choice to accommodate children living outside a school’s zone if there is enough space – this will not change. No student currently enrolled in a school will be required to change schools. As part of the Labor Government’s school building boom, 100 new schools will open over the next eight years to ensure all children have a great local education and a great start to life. The Labor Government has already invested more than $3.8 billion to deliver new schools and more than 1,300 school upgrades, supporting more than 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians. Parents can look up school zones online at: findmyschool.vic.gov.au Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “For the first time, parents will be able to look up the enrolment zone of local schools online and find out quickly and easily what school zone they live within.” “For decades parents haven’t had easy access to enrolment zones, causing unnecessary stress for thousands of families. Since the start of last year alone, we’ve received nearly 6,000 calls, letters and emails from families wanting to know their local school zones.” Download the Media Release (214 KB)

Myschool Shows Victorian Schools Kicking Goals

Data released today on the Myschools website shows that Victorian schools are among the top in the country for improving student performance, following record education investment from the Andrews Labor Government. The 2018 NAPLAN National Report confirmed Victoria as one of the highest performing states in Australia, with Victorian students in Years 3 and 5 leading in four out of the ten NAPLAN testing areas. The new data includes school-by-school results from the 2018 NAPLAN exams sat in May 2018, which spans school profile and population data, and 2017 school financial information. It highlights the many schools across the state whose teaching is significantly lifting the performance of students as they progress through the year levels. For example, students who were in Year 3 in 2016 at Glenroy Central Primary School have seen their average reading score improve by 152 points, while the average numeracy result increased 144 points. This represents about 50 per cent more learning growth than is typical for Australian students between Years 3 and 5. The trend was also seen across higher year levels. Students in Year 7 in 2016 at Alamanda K-9 College have seen their average reading score lift by 69 and their average numeracy score increase by 68. This also represents about 50 per cent more learning growth typical for Australian students between Years 7 and 9. Across the board, Victorian Year 7 students were the first or second best performing in three out of five testing areas – reading, numeracy and writing. Compared with last year, Year 5 and Year 9 students saw their average score increase in four out of five of the testing areas: reading, numeracy, spelling and grammar and punctuation. The Labor Government has invested $8.9 billion in schools so far as part of its plan to make Victoria the Education State. This includes a $566 million funding boost to schools that need it most, providing extra resources and expertise to get the best out of students who need more support. As part of the Literacy and Numeracy Strategy, the Labor Government is helping schools to continue lifting outcomes by providing principals and teachers access to detailed performance data, evidence-based teaching resources and professional learning for literacy and numeracy leaders in schools. Quotes attributable to Acting Minister for Education Gayle Tierney  “This data shows our schools and teachers lift the performance of Victorian students across different year levels.” “These improvements are not just numbers. They demonstrate how education changes lives, and how strong, well supported schools give kids new opportunities.” “These results confirm that the significant investment we have been delivering across Victorian schools is making a huge difference to students.” Download the Media Release (224 KB)

Myschool Shows Victorian Schools Kicking Goals

Data released today on the Myschools website shows that Victorian schools are among the top in the country for improving student performance, following record education investment from the Andrews Labor Government. The 2018 NAPLAN National Report confirmed Victoria as one of the highest performing states in Australia, with Victorian students in Years 3 and 5 leading in four out of the ten NAPLAN testing areas. The new data includes school-by-school results from the 2018 NAPLAN exams sat in May 2018, which spans school profile and population data, and 2017 school financial information. It highlights the many schools across the state whose teaching is significantly lifting the performance of students as they progress through the year levels. For example, students who were in Year 3 in 2016 at Glenroy Central Primary School have seen their average reading score improve by 152 points, while the average numeracy result increased 144 points. This represents about 50 per cent more learning growth than is typical for Australian students between Years 3 and 5. The trend was also seen across higher year levels. Students in Year 7 in 2016 at Alamanda K-9 College have seen their average reading score lift by 69 and their average numeracy score increase by 68. This also represents about 50 per cent more learning growth typical for Australian students between Years 7 and 9. Across the board, Victorian Year 7 students were the first or second best performing in three out of five testing areas – reading, numeracy and writing. Compared with last year, Year 5 and Year 9 students saw their average score increase in four out of five of the testing areas: reading, numeracy, spelling and grammar and punctuation. The Labor Government has invested $8.9 billion in schools so far as part of its plan to make Victoria the Education State. This includes a $566 million funding boost to schools that need it most, providing extra resources and expertise to get the best out of students who need more support. As part of the Literacy and Numeracy Strategy, the Labor Government is helping schools to continue lifting outcomes by providing principals and teachers access to detailed performance data, evidence-based teaching resources and professional learning for literacy and numeracy leaders in schools. Quotes attributable to Acting Minister for Education Gayle Tierney  “This data shows our schools and teachers lift the performance of Victorian students across different year levels.” “These improvements are not just numbers. They demonstrate how education changes lives, and how strong, well supported schools give kids new opportunities.” “These results confirm that the significant investment we have been delivering across Victorian schools is making a huge difference to students.” Download the Media Release (224 KB)

Recognising Victoria’s Early Childhood Professionals

Victorians are being encouraged to recognise the outstanding work of early childhood professionals in improving the lives of young children by nominating an early childhood teacher or organisation for a Victorian Early Years Award. Acting Minister for Education Gayle Tierney today announced nominations for the awards are open, and encouraged families, early childhood professionals and early years support organisations to nominate themselves or others. Now in their 14th year, the Victorian Early Years Awards recognise the crucial work of early childhood professionals in helping young children to learn and thrive. Award winners in each category will receive up to $15,000 to continue their exceptional work in kindergartens, schools, local councils, maternal child and health services and other early years organisations across the state. The awards celebrate the achievements and commitment of early childhood professionals across seven award categories, including supporting parents, transition to school and the early childhood teacher of the year. Early childhood is the foundation for lifelong wellbeing and learning, which is why the Andrews Labor Government is committed to strengthening the services delivered to children and their families. Making Victoria the Education State starts with the early years. This is why, in an Australian first, the Labor Government is investing almost $5 billion over the next decade to deliver a full 15 hours per week of three-year-old kindergarten, to be progressively rolled out from 2020. Nominations close at midnight on 24 May 2019. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at the National Gallery of Victoria in October. For more information or to submit a nomination, see: www.education.vic.gov.au/veya Quotes attributable to the Acting Minister for Education Gayle Tierney “Victoria is home to many passionate and caring early childhood teachers and educators, and exceptional early years services and this is an opportunity to showcase this.” “The Victorian Early Years Awards are a well-deserved opportunity to celebrate the people, organisations and services that help Victorian children to get the best start in life.” Download the Media Release (218 KB)

Recognising Victoria’s Early Childhood Professionals

Victorians are being encouraged to recognise the outstanding work of early childhood professionals in improving the lives of young children by nominating an early childhood teacher or organisation for a Victorian Early Years Award. Acting Minister for Education Gayle Tierney today announced nominations for the awards are open, and encouraged families, early childhood professionals and early years support organisations to nominate themselves or others. Now in their 14th year, the Victorian Early Years Awards recognise the crucial work of early childhood professionals in helping young children to learn and thrive. Award winners in each category will receive up to $15,000 to continue their exceptional work in kindergartens, schools, local councils, maternal child and health services and other early years organisations across the state. The awards celebrate the achievements and commitment of early childhood professionals across seven award categories, including supporting parents, transition to school and the early childhood teacher of the year. Early childhood is the foundation for lifelong wellbeing and learning, which is why the Andrews Labor Government is committed to strengthening the services delivered to children and their families. Making Victoria the Education State starts with the early years. This is why, in an Australian first, the Labor Government is investing almost $5 billion over the next decade to deliver a full 15 hours per week of three-year-old kindergarten, to be progressively rolled out from 2020. Nominations close at midnight on 24 May 2019. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at the National Gallery of Victoria in October. For more information or to submit a nomination, see: www.education.vic.gov.au/veya Quotes attributable to the Acting Minister for Education Gayle Tierney “Victoria is home to many passionate and caring early childhood teachers and educators, and exceptional early years services and this is an opportunity to showcase this.” “The Victorian Early Years Awards are a well-deserved opportunity to celebrate the people, organisations and services that help Victorian children to get the best start in life.” Download the Media Release (218 KB)

 

New Names For Schools Opening In 2020

The Andrews Labor Government is giving Victorian communities the chance to have their say on the names of the new government schools opening next year. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced that the Victorian School Building Authority would consult with local communities on naming the new schools currently under construction and set to open in 2020. Community engagement will begin in Term 2, 2019, and people will be able to provide feedback across multiple channels such as online and social media. New schools will open next year in Ballarat, Casey, Greater Dandenong, Greater Geelong, Hume, Mitchell and Wyndham. The schools, which are currently known by their interim names, include: Armstrong Creek West Primary School Botanic Ridge Primary School Casey Fields (Five Ways) Primary School Clyde North East Primary School Craigieburn South Secondary School Davis Creek Primary School Keysborough South Primary School Lucas Primary School Point Cook South Senior Secondary School Wyndham South (Riverwalk) Primary School A new school campus for Beveridge Primary School is also under construction and will open next year. These new schools are part of the Labor Government’s school building boom that will see 100 new government schools open over the next eight years. The Labor Government has invested more than $3.8 billion to deliver new schools and more than 1,300 school upgrades, supporting more than 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians. The Labor Government is ensuring every child has a great local school and a great start in life. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Right across the state we’re building new schools to make sure that no matter where they live, every child has access to get a great education.” “This is about giving local families a role in shaping their new school and ensuring they reflect the unique character of their community.” Download the Media Release (227 KB)

New Names For Schools Opening In 2020

The Andrews Labor Government is giving Victorian communities the chance to have their say on the names of the new government schools opening next year. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced that the Victorian School Building Authority would consult with local communities on naming the new schools currently under construction and set to open in 2020. Community engagement will begin in Term 2, 2019, and people will be able to provide feedback across multiple channels such as online and social media. New schools will open next year in Ballarat, Casey, Greater Dandenong, Greater Geelong, Hume, Mitchell and Wyndham. The schools, which are currently known by their interim names, include: Armstrong Creek West Primary School Botanic Ridge Primary School Casey Fields (Five Ways) Primary School Clyde North East Primary School Craigieburn South Secondary School Davis Creek Primary School Keysborough South Primary School Lucas Primary School Point Cook South Senior Secondary School Wyndham South (Riverwalk) Primary School A new school campus for Beveridge Primary School is also under construction and will open next year. These new schools are part of the Labor Government’s school building boom that will see 100 new government schools open over the next eight years. The Labor Government has invested more than $3.8 billion to deliver new schools and more than 1,300 school upgrades, supporting more than 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians. The Labor Government is ensuring every child has a great local school and a great start in life. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Right across the state we’re building new schools to make sure that no matter where they live, every child has access to get a great education.” “This is about giving local families a role in shaping their new school and ensuring they reflect the unique character of their community.” Download the Media Release (227 KB)

Getting More Victorians Into Kindergarten Teaching

The Andrews Labor Government is offering an additional 300 scholarships to aspiring kinder teachers, as well as $9,000 incentives to support early childhood teachers to move to areas where three-year-old kinder is rolling out. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced a further $3.8 million for scholarships and incentives to support more people to pursue careers in early childhood education. Early childhood education is one Victoria’s fastest growing professions, with more teachers and support staff needed as the Labor Government delivers universal three-year-old kindergarten for all children. The roll out of this $5 billion program begins in 2020. Over the next decade, every Victorian child will have access to a full 15 hours of subsidised three-year-old kinder. This investment stands in stark contrast to the budget delivered by the Morrison minority government, which fails parents and kids by not including funding for three-year-old kinder, and continuing the uncertainty for four-year old kinder. To address the increased demand for kinder teachers, incentive payments of up to $9,000 will be available for early childhood teachers who move to areas where subsidised three-year-old kinder programs will be rolled out first. This package is part of a $7.2 million investment in workforce initiatives to attract aspiring early childhood teachers and retain them, which includes establishing a pool of mentors to support new teachers and holding four early childhood teacher conferences to support graduate teachers at the start of their careers. This will build on the Labor Government’s existing $8 million Early Childhood Scholarship Program, which opened in October 2018 and has already offered more than 400 scholarships to eligible students. The new funding of 300 scholarships will mean a total of 700 scholarships are on offer. Coupled with the employment incentives, this money will help cover costs including course fees, study materials and financial support in the early years of their career. Eligible scholarship recipients will receive up to $34,000 towards a bachelor qualification or up to $24,000 towards a postgraduate qualification. The roll out of three-year-old kinder is expected to create almost 7,000 jobs. More than 4,000 additional kinder teachers and more than 2,000 additional early childhood educators are needed as the program expands state-wide. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “If you have been considering a career change into kindergarten teaching, now is the time. These scholarships will help to cover the costs of study and provide incentives to get started in a new career.” “Introducing universal three-year-old kindergarten is one of the biggest social reforms in this Victoria’s history. There’s never been a better time to be an early childhood teacher, and change children’s lives for the better.” Download the Media Release (208 KB)

Getting More Victorians Into Kindergarten Teaching

The Andrews Labor Government is offering an additional 300 scholarships to aspiring kinder teachers, as well as $9,000 incentives to support early childhood teachers to move to areas where three-year-old kinder is rolling out. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced a further $3.8 million for scholarships and incentives to support more people to pursue careers in early childhood education. Early childhood education is one Victoria’s fastest growing professions, with more teachers and support staff needed as the Labor Government delivers universal three-year-old kindergarten for all children. The roll out of this $5 billion program begins in 2020. Over the next decade, every Victorian child will have access to a full 15 hours of subsidised three-year-old kinder. This investment stands in stark contrast to the budget delivered by the Morrison minority government, which fails parents and kids by not including funding for three-year-old kinder, and continuing the uncertainty for four-year old kinder. To address the increased demand for kinder teachers, incentive payments of up to $9,000 will be available for early childhood teachers who move to areas where subsidised three-year-old kinder programs will be rolled out first. This package is part of a $7.2 million investment in workforce initiatives to attract aspiring early childhood teachers and retain them, which includes establishing a pool of mentors to support new teachers and holding four early childhood teacher conferences to support graduate teachers at the start of their careers. This will build on the Labor Government’s existing $8 million Early Childhood Scholarship Program, which opened in October 2018 and has already offered more than 400 scholarships to eligible students. The new funding of 300 scholarships will mean a total of 700 scholarships are on offer. Coupled with the employment incentives, this money will help cover costs including course fees, study materials and financial support in the early years of their career. Eligible scholarship recipients will receive up to $34,000 towards a bachelor qualification or up to $24,000 towards a postgraduate qualification. The roll out of three-year-old kinder is expected to create almost 7,000 jobs. More than 4,000 additional kinder teachers and more than 2,000 additional early childhood educators are needed as the program expands state-wide. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “If you have been considering a career change into kindergarten teaching, now is the time. These scholarships will help to cover the costs of study and provide incentives to get started in a new career.” “Introducing universal three-year-old kindergarten is one of the biggest social reforms in this Victoria’s history. There’s never been a better time to be an early childhood teacher, and change children’s lives for the better.” Download the Media Release (208 KB)

Better Learning Facilities For Young People In Red Cliffs

Secondary students in Red Cliffs now have a modern, state-of-the-art learning environment, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s $7.8 million transformation of Red Cliffs Secondary College. Minister for Education James Merlino today visited the school to open the redevelopment, which saw most original buildings at the Fitzroy Avenue campus demolished to make way for new facilities. The school now has a new administration area, staff lounge and senior school centre, a 150-seat lecture theatre, cafeteria, home economics kitchens, Year 12 study areas and new classrooms. Upgrades also included a new covered locker area, improvements to air conditioning throughout the school and refurbishments to the maths hub, library and performing arts building. It has allowed for more flexible learning spaces and improved flow between the school’s internal and external areas. Designed by e+ architecture and carried out by King Construction Group, the redevelopment means teachers can deliver the 21st-century education local students need to succeed in school and beyond. More than $3.8 billion has already been invested to deliver new schools and more than 1300 upgrades state-wide, supporting more than 5000 construction jobs for Victorians. The Labor Government will open 100 new schools over the next eight years to ensure every Victorian child has access to a great local education. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “All students deserve school facilities that inspire learning and that’s what we have delivered at Red Cliffs Secondary College.” “We’re making Victoria the Education State, delivering new schools and upgrades so that all students can receive a first-rate education, no matter where they live.” Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp “I’m delighted that Red Cliffs Secondary College students can now enjoy their revamped school.” “These facilities will complement the wonderful teaching already underway and support students to achieve their best.” Download the Media Release (219 KB)

Better Learning Facilities For Young People In Red Cliffs

Secondary students in Red Cliffs now have a modern, state-of-the-art learning environment, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s $7.8 million transformation of Red Cliffs Secondary College. Minister for Education James Merlino today visited the school to open the redevelopment, which saw most original buildings at the Fitzroy Avenue campus demolished to make way for new facilities. The school now has a new administration area, staff lounge and senior school centre, a 150-seat lecture theatre, cafeteria, home economics kitchens, Year 12 study areas and new classrooms. Upgrades also included a new covered locker area, improvements to air conditioning throughout the school and refurbishments to the maths hub, library and performing arts building. It has allowed for more flexible learning spaces and improved flow between the school’s internal and external areas. Designed by e+ architecture and carried out by King Construction Group, the redevelopment means teachers can deliver the 21st-century education local students need to succeed in school and beyond. More than $3.8 billion has already been invested to deliver new schools and more than 1300 upgrades state-wide, supporting more than 5000 construction jobs for Victorians. The Labor Government will open 100 new schools over the next eight years to ensure every Victorian child has access to a great local education. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “All students deserve school facilities that inspire learning and that’s what we have delivered at Red Cliffs Secondary College.” “We’re making Victoria the Education State, delivering new schools and upgrades so that all students can receive a first-rate education, no matter where they live.” Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp “I’m delighted that Red Cliffs Secondary College students can now enjoy their revamped school.” “These facilities will complement the wonderful teaching already underway and support students to achieve their best.” Download the Media Release (219 KB)

Helping Mildura Kids Get The Most Out Of Kindergarten

The Andrews Labor Government is ensuring Mildura children can attend a first-rate kindergarten, with high-quality facilities and better learning support. Minister for Education James Merlino today visited De Garis Kindergarten in Mildura, which has received $230,000 in school readiness funding and where construction of a new $189,400 inclusive playground is underway. The kindergarten’s existing playground is being upgraded to be more engaging, interactive and meet the needs of all the children at the centre. The sensory garden will include a mud kitchen, play equipment, water play features, yarning circle, landscaping and new ramps and paths. The service will use its school readiness funding to hire additional teaching staff, enrich children’s language development and social and emotional wellbeing and run a breakfast club to provide free and healthy meals to children. It will also help families by setting up a book lending library and provide training for staff to better support children who have experienced trauma. Children at De Garis Kindergarten are among 20,000 attending kindergarten this year to benefit from the Labor Government’s $58.1 million school readiness funding initiative. Funding has been provided this year to approximately 580 services in 25 local government areas and those run by Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations. In an Australian-first, the Labor Government is investing almost $5 billion over the next decade to ensure every Victorian three-year-old has access to a full 15 hours of kinder by 2022. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We know that quality early childhood services give children a better start in life and that’s why we’re making unprecedented investments in the early years.” “We’re helping kindergartens upgrade their infrastructure and equipment to create welcoming environments for children of all abilities.” Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp “This school readiness funding will provide extra support for local families and their kids at a crucial time in their lives.” “We’re boosting support for kindergartens so that local kids get the best start to their education.” Download the Media Release (212 KB)

Helping Mildura Kids Get The Most Out Of Kindergarten

The Andrews Labor Government is ensuring Mildura children can attend a first-rate kindergarten, with high-quality facilities and better learning support. Minister for Education James Merlino today visited De Garis Kindergarten in Mildura, which has received $230,000 in school readiness funding and where construction of a new $189,400 inclusive playground is underway. The kindergarten’s existing playground is being upgraded to be more engaging, interactive and meet the needs of all the children at the centre. The sensory garden will include a mud kitchen, play equipment, water play features, yarning circle, landscaping and new ramps and paths. The service will use its school readiness funding to hire additional teaching staff, enrich children’s language development and social and emotional wellbeing and run a breakfast club to provide free and healthy meals to children. It will also help families by setting up a book lending library and provide training for staff to better support children who have experienced trauma. Children at De Garis Kindergarten are among 20,000 attending kindergarten this year to benefit from the Labor Government’s $58.1 million school readiness funding initiative. Funding has been provided this year to approximately 580 services in 25 local government areas and those run by Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations. In an Australian-first, the Labor Government is investing almost $5 billion over the next decade to ensure every Victorian three-year-old has access to a full 15 hours of kinder by 2022. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We know that quality early childhood services give children a better start in life and that’s why we’re making unprecedented investments in the early years.” “We’re helping kindergartens upgrade their infrastructure and equipment to create welcoming environments for children of all abilities.” Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp “This school readiness funding will provide extra support for local families and their kids at a crucial time in their lives.” “We’re boosting support for kindergartens so that local kids get the best start to their education.” Download the Media Release (212 KB)

Morrison Budget A Complete Failure For Victorian Kids

The Morrison minority government has delivered another federal budget that fails to fund schools fairly and confirms early childhood education funding will be cut from 2021. The Liberals have done nothing to rectify their dud school funding deal that funds public school kids less than private school kids. Under Scott Morrison’s proposal, Victorian public school kids would miss out on about $800 million over the next three years – the equivalent of 2000 extra teachers. In an insult to all Victorians, the Liberals have also created a paltry $30 million national election slush fund for school projects. This stands in strong contrast to the Andrews Labor Government $3.8 billion investment in school infrastructure. It doesn’t get any better for kinder kids either. The budget includes no funding for three-year-old kinder and despite parents and the early childhood education sector pleading for a long-term funding deal for four-year-old kinder, Scott Morrison has again let them down. The Liberals have today confirmed they will not continue funding kinders from 2021 leaving parents and providers in the dark about their funding future. The failure to guarantee funding puts kindergarten hours at risk and may see parents facing higher fees. The Andrews Labor Government will be the first in Australia to deliver a universal 15 hour per week kindergarten program for three-year-olds. This will be progressively rolled out from 2020, thanks to an investment of close to $5 billion over the next decade. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Scott Morrison has today confirmed he doesn’t care about the future of our kids. His budget fails parents and children right across Victoria.” “The budget confirms that under a Liberal government, public school kids will receive less funding than private school kids and kinder funding will be slashed from 2021.” “This budget was an opportunity for Scott Morrison to prove he would stand up for young Victorians – and once again he has failed them completely.” Download the Media Release (326 KB)

Morrison Budget A Complete Failure For Victorian Kids

The Morrison minority government has delivered another federal budget that fails to fund schools fairly and confirms early childhood education funding will be cut from 2021. The Liberals have done nothing to rectify their dud school funding deal that funds public school kids less than private school kids. Under Scott Morrison’s proposal, Victorian public school kids would miss out on about $800 million over the next three years – the equivalent of 2000 extra teachers. In an insult to all Victorians, the Liberals have also created a paltry $30 million national election slush fund for school projects. This stands in strong contrast to the Andrews Labor Government $3.8 billion investment in school infrastructure. It doesn’t get any better for kinder kids either. The budget includes no funding for three-year-old kinder and despite parents and the early childhood education sector pleading for a long-term funding deal for four-year-old kinder, Scott Morrison has again let them down. The Liberals have today confirmed they will not continue funding kinders from 2021 leaving parents and providers in the dark about their funding future. The failure to guarantee funding puts kindergarten hours at risk and may see parents facing higher fees. The Andrews Labor Government will be the first in Australia to deliver a universal 15 hour per week kindergarten program for three-year-olds. This will be progressively rolled out from 2020, thanks to an investment of close to $5 billion over the next decade. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Scott Morrison has today confirmed he doesn’t care about the future of our kids. His budget fails parents and children right across Victoria.” “The budget confirms that under a Liberal government, public school kids will receive less funding than private school kids and kinder funding will be slashed from 2021.” “This budget was an opportunity for Scott Morrison to prove he would stand up for young Victorians – and once again he has failed them completely.” Download the Media Release (326 KB)

KILSYTH NETBALL COURTS NOW UNDER COVER

Lilydale and Yarra Valley Netball Association will go in to this year’s netball season scoring high, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s Pick My Project initiative. Member for Monbulk James Merlino today announced the opening of the Pinks Reserve Netball Court Cover project in Kilsyth. The project received $200,000 in Pick My Project funding to construct two permanent court covers over existing netball courts, to create a weather-protected netball facility within the Yarra Ranges Shire. Covered netball courts will reduce game cancellations and fixturing issues, both of which limit the growth of netball in the community. The project will benefit the Lilydale and Yarra Valley Netball Association’s 2,500 members, interschool sports and the local community. The Association has sourced further funding to deliver improvements such as perimeter fencing, court protection and rectification, lighting, acoustic fencing, stormwater drainage, a new car park bay, paving to canteen and first aid areas, and a new pram crossing. Through the $30 million Pick My Project initiative, Victorian residents aged 16 and over were given the opportunity to submit their idea for a project or program that made their community a better place to live. People were then given the chance to vote for their favourite project. More than 95,000 Victorians cast votes, with successful projects receiving grants of between $20,000 and $200,000. Pick My Project has awarded funding to 237 successful project ideas state-wide, with funding allocated between the six metropolitan and nine regional partnership areas. The Pinks Reserve Netball Court Covers project is one of 25 successful projects from the Pick My Project initiative in the Eastern Metropolitan region. The region received more than $2.9M in funding through the initiative, after more than 26,000 votes were cast across the region. For a full list of successful projects across Victoria, visit: pickmyproject.vic.gov.au. Quotes attributable to Member for Monbulk James Merlino “The community voted for this fantastic local project and it’s now been delivered.” “Pick My Project has helped the Kilsyth community get the funding they need so that local netball games continue rain, hail or shine.” “This will boost the uptake of netball in the area and allow the sport to grow.”    

KILSYTH NETBALL COURTS NOW UNDER COVER

Lilydale and Yarra Valley Netball Association will go in to this year’s netball season scoring high, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s Pick My Project initiative. Member for Monbulk James Merlino today announced the opening of the Pinks Reserve Netball Court Cover project in Kilsyth. The project received $200,000 in Pick My Project funding to construct two permanent court covers over existing netball courts, to create a weather-protected netball facility within the Yarra Ranges Shire. Covered netball courts will reduce game cancellations and fixturing issues, both of which limit the growth of netball in the community. The project will benefit the Lilydale and Yarra Valley Netball Association’s 2,500 members, interschool sports and the local community. The Association has sourced further funding to deliver improvements such as perimeter fencing, court protection and rectification, lighting, acoustic fencing, stormwater drainage, a new car park bay, paving to canteen and first aid areas, and a new pram crossing. Through the $30 million Pick My Project initiative, Victorian residents aged 16 and over were given the opportunity to submit their idea for a project or program that made their community a better place to live. People were then given the chance to vote for their favourite project. More than 95,000 Victorians cast votes, with successful projects receiving grants of between $20,000 and $200,000. Pick My Project has awarded funding to 237 successful project ideas state-wide, with funding allocated between the six metropolitan and nine regional partnership areas. The Pinks Reserve Netball Court Covers project is one of 25 successful projects from the Pick My Project initiative in the Eastern Metropolitan region. The region received more than $2.9M in funding through the initiative, after more than 26,000 votes were cast across the region. For a full list of successful projects across Victoria, visit: pickmyproject.vic.gov.au. Quotes attributable to Member for Monbulk James Merlino “The community voted for this fantastic local project and it’s now been delivered.” “Pick My Project has helped the Kilsyth community get the funding they need so that local netball games continue rain, hail or shine.” “This will boost the uptake of netball in the area and allow the sport to grow.”    

Mansfield Students Set To Excel With New Stem Building

Mansfield students studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects are now benefitting from new facilities funded by the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today visited Mansfield Secondary College for a tour of the school and to open the recently completed $3.4 million STEM Centre. Designed by Taylor Oppenheim Architects and built by Browns Wangaratta, the cutting-edge building features general learning spaces, visual arts facilities and science laboratories, supporting and inspiring students to excel in STEM learning. The upgrade for the View Street campus also includes external works for the school, including the provision of new courtyards, seating, landscaping and covered access between buildings. Through the 2018-19 Victorian Budget, a further $4.85 million has been invested towards stage two modernisation upgrades for the school, including an extension to the STEM centre. These works will also incorporate a new gymnasium, hospitality classroom and modifications to the language centre. The Labor Government is investing record funding in our schools to make Victoria the Education State. Investment in STEM forms a key part of this and is working to make science, technology, engineering and mathematics relevant and appealing for all students, to lift their performance and prepare them for the changing demands of our 21st century economy. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Victorian students deserve to have access to great schools and facilities. We’re getting on with rebuilding and upgrading schools across the state to ensure our students get the best opportunities.” Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “Mansfield Secondary College students studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics are already benefitting from this new space. It will help them to gain the skills needed for the jobs of the future.” Download the Media Release (211 KB)

Mansfield Students Set To Excel With New Stem Building

Mansfield students studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects are now benefitting from new facilities funded by the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today visited Mansfield Secondary College for a tour of the school and to open the recently completed $3.4 million STEM Centre. Designed by Taylor Oppenheim Architects and built by Browns Wangaratta, the cutting-edge building features general learning spaces, visual arts facilities and science laboratories, supporting and inspiring students to excel in STEM learning. The upgrade for the View Street campus also includes external works for the school, including the provision of new courtyards, seating, landscaping and covered access between buildings. Through the 2018-19 Victorian Budget, a further $4.85 million has been invested towards stage two modernisation upgrades for the school, including an extension to the STEM centre. These works will also incorporate a new gymnasium, hospitality classroom and modifications to the language centre. The Labor Government is investing record funding in our schools to make Victoria the Education State. Investment in STEM forms a key part of this and is working to make science, technology, engineering and mathematics relevant and appealing for all students, to lift their performance and prepare them for the changing demands of our 21st century economy. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Victorian students deserve to have access to great schools and facilities. We’re getting on with rebuilding and upgrading schools across the state to ensure our students get the best opportunities.” Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “Mansfield Secondary College students studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics are already benefitting from this new space. It will help them to gain the skills needed for the jobs of the future.” Download the Media Release (211 KB)

New Science Wing Opens For Sunbury Students

Staff and students at Sunbury College now have the state-of-the-art science facilities they deserve, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino joined Member for Sunbury Josh Bull at Sunbury College today to open their new $3.5 million science wing. The redevelopment – designed by PMDL Architecture and built by 2Construct – provides specialised practical, theory and prep rooms as well as general learning spaces, collaborative areas and a staff workroom. The Labor Government is transforming Victoria into the Education State, setting targets across all learning areas, including seeing 33 per cent more 15-year-olds achieving the highest levels of achievement in science literacy by 2025. Sunbury College also secured $4.8 million in funding for Stage 2 works through the 2016-17 Victorian State Budget, which will see the existing library converted into a creative arts wing featuring spaces for media, digital arts, visual communications and music. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This brand-new science wing will be an incredible boost for Sunbury College students.” “We need more young Victorians to discover a passion for science and these facilities will inspire a love for science at Sunbury College.” Quotes attributable to Member for Sunbury Josh Bull “It’s fantastic to see students at Sunbury College putting their new science facility to use. This is all part of keeping our commitment to Sunbury college and the broader community.” “This science wing will equip them with the knowledge and skills to thrive in school and beyond.” Download the Media Release (213 KB)

New Science Wing Opens For Sunbury Students

Staff and students at Sunbury College now have the state-of-the-art science facilities they deserve, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino joined Member for Sunbury Josh Bull at Sunbury College today to open their new $3.5 million science wing. The redevelopment – designed by PMDL Architecture and built by 2Construct – provides specialised practical, theory and prep rooms as well as general learning spaces, collaborative areas and a staff workroom. The Labor Government is transforming Victoria into the Education State, setting targets across all learning areas, including seeing 33 per cent more 15-year-olds achieving the highest levels of achievement in science literacy by 2025. Sunbury College also secured $4.8 million in funding for Stage 2 works through the 2016-17 Victorian State Budget, which will see the existing library converted into a creative arts wing featuring spaces for media, digital arts, visual communications and music. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This brand-new science wing will be an incredible boost for Sunbury College students.” “We need more young Victorians to discover a passion for science and these facilities will inspire a love for science at Sunbury College.” Quotes attributable to Member for Sunbury Josh Bull “It’s fantastic to see students at Sunbury College putting their new science facility to use. This is all part of keeping our commitment to Sunbury college and the broader community.” “This science wing will equip them with the knowledge and skills to thrive in school and beyond.” Download the Media Release (213 KB)