• 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

Chelsea Heights Primary Unveils Inclusive Spaces

Chelsea Heights students have access to sensory gardens and outdoor learning areas to support students with disabilities and special needs thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Mordialloc Tim Richardson today visited Chelsea Heights Primary School to officially open its $400,000 upgrade to the June Elliot Centre. Previously the main school hall, the June Elliot Centre has an open indoor and outdoor area to support sensory activities, offices to house teaching and support staff including psychologists, speech pathologists, occupational therapists and visiting teachers and a multi-purpose learning area. The upgrade also includes a new multi-purpose sensory space, new accessible toilet and interactive floor 360-degree projector. Spaces Architects designed and Ducon built the inclusive spaces. The Labor Government is helping schools upgrade their buildings and playgrounds and buy equipment to provide a more inclusive environment for children with disabilities and additional needs. The Inclusive Schools Fund is a $20 million fund providing government schools with quality new spaces and more inclusive facilities, based on best practice research and design. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Across Victoria, we are building and upgrading schools so our students have the best facilities, our classrooms have the best teachers and every child is given every chance to succeed.” Quotes attributable to Member for Mordialloc Tim Richardson “I share the passion and excitement of everyone who has helped to turn Chelsea Heights Primary School’s vision into a reality, as well as that of local families who will benefit from these great new school facilities.” “It’s a pleasure to be here to officially open this wonderful space but most importantly to be here to see it in action.” Download the Media Release (551 KB)

Chelsea Heights Primary Unveils Inclusive Spaces

Chelsea Heights students have access to sensory gardens and outdoor learning areas to support students with disabilities and special needs thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Mordialloc Tim Richardson today visited Chelsea Heights Primary School to officially open its $400,000 upgrade to the June Elliot Centre. Previously the main school hall, the June Elliot Centre has an open indoor and outdoor area to support sensory activities, offices to house teaching and support staff including psychologists, speech pathologists, occupational therapists and visiting teachers and a multi-purpose learning area. The upgrade also includes a new multi-purpose sensory space, new accessible toilet and interactive floor 360-degree projector. Spaces Architects designed and Ducon built the inclusive spaces. The Labor Government is helping schools upgrade their buildings and playgrounds and buy equipment to provide a more inclusive environment for children with disabilities and additional needs. The Inclusive Schools Fund is a $20 million fund providing government schools with quality new spaces and more inclusive facilities, based on best practice research and design. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Across Victoria, we are building and upgrading schools so our students have the best facilities, our classrooms have the best teachers and every child is given every chance to succeed.” Quotes attributable to Member for Mordialloc Tim Richardson “I share the passion and excitement of everyone who has helped to turn Chelsea Heights Primary School’s vision into a reality, as well as that of local families who will benefit from these great new school facilities.” “It’s a pleasure to be here to officially open this wonderful space but most importantly to be here to see it in action.” Download the Media Release (551 KB)

Building The Education State In Ashwood

Ashwood families now have the new state-of-the-art secondary school they deserve after the revamped Ashwood High School opened today. Minister for Education James Merlino officially opened the new facilities this afternoon, including an upgraded performing arts hall, a learning centre designed for senior students and a tiered, outdoor amphitheatre complete with audio and lighting hardware. The $5 million construction project also gives Ashwood kids three brand new netball and basketball courts and new classrooms. The school now has freshly landscaped gardens and its storm drainage and the science and technology wings’ roofs have been upgraded and repaired. The Andrews Labor Government is now delivering an unprecedented 64 new school projects across Victoria to meet the demand created by the state’s population boom, with more than 90,000 school-aged children and teenagers predicted to call Victoria home by 2022. This includes having already built the school infrastructure needed to meet the needs of Victoria’s growing student population until 2019 through an unprecedented investment of more than $2.8 billion as part of the Education State. Victoria’s school building boom has delivered more than 1200 school upgrades, supporting almost 5000 construction jobs for Victorians. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Victoria’s population is booming, and we have got on with the job of building and upgrading schools across the state to meet the needs of our growing communities.”  “Visiting schools I’ve seen the difference great facilities have on kids – they’re proud of their school, more engaged and feel empowered to work hard and reach their potential.” Quote attributable to Member for Oakleigh Steve Dimopoulos “The new facilities at Ashwood High School will give its students an amazing new performance space and modern classrooms, including some specifically designed to teach about commerce and graphic design.” Download the Media Release (559 KB)

Building The Education State In Ashwood

Ashwood families now have the new state-of-the-art secondary school they deserve after the revamped Ashwood High School opened today. Minister for Education James Merlino officially opened the new facilities this afternoon, including an upgraded performing arts hall, a learning centre designed for senior students and a tiered, outdoor amphitheatre complete with audio and lighting hardware. The $5 million construction project also gives Ashwood kids three brand new netball and basketball courts and new classrooms. The school now has freshly landscaped gardens and its storm drainage and the science and technology wings’ roofs have been upgraded and repaired. The Andrews Labor Government is now delivering an unprecedented 64 new school projects across Victoria to meet the demand created by the state’s population boom, with more than 90,000 school-aged children and teenagers predicted to call Victoria home by 2022. This includes having already built the school infrastructure needed to meet the needs of Victoria’s growing student population until 2019 through an unprecedented investment of more than $2.8 billion as part of the Education State. Victoria’s school building boom has delivered more than 1200 school upgrades, supporting almost 5000 construction jobs for Victorians. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Victoria’s population is booming, and we have got on with the job of building and upgrading schools across the state to meet the needs of our growing communities.”  “Visiting schools I’ve seen the difference great facilities have on kids – they’re proud of their school, more engaged and feel empowered to work hard and reach their potential.” Quote attributable to Member for Oakleigh Steve Dimopoulos “The new facilities at Ashwood High School will give its students an amazing new performance space and modern classrooms, including some specifically designed to teach about commerce and graphic design.” Download the Media Release (559 KB)

Tech Fest To Showcase Victoria’s Tech Schools

Interactive art installations, investigating technology in sport, and building a robot from electronic and 3D printed parts are just some of the highlights of this year’s exciting Tech Fest. Celebrating all things, science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), from March 19 to April 8, Tech Fest will give students, teachers and families the opportunity to discover more about the Andrews Labor Government’s Tech Schools and the cutting-edge programs they will deliver. Minister for Education James Merlino today joined Tech School students from schools across Victoria at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) as they launched Tech Fest and embarked on the Melbourne Design Week Challenge ‘e-waste evolution’. Students will deconstruct e-waste, like old laptops, and use recycled components to re-purpose into new products. The NGV Triennial showcases the use of STEM across mediums including fashion, furniture and interior design, and like Tech Schools, Melbourne Design Week and the NGV Triennial show what design thinking can achieve and how sustainability is critical to our future. The Tech Schools and the NGV have discussed many ways that they may collaborate, and today’s Design Challenge is the first event. Tech Fest will provide an insight into each of Victoria’s Tech Schools. Activities include: Students working with mentors from ACMI to design and create projection art that reflects the local environment Students discovering more about technology in health, virtual reality and robotics Building and programming robots from electronic components and 3D printed parts Investigating the impact of technology on sport with the AFL’s Geelong Cats A fun opportunity to invent, create and pose solutions to an array of community-based challenges. The Labor Government is investing $128 million to establish 10 Tech Schools across the state as part of its commitment to deliver the Education State for Victoria. The already operational Yarra Ranges, Monash and Ballarat Tech Schools will open their doors to their local communities, while the seven Tech Schools yet to open have ‘pop-up’ Tech School activities. For more information about Tech Fest events visit: http://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/learningdev/techschools/Pages/techfest2018.aspx Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Victoria’s Tech Schools are providing students with the skills and experiences they need to thrive and secure the emerging jobs of the future.” “Tech Fest is a great way to showcase the innovative programs on offer at Victoria’s Tech Schools and a fantastic opportunity for schools and communities to engage with them.” Download the Media Release (573 KB)

Tech Fest To Showcase Victoria’s Tech Schools

Interactive art installations, investigating technology in sport, and building a robot from electronic and 3D printed parts are just some of the highlights of this year’s exciting Tech Fest. Celebrating all things, science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), from March 19 to April 8, Tech Fest will give students, teachers and families the opportunity to discover more about the Andrews Labor Government’s Tech Schools and the cutting-edge programs they will deliver. Minister for Education James Merlino today joined Tech School students from schools across Victoria at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) as they launched Tech Fest and embarked on the Melbourne Design Week Challenge ‘e-waste evolution’. Students will deconstruct e-waste, like old laptops, and use recycled components to re-purpose into new products. The NGV Triennial showcases the use of STEM across mediums including fashion, furniture and interior design, and like Tech Schools, Melbourne Design Week and the NGV Triennial show what design thinking can achieve and how sustainability is critical to our future. The Tech Schools and the NGV have discussed many ways that they may collaborate, and today’s Design Challenge is the first event. Tech Fest will provide an insight into each of Victoria’s Tech Schools. Activities include: Students working with mentors from ACMI to design and create projection art that reflects the local environment Students discovering more about technology in health, virtual reality and robotics Building and programming robots from electronic components and 3D printed parts Investigating the impact of technology on sport with the AFL’s Geelong Cats A fun opportunity to invent, create and pose solutions to an array of community-based challenges. The Labor Government is investing $128 million to establish 10 Tech Schools across the state as part of its commitment to deliver the Education State for Victoria. The already operational Yarra Ranges, Monash and Ballarat Tech Schools will open their doors to their local communities, while the seven Tech Schools yet to open have ‘pop-up’ Tech School activities. For more information about Tech Fest events visit: http://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/learningdev/techschools/Pages/techfest2018.aspx Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Victoria’s Tech Schools are providing students with the skills and experiences they need to thrive and secure the emerging jobs of the future.” “Tech Fest is a great way to showcase the innovative programs on offer at Victoria’s Tech Schools and a fantastic opportunity for schools and communities to engage with them.” Download the Media Release (573 KB)

Headspace On Board For Schools Anti-Bullying Package

Australia’s leading youth mental health organisation, headspace, will deliver new targeted mental health programs for Victorian government schools as part of a new partnership with the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced headspace will deliver the $4.48 million mental health components of the Government’s Victorian Anti-Bullying and Mental Health Initiative, including the Better Access to Mental Health Support initiative and a Suicide Prevention Pilot program. headspace will provide clinical mental health services for students aged 12-18 both during and after school hours through Victorian headspace centres and the eheadspace platform, which provides support via phone, email or webchat. Additional eheadspace resources will be targeted to schools in areas without a headspace centre. The funding will enable headspace to provide additional face-to-face sessions per week, while eheadspace will increase their services for government secondary school students in rural and remote areas. Under the partnership, headspace will provide additional SAFEMinds training sessions for teachers and student support to help them identify and respond to mental health concerns, particularly depression and anxiety. Through the Suicide Prevention Pilot, headspace will deliver its Suicide Risk Training package for school health and wellbeing staff, student support services staff and leading teachers. The training will help staff understand risk factors associated with suicide and give them skills to identify and respond to secondary students who may be at increased risk of suicide and to better support these students. The announcement coincides with the release of a new PwC Australia analysis commissioned by the Alannah & Madeline Foundation with funding from the Labor Government, which found almost a quarter of Victorian school students are bullied at some stage during their time in school with annual costs reaching $135 million. The Economic Cost of Bullying in Australian Schools reveals that, each year, approximately 228,000 Victorian school students experience bullying, instigated by 136,000 bullies. The analysis estimates bullying costs $645 million to society for each school year group. The Labor Government recently funded the rollout of the successful cyber-safety eSmart program to every school in the state, meaning almost 1 million students will benefit from it every year. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Every child in every school deserves to be able to complete their education without being bullied and to also be supported when they are battling mental health issues such as anxiety or depression.” “The Economic Cost of Bullying in Australian Schools report underlines the serious, far-reaching impacts of bullying for both the victims of bullying and our society as a whole.” Quote attributable to headspace CEO Jason Trethowan  “This partnership is an opportunity for headspace centres to work with the education sector for the benefit of all young people.” Download the Media Release (563 KB)

Headspace On Board For Schools Anti-Bullying Package

Australia’s leading youth mental health organisation, headspace, will deliver new targeted mental health programs for Victorian government schools as part of a new partnership with the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced headspace will deliver the $4.48 million mental health components of the Government’s Victorian Anti-Bullying and Mental Health Initiative, including the Better Access to Mental Health Support initiative and a Suicide Prevention Pilot program. headspace will provide clinical mental health services for students aged 12-18 both during and after school hours through Victorian headspace centres and the eheadspace platform, which provides support via phone, email or webchat. Additional eheadspace resources will be targeted to schools in areas without a headspace centre. The funding will enable headspace to provide additional face-to-face sessions per week, while eheadspace will increase their services for government secondary school students in rural and remote areas. Under the partnership, headspace will provide additional SAFEMinds training sessions for teachers and student support to help them identify and respond to mental health concerns, particularly depression and anxiety. Through the Suicide Prevention Pilot, headspace will deliver its Suicide Risk Training package for school health and wellbeing staff, student support services staff and leading teachers. The training will help staff understand risk factors associated with suicide and give them skills to identify and respond to secondary students who may be at increased risk of suicide and to better support these students. The announcement coincides with the release of a new PwC Australia analysis commissioned by the Alannah & Madeline Foundation with funding from the Labor Government, which found almost a quarter of Victorian school students are bullied at some stage during their time in school with annual costs reaching $135 million. The Economic Cost of Bullying in Australian Schools reveals that, each year, approximately 228,000 Victorian school students experience bullying, instigated by 136,000 bullies. The analysis estimates bullying costs $645 million to society for each school year group. The Labor Government recently funded the rollout of the successful cyber-safety eSmart program to every school in the state, meaning almost 1 million students will benefit from it every year. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Every child in every school deserves to be able to complete their education without being bullied and to also be supported when they are battling mental health issues such as anxiety or depression.” “The Economic Cost of Bullying in Australian Schools report underlines the serious, far-reaching impacts of bullying for both the victims of bullying and our society as a whole.” Quote attributable to headspace CEO Jason Trethowan  “This partnership is an opportunity for headspace centres to work with the education sector for the benefit of all young people.” Download the Media Release (563 KB)

State-Of-The Art Upgrade For Bonbeach Primary

Students in Bonbeach will have the new state-of-the-art classrooms and facilities they deserve, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced Bonbeach Primary School will receive $6.3 million for the construction of a brand new main school building. It will replace the existing hall and main building and provide the new facilities so that teachers can deliver the 21st century education that students need to succeed. The first step for the school will be taking part in a ‘Bricks and Mortar’ session, which will guide them through the capital works process and help identify how best to spend the funding and carry out the works in line with school’s approach to teaching. This funding is in addition to the $120,000 for maintenance works at the school to repair areas that have been affected by termite damage and ensure students can continue their education. The Labor Government is building the Education State so that every Victorian student gets the opportunity for a great education and every community has access to a great school. Victoria’s school building boom has delivered more than 1,200 school upgrades and 64 new school projects across the state, supporting almost 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Every student deserves access to a great local school and we’re getting on with the job of building better schools, so that local students have the facilities and classrooms they need to succeed.” “Upgrading Bonbeach Primary will give local students access to great local classrooms and schools facilities, which is exactly what the students deserve.” Quotes attributable to Member for Carrum Sonya Kilkenny “This has been quite a journey with many conversations and meetings over months and months.” “I took this issue directly to the Minister for Education so I am absolutely thrilled that we have acted to ensure that local students at Bonbeach Primary School will finally get the wonderful new learning facilities and classrooms they deserve.” Download the Media Release (560 KB)

State-Of-The Art Upgrade For Bonbeach Primary

Students in Bonbeach will have the new state-of-the-art classrooms and facilities they deserve, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced Bonbeach Primary School will receive $6.3 million for the construction of a brand new main school building. It will replace the existing hall and main building and provide the new facilities so that teachers can deliver the 21st century education that students need to succeed. The first step for the school will be taking part in a ‘Bricks and Mortar’ session, which will guide them through the capital works process and help identify how best to spend the funding and carry out the works in line with school’s approach to teaching. This funding is in addition to the $120,000 for maintenance works at the school to repair areas that have been affected by termite damage and ensure students can continue their education. The Labor Government is building the Education State so that every Victorian student gets the opportunity for a great education and every community has access to a great school. Victoria’s school building boom has delivered more than 1,200 school upgrades and 64 new school projects across the state, supporting almost 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Every student deserves access to a great local school and we’re getting on with the job of building better schools, so that local students have the facilities and classrooms they need to succeed.” “Upgrading Bonbeach Primary will give local students access to great local classrooms and schools facilities, which is exactly what the students deserve.” Quotes attributable to Member for Carrum Sonya Kilkenny “This has been quite a journey with many conversations and meetings over months and months.” “I took this issue directly to the Minister for Education so I am absolutely thrilled that we have acted to ensure that local students at Bonbeach Primary School will finally get the wonderful new learning facilities and classrooms they deserve.” Download the Media Release (560 KB)

ASSISTANCE FOR SHERBROOKE ARCHERS

The government is helping Sherbrooke Archers stay on target with a bullseye of a grant. Member for Monbulk, James Merlino MP today announced the club would receive $1995 from the Government’s Sport and Recreation Emergency Equipment Grants program. The grant allows the club to replace a first aid defibrillator that was lost through criminal theft. Each year, the government provides $30,000 through the Sport and Recreation Emergency Equipment Grants program. It provides swift, practical support to get clubs up and running again in their time of need. The Victorian Government is working hard to give all Victorians the opportunity to play the sports they love, and embrace a more active and healthy lifestyle. Since being elected, the government has invested more than $740 million in initiatives to make sure our suburban and regional clubs and our iconic sporting stadiums have the modern facilities they need to grow.   Quotes attributable to Member for Monbulk James Merlino MP “Unfortunately, our sporting clubs are sometimes targeted by vandals and thieves, who damage and steal vital sporting equipment.” “Our emergency grants provide the lifeline clubs need so the game can go on.”

ASSISTANCE FOR SHERBROOKE ARCHERS

The government is helping Sherbrooke Archers stay on target with a bullseye of a grant. Member for Monbulk, James Merlino MP today announced the club would receive $1995 from the Government’s Sport and Recreation Emergency Equipment Grants program. The grant allows the club to replace a first aid defibrillator that was lost through criminal theft. Each year, the government provides $30,000 through the Sport and Recreation Emergency Equipment Grants program. It provides swift, practical support to get clubs up and running again in their time of need. The Victorian Government is working hard to give all Victorians the opportunity to play the sports they love, and embrace a more active and healthy lifestyle. Since being elected, the government has invested more than $740 million in initiatives to make sure our suburban and regional clubs and our iconic sporting stadiums have the modern facilities they need to grow.   Quotes attributable to Member for Monbulk James Merlino MP “Unfortunately, our sporting clubs are sometimes targeted by vandals and thieves, who damage and steal vital sporting equipment.” “Our emergency grants provide the lifeline clubs need so the game can go on.”

TACKLING BULLYING TO HELP STUDENTS BE THEIR BEST

The Andrews Labor Government is providing government schools with the tools and resources they need to tackle bullying, improve the mental health of students and help them achieve their best in the classroom. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced the Victorian Anti Bullying and Mental Health Initiative – a $7 million plan to address bullying in schools, support every students’ mental health and wellbeing, and reduce the rate of suicide. A $4.8 million boost will go towards mental health services for government schools to respond to complex issues – including addressing depression, anxiety and trauma. This is the equivalent of up to 40,000 hours of mental health support services. By improving access to mental health workers and assistance, students can get help as soon as they need it. As part of the new push, schools will also have access to training and resources that help reduce the risk of suicide and manage a student’s recovery in the immediate, short and longer term. The Labor Government’s Initiative also brings together a range of existing resources including Bully Stoppers, Safe Schools, e-Smart and Respectful Relationships, as well as new initiatives to tackle racist bullying. This will ensure parents and school communities can access a single website for all information, advice and support on combatting bullying and harassment. The extra funding comes on top of existing strategies and programs to help schools put a stop to all forms of bullying and unacceptable school behaviour. Around one in five young people experience bullying, affecting their academic performance and self-esteem, leading to anxiety, depression and self-harm. Right now, suicide is the leading cause of death for Australian children aged 5-17 years. This plan will be backed by evidence-based, practical advice which will empower principals, teachers, parents and students to prevent and respond to bullying in schools. The Victorian Anti-Bullying and Mental Health Initiative will also partner with the Alannah and Madeline Foundation to deliver a fun run in 2018 to support social inclusion, respect and taking a stand against bullying. Quote Attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This is a silent tragedy, and it’s hurting families across our state. Our kids simply can’t be their best if they don’t feel happy, supported and included at school.” Quote attributable to Minister for Mental Health and Minister for Equality Martin Foley “We have an obligation to every child to make sure our schools are bully-free. This program, which includes safe schools, provides the tools and mental health support to help young people be their best.” Quote attributable to Minister for Multicultural Affairs Robin Scott “Kids are not born racist. They tend to repeat what they hear from others. This initiative is about reducing bullying and harassment in all its forms across our schools.” Media contact: Matthew Dixon 0438 190 148 | matthew.dixon@minstaff.vic.gov.au Friday, 2 February, 2018

TACKLING BULLYING TO HELP STUDENTS BE THEIR BEST

The Andrews Labor Government is providing government schools with the tools and resources they need to tackle bullying, improve the mental health of students and help them achieve their best in the classroom. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced the Victorian Anti Bullying and Mental Health Initiative – a $7 million plan to address bullying in schools, support every students’ mental health and wellbeing, and reduce the rate of suicide. A $4.8 million boost will go towards mental health services for government schools to respond to complex issues – including addressing depression, anxiety and trauma. This is the equivalent of up to 40,000 hours of mental health support services. By improving access to mental health workers and assistance, students can get help as soon as they need it. As part of the new push, schools will also have access to training and resources that help reduce the risk of suicide and manage a student’s recovery in the immediate, short and longer term. The Labor Government’s Initiative also brings together a range of existing resources including Bully Stoppers, Safe Schools, e-Smart and Respectful Relationships, as well as new initiatives to tackle racist bullying. This will ensure parents and school communities can access a single website for all information, advice and support on combatting bullying and harassment. The extra funding comes on top of existing strategies and programs to help schools put a stop to all forms of bullying and unacceptable school behaviour. Around one in five young people experience bullying, affecting their academic performance and self-esteem, leading to anxiety, depression and self-harm. Right now, suicide is the leading cause of death for Australian children aged 5-17 years. This plan will be backed by evidence-based, practical advice which will empower principals, teachers, parents and students to prevent and respond to bullying in schools. The Victorian Anti-Bullying and Mental Health Initiative will also partner with the Alannah and Madeline Foundation to deliver a fun run in 2018 to support social inclusion, respect and taking a stand against bullying. Quote Attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This is a silent tragedy, and it’s hurting families across our state. Our kids simply can’t be their best if they don’t feel happy, supported and included at school.” Quote attributable to Minister for Mental Health and Minister for Equality Martin Foley “We have an obligation to every child to make sure our schools are bully-free. This program, which includes safe schools, provides the tools and mental health support to help young people be their best.” Quote attributable to Minister for Multicultural Affairs Robin Scott “Kids are not born racist. They tend to repeat what they hear from others. This initiative is about reducing bullying and harassment in all its forms across our schools.” Media contact: Matthew Dixon 0438 190 148 | matthew.dixon@minstaff.vic.gov.au Friday, 2 February, 2018

FUNDING BOOST TO KEEP OUR STUDENTS SAFE ONLINE

FUNDING BOOST TO KEEP OUR STUDENTS SAFE ONLINE Thousands more Victorian students will be taught how to stay safe online with the rollout of the successful cyber-safety eSmart program to every school in the state, thanks to a funding boost from the Andrews Labor Government. Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Education James Merlino today announced an additional $2.5 million to enable all Victorian schools – including government and non-government – to use the Alannah and Madeline Foundation’s eSmart program for free, meaning almost 1 million students will benefit from it every year. This is on top of the $12.2 million that has already been provided and has seen 71 per cent – or 1,569 – of Victoria’s 2,246 schools already using the effective and popular eSmart cyber-safety program. eSmart provides support for government, Catholic and independent schools to create cyber-safe environments for their students through policies and practices encouraging students to use technology responsibly. This includes helping schools to: create their own plans, policies and procedures, access the latest resources and tools, as well as record, track and report on their progress in achieving eSmart status. With our kids now accessing the internet and social media at unprecedented levels, programs like eSmart to help them make smart choices online are more important than ever. This is in addition to a suite of Victorian anti-bullying resources being brought together under the Labor Government’s new $7 million Victorian Anti Bullying and Mental Health Initiative, including Bully Stoppers, Safe Schools, Respectful Relationships and new initiatives to tackle racist bullying. Around one in five young people experience bullying, affecting their academic performance and self-esteem, leading to anxiety, depression and self-harm. Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “We want every Victorian child and young person to stay safe online – that’s why we’re stepping in to provide this additional funding, because nothing is more important than the safety and happiness of our kids.” “This is about giving our kids the practical support and advice they need to stay safe online and prevent bullying.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’re extending eSmart to every school in Victoria so thousands more students every year can get the cyber-safety support they need – for free, in their school and supported by their friends and teachers.” “We have an obligation to do everything we can to make our schools a bully-free, safe environment.”

FUNDING BOOST TO KEEP OUR STUDENTS SAFE ONLINE

FUNDING BOOST TO KEEP OUR STUDENTS SAFE ONLINE Thousands more Victorian students will be taught how to stay safe online with the rollout of the successful cyber-safety eSmart program to every school in the state, thanks to a funding boost from the Andrews Labor Government. Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Education James Merlino today announced an additional $2.5 million to enable all Victorian schools – including government and non-government – to use the Alannah and Madeline Foundation’s eSmart program for free, meaning almost 1 million students will benefit from it every year. This is on top of the $12.2 million that has already been provided and has seen 71 per cent – or 1,569 – of Victoria’s 2,246 schools already using the effective and popular eSmart cyber-safety program. eSmart provides support for government, Catholic and independent schools to create cyber-safe environments for their students through policies and practices encouraging students to use technology responsibly. This includes helping schools to: create their own plans, policies and procedures, access the latest resources and tools, as well as record, track and report on their progress in achieving eSmart status. With our kids now accessing the internet and social media at unprecedented levels, programs like eSmart to help them make smart choices online are more important than ever. This is in addition to a suite of Victorian anti-bullying resources being brought together under the Labor Government’s new $7 million Victorian Anti Bullying and Mental Health Initiative, including Bully Stoppers, Safe Schools, Respectful Relationships and new initiatives to tackle racist bullying. Around one in five young people experience bullying, affecting their academic performance and self-esteem, leading to anxiety, depression and self-harm. Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “We want every Victorian child and young person to stay safe online – that’s why we’re stepping in to provide this additional funding, because nothing is more important than the safety and happiness of our kids.” “This is about giving our kids the practical support and advice they need to stay safe online and prevent bullying.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’re extending eSmart to every school in Victoria so thousands more students every year can get the cyber-safety support they need – for free, in their school and supported by their friends and teachers.” “We have an obligation to do everything we can to make our schools a bully-free, safe environment.”

 

MAJOR MAKEOVER FOR BURRINJA CULTURAL CENTRE

The Andrews Labor Government has delivered a further $2.75 million for community infrastructure projects across the Yarra Ranges Shire through the Growing Suburbs Fund (GSF). Member for Monbulk James Merlino visited Upwey today to announce a $1.25 million GSF grant for a redevelopment of the Burrinja Cultural Centre. The centre is a significant community hub in the Dandenong Ranges which uses art to facilitate social bonding and inclusion. The site features multiple gallery spaces and artists’ studios, a significant collection of Indigenous and oceanic art, 400-seat theatre, black box space, kids ‘stay and play’ art activities, and rehearsal and meeting spaces. The $2.5 million project will create a unified indigenous community facility with improved internal layout for better usability, visibility and patron flow. Works include major refurbishments to the building, including the foyer and circulation space, artist studios, social gathering area, a gallery space, alongside the delivery of a new kitchen, café venue and foyer bar and accessible public amenities. Other GSF funded projects in Yarra Ranges under the latest funding round include:        $1 million toward a major upgrade to the Monbulk Community Sports Pavilion, which serves local sporting tenants and 14 local community groups. The upgraded pavilion will provide a multipurpose community space that will attract additional user groups to access the facility and place greater emphasis on supporting female participation in sport.        $500,000 towards the delivery of the Queens Park Healesville District Playspace, designed to deliver a creative, imaginative and educational playspace in Healesville. The Monbulk Community Sports Pavillion project is a $3.4 million project with broader works also including gender equitable change rooms, showers and amenities, first aid and medical rooms, gymnasium, canteen, community and room, commercial kitchen, office and multipurpose space. The GSF aims to improve the amenity, liveability and resilience of communities in Victoria’s 10 interface councils on Melbourne’s fringe. The latest $50 million 2017-19 Growing Suburbs Funding round will deliver 40 projects across Melbourne’s outer suburbs. Quotes attributable to Member for Monbulk James Merlino “The Burrinja Cultural Centre is a great part of the Upwey community and it’s great to be able support these much-needed restorations.” “This is a place where all members of our diverse, vibrant community can come together and develop long-lasting bonds from a young age.” “The Monbulk Community Sports Pavilion is the culmination of years of hard work from many people in our community and it is great   announce we can complete the project.”

MAJOR MAKEOVER FOR BURRINJA CULTURAL CENTRE

The Andrews Labor Government has delivered a further $2.75 million for community infrastructure projects across the Yarra Ranges Shire through the Growing Suburbs Fund (GSF). Member for Monbulk James Merlino visited Upwey today to announce a $1.25 million GSF grant for a redevelopment of the Burrinja Cultural Centre. The centre is a significant community hub in the Dandenong Ranges which uses art to facilitate social bonding and inclusion. The site features multiple gallery spaces and artists’ studios, a significant collection of Indigenous and oceanic art, 400-seat theatre, black box space, kids ‘stay and play’ art activities, and rehearsal and meeting spaces. The $2.5 million project will create a unified indigenous community facility with improved internal layout for better usability, visibility and patron flow. Works include major refurbishments to the building, including the foyer and circulation space, artist studios, social gathering area, a gallery space, alongside the delivery of a new kitchen, café venue and foyer bar and accessible public amenities. Other GSF funded projects in Yarra Ranges under the latest funding round include:        $1 million toward a major upgrade to the Monbulk Community Sports Pavilion, which serves local sporting tenants and 14 local community groups. The upgraded pavilion will provide a multipurpose community space that will attract additional user groups to access the facility and place greater emphasis on supporting female participation in sport.        $500,000 towards the delivery of the Queens Park Healesville District Playspace, designed to deliver a creative, imaginative and educational playspace in Healesville. The Monbulk Community Sports Pavillion project is a $3.4 million project with broader works also including gender equitable change rooms, showers and amenities, first aid and medical rooms, gymnasium, canteen, community and room, commercial kitchen, office and multipurpose space. The GSF aims to improve the amenity, liveability and resilience of communities in Victoria’s 10 interface councils on Melbourne’s fringe. The latest $50 million 2017-19 Growing Suburbs Funding round will deliver 40 projects across Melbourne’s outer suburbs. Quotes attributable to Member for Monbulk James Merlino “The Burrinja Cultural Centre is a great part of the Upwey community and it’s great to be able support these much-needed restorations.” “This is a place where all members of our diverse, vibrant community can come together and develop long-lasting bonds from a young age.” “The Monbulk Community Sports Pavilion is the culmination of years of hard work from many people in our community and it is great   announce we can complete the project.”

SPORTS CLUBS ENCOURAGED TO APPLY FOR NEW GRANTS

Sports clubs in Monbulk will be looking to get the edge over their rivals, thanks to more funding to buy new equipment and help coaches and officials learn new skills. James Merlino MP today encouraged applications from local clubs for the next round of the $4.6 million Sporting Club Grants Program. The program delivers on the Andrews Labor Government’s work to make it easier for all Victorians, no matter they live, to play the sports they love. The Sporting Club Grants Program gives clubs the chance to secure grants to buy new sports uniforms and equipment, or to expand the skills of coaches and officials. Already, the program has provided over $2.8 million to more than 2,000 sport and active recreation organisations across the state. Grants of up to $1,000 are available to buy new team uniforms or equipment, while grants of up to $2,000 are available to expand the skills of coaches and officials. Clubs can also receive up to $5,000 for initiatives that strengthen their operations and grow their membership. There are also grants to support travel and accommodation costs over a 12 month period for athletes, coaches, officials or teams that are required to travel to train or compete – whether it’s their local competition or an Aboriginal sporting festival. The new Aboriginal Participation category is specifically working to break down barriers and make it easier for Aboriginal Victorians to get involved in grassroots sport. Applications for round six are now open until 24 January 2018. For more information or to apply online, visit sport.vic.gov.au Quotes attributable to James Merlino MP We’re making sure our clubs in Monbulk are as strong as possible – that’s what these grants are all about. I encourage clubs to make the most of this support and apply online now for new uniforms, better equipment or training for their coaches. ͟Giving administrators and volunteers opportunities to improve their skills will also give our clubs the edge to make sure that they’re sustainable going forward.

SPORTS CLUBS ENCOURAGED TO APPLY FOR NEW GRANTS

Sports clubs in Monbulk will be looking to get the edge over their rivals, thanks to more funding to buy new equipment and help coaches and officials learn new skills. James Merlino MP today encouraged applications from local clubs for the next round of the $4.6 million Sporting Club Grants Program. The program delivers on the Andrews Labor Government’s work to make it easier for all Victorians, no matter they live, to play the sports they love. The Sporting Club Grants Program gives clubs the chance to secure grants to buy new sports uniforms and equipment, or to expand the skills of coaches and officials. Already, the program has provided over $2.8 million to more than 2,000 sport and active recreation organisations across the state. Grants of up to $1,000 are available to buy new team uniforms or equipment, while grants of up to $2,000 are available to expand the skills of coaches and officials. Clubs can also receive up to $5,000 for initiatives that strengthen their operations and grow their membership. There are also grants to support travel and accommodation costs over a 12 month period for athletes, coaches, officials or teams that are required to travel to train or compete – whether it’s their local competition or an Aboriginal sporting festival. The new Aboriginal Participation category is specifically working to break down barriers and make it easier for Aboriginal Victorians to get involved in grassroots sport. Applications for round six are now open until 24 January 2018. For more information or to apply online, visit sport.vic.gov.au Quotes attributable to James Merlino MP We’re making sure our clubs in Monbulk are as strong as possible – that’s what these grants are all about. I encourage clubs to make the most of this support and apply online now for new uniforms, better equipment or training for their coaches. ͟Giving administrators and volunteers opportunities to improve their skills will also give our clubs the edge to make sure that they’re sustainable going forward.

$2 Million For New Classrooms At Marist-Sion College

Students from across the Warragul region will soon be learning in six brand new classrooms, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today visited Marist Sion College in Warragul to announce $2 million towards a new high quality, permanent building housing six classrooms, as well as additional learning spaces. As part of the $3 million project, five ageing relocatable classrooms will be demolished to make way for the new building. Marist Sion College is contributing $1 million towards the project. This is one of a number of construction projects underway at the school, which is also building a new $5 million learning centre comprised of 10 classrooms, food technology facilities and staff offices. Marist-Sion College is a co-educational Catholic independent school founded in 1975 in Warragul and attracts students from as far afield as Morwell and Pakenham to the Neerimand Ellinbank districts. It is one of the many Victorian schools benefiting from the Labor Government’s $120 million Capital Funding Program for Non-Government Schools. The program has already seen more than 86 projects receive funding to build and upgrade Catholic and independent schools across the state. Thirty-eight schools – including Marist-Sion College – are sharing in $49.5 million in funding to expand and upgrade through the fund’s latest round. The fund is part of a $2.5 billion Labor Government investment over three years to build the Education State, giving every student access to a great local school with a great education. Victoria’s school building boom has delivered more than 1,000 school upgrades and 56 new school projects across the state, supporting almost 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This brand new, state-of-the-art building is another example of how we’re making the investments we need to give every child – regardless of where they live, or the school they go to – the very best education.” “We’re getting rid of these old, tired relocatable classrooms and replacing them with brand new classrooms with the very best facilities – because the students at Marist-Sion College deserve nothing less.” Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing “Every student in Victoria deserves access to a great local school, and here in Warragul we’re making sure that they do.” “We want every student in Victoria to have access to a great local school and that is why we are investing in government and non-government schools right across the state.” Download the Media Release (358 KB)

$2 Million For New Classrooms At Marist-Sion College

Students from across the Warragul region will soon be learning in six brand new classrooms, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today visited Marist Sion College in Warragul to announce $2 million towards a new high quality, permanent building housing six classrooms, as well as additional learning spaces. As part of the $3 million project, five ageing relocatable classrooms will be demolished to make way for the new building. Marist Sion College is contributing $1 million towards the project. This is one of a number of construction projects underway at the school, which is also building a new $5 million learning centre comprised of 10 classrooms, food technology facilities and staff offices. Marist-Sion College is a co-educational Catholic independent school founded in 1975 in Warragul and attracts students from as far afield as Morwell and Pakenham to the Neerimand Ellinbank districts. It is one of the many Victorian schools benefiting from the Labor Government’s $120 million Capital Funding Program for Non-Government Schools. The program has already seen more than 86 projects receive funding to build and upgrade Catholic and independent schools across the state. Thirty-eight schools – including Marist-Sion College – are sharing in $49.5 million in funding to expand and upgrade through the fund’s latest round. The fund is part of a $2.5 billion Labor Government investment over three years to build the Education State, giving every student access to a great local school with a great education. Victoria’s school building boom has delivered more than 1,000 school upgrades and 56 new school projects across the state, supporting almost 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This brand new, state-of-the-art building is another example of how we’re making the investments we need to give every child – regardless of where they live, or the school they go to – the very best education.” “We’re getting rid of these old, tired relocatable classrooms and replacing them with brand new classrooms with the very best facilities – because the students at Marist-Sion College deserve nothing less.” Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing “Every student in Victoria deserves access to a great local school, and here in Warragul we’re making sure that they do.” “We want every student in Victoria to have access to a great local school and that is why we are investing in government and non-government schools right across the state.” Download the Media Release (358 KB)

Kurnai College $10 Million Upgrade Begins

Students in Morwell will soon have the first-rate classrooms and facilities they deserve, with work beginning on  upgrading Kurnai College thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today turned the first sod to start construction on the $10.1 million upgrade which include replacing old buildings at the College with modern facilities. Blocks A and F and the old Arts Block have been demolished to make way for Stage 1, which includes a new canteen, performing arts and food technology building, Year 9-10 classrooms and a science block. Stage 2 of the project will see the existing Block E and library demolished and replaced with new Years 7-8 classrooms and staff building. Stage 1 of the upgrade and modernisation of Kurnai College’s Morwell campus is expected to be completed by the end of 2018. The project is part of a $2.5 billion investment by the Labor Government in the past three Budgets to improve classrooms, upgrade facilities and build new schools across the state. This school building boom has delivered more than 1,000 school upgrades and 56 new school projects across the state, supporting almost 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’re getting on with the job of delivering much needed upgrades to Kurnai College’s Morwell campus, so that local students have the facilities and classrooms they need to succeed.” “Every student in Victoria deserves to have access to a great local school with great teachers and that is why we are making the investments we are.” Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Region Harriet Shing “New and modernised school buildings at Kurnai College’s Morwell campus will make a huge difference to this wonderful school’s pride, and give students, staff, parents and the wider community the facilities they deserve.” Download the Media Release (354 KB)

Kurnai College $10 Million Upgrade Begins

Students in Morwell will soon have the first-rate classrooms and facilities they deserve, with work beginning on  upgrading Kurnai College thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today turned the first sod to start construction on the $10.1 million upgrade which include replacing old buildings at the College with modern facilities. Blocks A and F and the old Arts Block have been demolished to make way for Stage 1, which includes a new canteen, performing arts and food technology building, Year 9-10 classrooms and a science block. Stage 2 of the project will see the existing Block E and library demolished and replaced with new Years 7-8 classrooms and staff building. Stage 1 of the upgrade and modernisation of Kurnai College’s Morwell campus is expected to be completed by the end of 2018. The project is part of a $2.5 billion investment by the Labor Government in the past three Budgets to improve classrooms, upgrade facilities and build new schools across the state. This school building boom has delivered more than 1,000 school upgrades and 56 new school projects across the state, supporting almost 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’re getting on with the job of delivering much needed upgrades to Kurnai College’s Morwell campus, so that local students have the facilities and classrooms they need to succeed.” “Every student in Victoria deserves to have access to a great local school with great teachers and that is why we are making the investments we are.” Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Region Harriet Shing “New and modernised school buildings at Kurnai College’s Morwell campus will make a huge difference to this wonderful school’s pride, and give students, staff, parents and the wider community the facilities they deserve.” Download the Media Release (354 KB)

$50 Million To Upgrade Non-Government Schools

Thousands of Victorian students attending 38 Catholic and independent schools across Victoria will benefit from better facilities and new and upgraded classrooms, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today visited Cornish College in Bangholme, to announce the growing school would receive $2 million to build new classrooms through round three of the Capital Funding Program for Non-Government Schools. The popular Cornish College will use the funding to build new classrooms and study areas for its senior year students, including relocating Year 11 and 12 students to a new dedicated Senior Years centre. Construction is expected to start in April next year, with completion expected early 2019. It is one of the many Victorian schools benefiting from the Labor Government’s $120 million Capital Funding Program for Non-Government Schools. The program has already seen more than 86 projects receive funding to build and upgrade Catholic and independent schools across the state. Thirty-eight schools – including Cornish College – are sharing in $49.5 million in funding to expand and upgrade through the fund’s latest round. The fund is part of a $2.5 billion Labor Government investment over three years to build the Education State, giving every student access to a great local school with a great education. Victoria’s school building boom has delivered more than 1,000 school upgrades and 56 new school projects across the state, supporting almost 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This brand new, state-of-the-art building is another example of how we’re making the investments we need to give every child – regardless of where they live, or the school they go to – the very best education.” “We’re getting rid of these old, tired relocatable classrooms and replacing them with brand new classrooms with the very best facilities – because the students at Cornish College deserve nothing less.” Quote attributable to Member for Mordialloc Tim Richardson “This school attracts a large number of local kids and making this investment makes sure they will continue to have access to a great local school.” Download the Media Release (353 KB)

$50 Million To Upgrade Non-Government Schools

Thousands of Victorian students attending 38 Catholic and independent schools across Victoria will benefit from better facilities and new and upgraded classrooms, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today visited Cornish College in Bangholme, to announce the growing school would receive $2 million to build new classrooms through round three of the Capital Funding Program for Non-Government Schools. The popular Cornish College will use the funding to build new classrooms and study areas for its senior year students, including relocating Year 11 and 12 students to a new dedicated Senior Years centre. Construction is expected to start in April next year, with completion expected early 2019. It is one of the many Victorian schools benefiting from the Labor Government’s $120 million Capital Funding Program for Non-Government Schools. The program has already seen more than 86 projects receive funding to build and upgrade Catholic and independent schools across the state. Thirty-eight schools – including Cornish College – are sharing in $49.5 million in funding to expand and upgrade through the fund’s latest round. The fund is part of a $2.5 billion Labor Government investment over three years to build the Education State, giving every student access to a great local school with a great education. Victoria’s school building boom has delivered more than 1,000 school upgrades and 56 new school projects across the state, supporting almost 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This brand new, state-of-the-art building is another example of how we’re making the investments we need to give every child – regardless of where they live, or the school they go to – the very best education.” “We’re getting rid of these old, tired relocatable classrooms and replacing them with brand new classrooms with the very best facilities – because the students at Cornish College deserve nothing less.” Quote attributable to Member for Mordialloc Tim Richardson “This school attracts a large number of local kids and making this investment makes sure they will continue to have access to a great local school.” Download the Media Release (353 KB)

NEW SPORTS PAVILION DELIVERED FOR BELGRAVE

The Andrews Labor Government has landed another election commitment, with the opening of a new sports pavilion in Belgrave. Member for Monbulk James Merlino today announced the completion of the Belgrave South Community Sports pavilion at an official opening. The pavilion will be able to host meetings, social and community events and will include a multi-purpose room, meeting room, kitchen, change rooms, toilets and umpiring facilities. The Labor Government contributed a total of $1 million towards the project, with $500,000 from the Growing Suburbs Fund and $500,000 from Sport and Recreation Victoria’s Community Sports Infrastructure Fund. Eight member groups, representing more than 1000 locals across sporting clubs, the Belgrave South Primary School and community house facilities, combined to raise $150,000 towards the construction of the pavilion. Yarra Ranges Council also contributed $950,000 to the project, in addition to $250,000 from the Commonwealth Government and $100,000 from Bendigo Bank. Sport and Recreation Victoria’s investment is also funding the development of a playground at the reserve, which is anticipated to be completed by mid-2018. The Labor Government has also invested $80,000 towards energy efficient LED lighting of the sports ground. Quotes attributable to Member for Monbulk James Merlino “We promised we would bring new sporting facilities to Belgrave and we have delivered on that.” “What makes this project even more special is the amount of money chipped in by locals to get it off the ground.” Quote attributable to Minister for Local Government Marlene Kairouz “We’re making sure Melbourne’s growing suburbs get the infrastructure they deserve - and this new sports pavilion is another example.” Quote attributable to Minister for Sport John Eren “This brand new facility will encourage more people in Belgrave to get active, enjoy the outdoors and play the sports they love”

NEW SPORTS PAVILION DELIVERED FOR BELGRAVE

The Andrews Labor Government has landed another election commitment, with the opening of a new sports pavilion in Belgrave. Member for Monbulk James Merlino today announced the completion of the Belgrave South Community Sports pavilion at an official opening. The pavilion will be able to host meetings, social and community events and will include a multi-purpose room, meeting room, kitchen, change rooms, toilets and umpiring facilities. The Labor Government contributed a total of $1 million towards the project, with $500,000 from the Growing Suburbs Fund and $500,000 from Sport and Recreation Victoria’s Community Sports Infrastructure Fund. Eight member groups, representing more than 1000 locals across sporting clubs, the Belgrave South Primary School and community house facilities, combined to raise $150,000 towards the construction of the pavilion. Yarra Ranges Council also contributed $950,000 to the project, in addition to $250,000 from the Commonwealth Government and $100,000 from Bendigo Bank. Sport and Recreation Victoria’s investment is also funding the development of a playground at the reserve, which is anticipated to be completed by mid-2018. The Labor Government has also invested $80,000 towards energy efficient LED lighting of the sports ground. Quotes attributable to Member for Monbulk James Merlino “We promised we would bring new sporting facilities to Belgrave and we have delivered on that.” “What makes this project even more special is the amount of money chipped in by locals to get it off the ground.” Quote attributable to Minister for Local Government Marlene Kairouz “We’re making sure Melbourne’s growing suburbs get the infrastructure they deserve - and this new sports pavilion is another example.” Quote attributable to Minister for Sport John Eren “This brand new facility will encourage more people in Belgrave to get active, enjoy the outdoors and play the sports they love”

Making Schools More Inclusive To Support All Students

Schools across Victoria will get a funding boost to build all-access play areas, sensory gardens and outdoor learning areas to support students with disabilities and special needs. Minister for Education James Merlino today visited Mandama Primary School in Grovedale to announce that another 14 schools will receive funding under the $20 million Inclusive Schools Fund. Mandama Primary School will receive $200,000 to create an all-access enclosed inclusive play space, fitted with specialist playing equipment that its 430 students of all abilities can enjoy in any weather condition. The fund is helping government schools better support the social and education needs of young people with a disability. Since it was established in 2015, 74 schools have already received up to $200,000 for their creative projects. The 14 schools announced today will share in $2.6 million in round three funding to build inclusive play spaces, outdoor learning areas, sensory gardens and calm spaces. The Inclusive Schools Fund is one of nine initiatives in the Special Needs Plan for Victorian Schools, which is ensuring that students with disabilities get the same opportunities as other students. This includes the annual Accessible Buildings Program, which provides government schools with funding for facilities to support students, parents and teachers with injuries or disabilities. More information about these projects is available at: www.schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Building the Education State means making sure everyone can access a great education – no matter their circumstances.” “It’s vital that primary schools inspire a lifelong passion for learning among young students and it’s essential disability isn’t a barrier to that.” Quotes attributable to Member for Western Victoria Gayle Tierney “Mandama Primary School does an incredible job supporting its students and this project will help them continue to do that regardless of a child’s abilities.”.” “I’m confident students will make great use of their new play space, which will be enjoyed by children of all abilities.” Download the Media Release (350 KB)

Making Schools More Inclusive To Support All Students

Schools across Victoria will get a funding boost to build all-access play areas, sensory gardens and outdoor learning areas to support students with disabilities and special needs. Minister for Education James Merlino today visited Mandama Primary School in Grovedale to announce that another 14 schools will receive funding under the $20 million Inclusive Schools Fund. Mandama Primary School will receive $200,000 to create an all-access enclosed inclusive play space, fitted with specialist playing equipment that its 430 students of all abilities can enjoy in any weather condition. The fund is helping government schools better support the social and education needs of young people with a disability. Since it was established in 2015, 74 schools have already received up to $200,000 for their creative projects. The 14 schools announced today will share in $2.6 million in round three funding to build inclusive play spaces, outdoor learning areas, sensory gardens and calm spaces. The Inclusive Schools Fund is one of nine initiatives in the Special Needs Plan for Victorian Schools, which is ensuring that students with disabilities get the same opportunities as other students. This includes the annual Accessible Buildings Program, which provides government schools with funding for facilities to support students, parents and teachers with injuries or disabilities. More information about these projects is available at: www.schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Building the Education State means making sure everyone can access a great education – no matter their circumstances.” “It’s vital that primary schools inspire a lifelong passion for learning among young students and it’s essential disability isn’t a barrier to that.” Quotes attributable to Member for Western Victoria Gayle Tierney “Mandama Primary School does an incredible job supporting its students and this project will help them continue to do that regardless of a child’s abilities.”.” “I’m confident students will make great use of their new play space, which will be enjoyed by children of all abilities.” Download the Media Release (350 KB)

Blue Skies As Historic Yacht Club Sails Towards Future

The historic Royal Geelong Yacht Club will continue to be the focus of the city’s famed Waterfront precinct thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino, Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville, Member for Lara John Eren and Member for Geelong Christine Couzens today visited the Royal Geelong Yacht Club to announce a funding boost of $3.5 million to redevelop the Victorian Sailing Water Safety School into a first-rate training facility. This announcement brings the total state and local investment in the Geelong Safe Harbour Precinct to $13.5 million. Currently occupied by the Victorian Sailing Water Safety School – which is a campus of Newcomb Secondary College – and the Yacht Club’s Off-the-Beach Clubhouse, the site will be rebuilt into a modern facility. This latest investment is from the Labor Government’s $50 million Shared Facilities Fund, which is putting schools at the centre of our neighbourhoods by building cultural and sporting facilities that the entire community can use. It will ensure the school is able to offer life-saving boating and water safety training for the broader Geelong community, as well as for school students from across the region and around the state. The new facility will house meeting rooms and classrooms, accommodation for 30 to 40 students, a digital technology hub and theatrette, demonstration areas, maintenance and storage facilities. Construction is expected to start in September 2018 and take approximately 14 months. Today’s announcement brings the Labor Government’s contribution to the Safe Harbour Precinct Development precinct to $7.5 million. The Royal Geelong Yacht Club and the City of Greater Geelong have each contributed $3 million to the precinct development. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This development will not only benefit Geelong but the students and adults who will travel from across Victoria to enjoy these facilities.” Quote attributable to Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville “We’re delivering better facilities for school students at the yacht club, and contributing to the overall transformation of the club and the Geelong waterfront.” Quote attributable to Member for Lara John Eren “We’re proud to be building a new home for sailing and water safety in Geelong, which will make a real difference for local students, athletes and families.”  Quote attributable to Member for Geelong Christine Couzens “This investment will foster a stronger sense of community, which can only benefit students.” Download the Media Release (355 KB)

Blue Skies As Historic Yacht Club Sails Towards Future

The historic Royal Geelong Yacht Club will continue to be the focus of the city’s famed Waterfront precinct thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino, Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville, Member for Lara John Eren and Member for Geelong Christine Couzens today visited the Royal Geelong Yacht Club to announce a funding boost of $3.5 million to redevelop the Victorian Sailing Water Safety School into a first-rate training facility. This announcement brings the total state and local investment in the Geelong Safe Harbour Precinct to $13.5 million. Currently occupied by the Victorian Sailing Water Safety School – which is a campus of Newcomb Secondary College – and the Yacht Club’s Off-the-Beach Clubhouse, the site will be rebuilt into a modern facility. This latest investment is from the Labor Government’s $50 million Shared Facilities Fund, which is putting schools at the centre of our neighbourhoods by building cultural and sporting facilities that the entire community can use. It will ensure the school is able to offer life-saving boating and water safety training for the broader Geelong community, as well as for school students from across the region and around the state. The new facility will house meeting rooms and classrooms, accommodation for 30 to 40 students, a digital technology hub and theatrette, demonstration areas, maintenance and storage facilities. Construction is expected to start in September 2018 and take approximately 14 months. Today’s announcement brings the Labor Government’s contribution to the Safe Harbour Precinct Development precinct to $7.5 million. The Royal Geelong Yacht Club and the City of Greater Geelong have each contributed $3 million to the precinct development. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This development will not only benefit Geelong but the students and adults who will travel from across Victoria to enjoy these facilities.” Quote attributable to Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville “We’re delivering better facilities for school students at the yacht club, and contributing to the overall transformation of the club and the Geelong waterfront.” Quote attributable to Member for Lara John Eren “We’re proud to be building a new home for sailing and water safety in Geelong, which will make a real difference for local students, athletes and families.”  Quote attributable to Member for Geelong Christine Couzens “This investment will foster a stronger sense of community, which can only benefit students.” Download the Media Release (355 KB)