• 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

Statement on Puffing Billy Ombudsman’s Report

Puffing Billy has and always will be an important part of our community. But over a long period of time, some people associated with Puffing Billy committed horrific crimes – and for too long their crimes and their victims were ignored. As the local Member for Monbulk this is a matter that has brought me great concern. Today's revelations are completely unacceptable and abhorrent. But it is important as community we acknowledge what happened, and come to terms with it. Even more important is that we act to ensure it can never happen again. The Government has accepted every recommendation and finding in the report and will begin responding immediately. The Emerald Tourist Railway Board has resigned and a comprehensive review of the governance and management of Puffing Billy will be undertaken. A new Board has already met for the first time this afternoon, headed by QC Tim North. I thank the Ombudsman for her report, and the victims for their courage in coming forward. A dedicated Centre Against Sexual Assault line has been established to provide support and advice to known victims, and to any other victims who may wish to come forward. That line is available by calling (03) 9594 2289. A Puffing Billy Response team has also been established within government to work directly with victims to ensure they get the support they need. I know this report will be hard for everyone involved with Puffing Billy. But it's important that current staff and volunteers know that this report and the Government's response are in no way a criticism of them. Staff and volunteers are the heart and soul of the railway and I want them to know that they have my full support as we move forward. I look forward to working with the Mr North and the new board as we implement the recommendations of Ombudsman's report, and grow this iconic railway.

Statement on Puffing Billy Ombudsman’s Report

Puffing Billy has and always will be an important part of our community. But over a long period of time, some people associated with Puffing Billy committed horrific crimes – and for too long their crimes and their victims were ignored. As the local Member for Monbulk this is a matter that has brought me great concern. Today's revelations are completely unacceptable and abhorrent. But it is important as community we acknowledge what happened, and come to terms with it. Even more important is that we act to ensure it can never happen again. The Government has accepted every recommendation and finding in the report and will begin responding immediately. The Emerald Tourist Railway Board has resigned and a comprehensive review of the governance and management of Puffing Billy will be undertaken. A new Board has already met for the first time this afternoon, headed by QC Tim North. I thank the Ombudsman for her report, and the victims for their courage in coming forward. A dedicated Centre Against Sexual Assault line has been established to provide support and advice to known victims, and to any other victims who may wish to come forward. That line is available by calling (03) 9594 2289. A Puffing Billy Response team has also been established within government to work directly with victims to ensure they get the support they need. I know this report will be hard for everyone involved with Puffing Billy. But it's important that current staff and volunteers know that this report and the Government's response are in no way a criticism of them. Staff and volunteers are the heart and soul of the railway and I want them to know that they have my full support as we move forward. I look forward to working with the Mr North and the new board as we implement the recommendations of Ombudsman's report, and grow this iconic railway.

New Programs For Schools To Build Digital Tech Skills

Every government school student will have access to Minecraft: Education Edition as part of a new partnership with the Andrews Labor Government to give students access to the very best digital and science technology. Under the new agreement between the Government and Microsoft, a broad range of software, including Minecraft: Education Edition is now available for use by all Victorian government schools, students and staff. Minecraft: Education Edition is a classroom version of the hugely popular game Minecraft, specifically created to immerse students in various Minecraft worlds to promote creativity, problem solving, critical thinking, and collaboration between students. Providing a safe, shared learning environment within the classroom, the Education Edition of Minecraft is tailored to teach collaboration and build their skills in technology and science. Students will interact with virtual learning experiences that directly link and expand on the subjects being taught in the classroom. Teachers can also use the program to engage students, meet their learning needs and build their skills around a particular subject such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), history, geography or coding. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This is about giving our schools and students access to the best digital technology and programs to prepare them for the jobs of the future.” “We know our kids will need skills in science and in technology as well as critical thinking, and programs like this give them the opportunity to develop in these areas.” Download the Media Release (574 KB)

New Programs For Schools To Build Digital Tech Skills

Every government school student will have access to Minecraft: Education Edition as part of a new partnership with the Andrews Labor Government to give students access to the very best digital and science technology. Under the new agreement between the Government and Microsoft, a broad range of software, including Minecraft: Education Edition is now available for use by all Victorian government schools, students and staff. Minecraft: Education Edition is a classroom version of the hugely popular game Minecraft, specifically created to immerse students in various Minecraft worlds to promote creativity, problem solving, critical thinking, and collaboration between students. Providing a safe, shared learning environment within the classroom, the Education Edition of Minecraft is tailored to teach collaboration and build their skills in technology and science. Students will interact with virtual learning experiences that directly link and expand on the subjects being taught in the classroom. Teachers can also use the program to engage students, meet their learning needs and build their skills around a particular subject such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), history, geography or coding. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This is about giving our schools and students access to the best digital technology and programs to prepare them for the jobs of the future.” “We know our kids will need skills in science and in technology as well as critical thinking, and programs like this give them the opportunity to develop in these areas.” Download the Media Release (574 KB)

New Classroom And Community Centre For Belgrave South Students

Students at Belgrave South Primary School will soon benefit from a new classroom and community centre, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education and Member for Monbulk James Merlino today announced Belgrave South Primary School, in Yarra Ranges, will receive $200,000 to build the new, modern outdoor classroom and community centre. The dilapidated and past its use-by date Community House building will also be removed as part of the upgrade. The classroom is Stage 4 of the school’s regeneration and will comprise a learning centre and community space focused on horticulture and biological science. The local Scouts group will also have access to the new classroom and community centre for their activities. Belgrave South Primary School will use the space to support classes on biodiversity, sustainability, permaculture and self-sufficiency, including a new harvest-to-table education program delivered in partnership with local community groups. The upgrade will also boost the school’s hospitality program, with the school restaurant using produce grown by students in the surrounding gardens. The community will also be able to use the space for workshops, meetings and local projects. Belgrave South Primary School is one of thousands of schools with upgrades now underway across Victoria thanks to the Labor Government’s unprecedented $3.8 billion investment in school infrastructure. This investment has delivered 70 new school projects and more than 1,300 school upgrades, creating more than 5,000 construction jobs. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education and Member for Monbulk James Merlino “It’s exciting to see Belgrave South Primary School get the funding it needs to give students and the local community access to absolutely top-notch learning facilities.” “This upgrade is about more than giving students the first-rate school facilities to learn in – it is about building community pride in a great local school.” Download the Media Release (583 KB)

New Classroom And Community Centre For Belgrave South Students

Students at Belgrave South Primary School will soon benefit from a new classroom and community centre, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education and Member for Monbulk James Merlino today announced Belgrave South Primary School, in Yarra Ranges, will receive $200,000 to build the new, modern outdoor classroom and community centre. The dilapidated and past its use-by date Community House building will also be removed as part of the upgrade. The classroom is Stage 4 of the school’s regeneration and will comprise a learning centre and community space focused on horticulture and biological science. The local Scouts group will also have access to the new classroom and community centre for their activities. Belgrave South Primary School will use the space to support classes on biodiversity, sustainability, permaculture and self-sufficiency, including a new harvest-to-table education program delivered in partnership with local community groups. The upgrade will also boost the school’s hospitality program, with the school restaurant using produce grown by students in the surrounding gardens. The community will also be able to use the space for workshops, meetings and local projects. Belgrave South Primary School is one of thousands of schools with upgrades now underway across Victoria thanks to the Labor Government’s unprecedented $3.8 billion investment in school infrastructure. This investment has delivered 70 new school projects and more than 1,300 school upgrades, creating more than 5,000 construction jobs. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education and Member for Monbulk James Merlino “It’s exciting to see Belgrave South Primary School get the funding it needs to give students and the local community access to absolutely top-notch learning facilities.” “This upgrade is about more than giving students the first-rate school facilities to learn in – it is about building community pride in a great local school.” Download the Media Release (583 KB)

Have Your Say On A Bigger, Better Miners Rest Primary School

Ballarat families can now have their say on plans for a bigger, better Miners Rest Primary School. Minister for Education James Merlino this week opened community consultation on the school’s upgrade and expansion, following the Andrews Labor Government’s investment of $4.5 million in the Victorian Budget 2018/19 for the redevelopment. The community consultation will give those living in the area the chance to voice what is most important to them in the school’s new design. The consultation period will run until Wednesday 20 June, and includes a community workshop and online portal where families and residents can have their say. Feedback from the community will help architects deliver and shape a masterplan once appointed. The Victorian School Building Authority is considering a number of options to allow Miners Rest Primary school to accommodate future students. The Labor Government is building the Education State so that every student can access a great local school and education, and has invested more than $3.8 billion to improve classrooms, upgrade facilities and build new schools across the state. This school building boom has delivered more than 1,300 school upgrades and 70 new school projects across the state, supporting more than 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians. Community members can visit engage.vic.gov.au/Miners-RestPrimarySchool to give input, or attend a community consultation session at the school at 2:30 – 4:00pm or 5:30 – 7:00pm on Tuesday 12 June. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’re working with families to deliver a bigger and better local primary school for the Miners Rest community.” “The expansion will give more families access to a great local school with first-rate facilities, meaning their kids can get the education they need to thrive.” “Schools are more than just buildings − they are at the heart of their neighbourhoods and the new Miners Rest Primary will be an opportunity to shape and enhance the local community.” Download the Media Release (597 KB)

Have Your Say On A Bigger, Better Miners Rest Primary School

Ballarat families can now have their say on plans for a bigger, better Miners Rest Primary School. Minister for Education James Merlino this week opened community consultation on the school’s upgrade and expansion, following the Andrews Labor Government’s investment of $4.5 million in the Victorian Budget 2018/19 for the redevelopment. The community consultation will give those living in the area the chance to voice what is most important to them in the school’s new design. The consultation period will run until Wednesday 20 June, and includes a community workshop and online portal where families and residents can have their say. Feedback from the community will help architects deliver and shape a masterplan once appointed. The Victorian School Building Authority is considering a number of options to allow Miners Rest Primary school to accommodate future students. The Labor Government is building the Education State so that every student can access a great local school and education, and has invested more than $3.8 billion to improve classrooms, upgrade facilities and build new schools across the state. This school building boom has delivered more than 1,300 school upgrades and 70 new school projects across the state, supporting more than 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians. Community members can visit engage.vic.gov.au/Miners-RestPrimarySchool to give input, or attend a community consultation session at the school at 2:30 – 4:00pm or 5:30 – 7:00pm on Tuesday 12 June. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’re working with families to deliver a bigger and better local primary school for the Miners Rest community.” “The expansion will give more families access to a great local school with first-rate facilities, meaning their kids can get the education they need to thrive.” “Schools are more than just buildings − they are at the heart of their neighbourhoods and the new Miners Rest Primary will be an opportunity to shape and enhance the local community.” Download the Media Release (597 KB)

Free Books For Every Prep Student

Every Prep student in government schools will get free books as part of an ambitious strategy by the Andrews Labor Government to lift literacy and numeracy outcomes. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced the second phase of the Labor Government’s Literacy and Numeracy Strategy, which will support students at all ages and all stages to get the skills they need to succeed at learning and at life. Literacy and Numeracy Strategy Phase 2: Achieving Excellence and Equity in Literacy and Numeracy provides educators and teachers with resources and training to support kids from birth to secondary school. From next year, the Prep bags given to every student starting at a government school will include a range of expert-selected books and a copy of the new booklet Literacy and Numeracy Tips to Help Your Child Every Day. The first phase of the Strategy included an online Literacy Teaching Toolkit for primary schools, and as part of the second phase of the Strategy this will now be expanded to support teachers at secondary schools. The Toolkit provides practical advice and guidance, instructional videos and easy-to-use lesson plans to support teachers to implement the Victorian Curriculum F-10. A new Mathematics Teaching Toolkit will also be available later this year, giving teachers high-quality and evidence-based tools to boost students’ numeracy skills. There will also be new advice for educators to assess a student’s progress, including a Digital Assessment Library which provides real-time feedback on the areas in which students are excelling and where they need more help. Teachers will also have access to new resources to help them to identify, understand and meet the literacy and numeracy learning needs of students with learning difficulties, as well as Koorie students. Every government school in Victoria will also have access to expert-led workshops in literacy and numeracy, helping them develop innovative and engaging ways of teaching students these vital skills. The Victorian Budget 2018/19 included $22.1 million for workshops and teaching tools to improve literacy and numeracy. The Labor Government is building the Education State so that every Victorian student gets the opportunity to get a great education and every community has access to a great local school. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Giving our kids access to free books will encourage a love of reading from a young age, strengthening important literacy skills and expanding their imaginations.” “A strong foundation in literacy and numeracy is vital for every child and young person and underpins their ability to reach their potential in education and in life.” Download the Media Release (603 KB)

Free Books For Every Prep Student

Every Prep student in government schools will get free books as part of an ambitious strategy by the Andrews Labor Government to lift literacy and numeracy outcomes. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced the second phase of the Labor Government’s Literacy and Numeracy Strategy, which will support students at all ages and all stages to get the skills they need to succeed at learning and at life. Literacy and Numeracy Strategy Phase 2: Achieving Excellence and Equity in Literacy and Numeracy provides educators and teachers with resources and training to support kids from birth to secondary school. From next year, the Prep bags given to every student starting at a government school will include a range of expert-selected books and a copy of the new booklet Literacy and Numeracy Tips to Help Your Child Every Day. The first phase of the Strategy included an online Literacy Teaching Toolkit for primary schools, and as part of the second phase of the Strategy this will now be expanded to support teachers at secondary schools. The Toolkit provides practical advice and guidance, instructional videos and easy-to-use lesson plans to support teachers to implement the Victorian Curriculum F-10. A new Mathematics Teaching Toolkit will also be available later this year, giving teachers high-quality and evidence-based tools to boost students’ numeracy skills. There will also be new advice for educators to assess a student’s progress, including a Digital Assessment Library which provides real-time feedback on the areas in which students are excelling and where they need more help. Teachers will also have access to new resources to help them to identify, understand and meet the literacy and numeracy learning needs of students with learning difficulties, as well as Koorie students. Every government school in Victoria will also have access to expert-led workshops in literacy and numeracy, helping them develop innovative and engaging ways of teaching students these vital skills. The Victorian Budget 2018/19 included $22.1 million for workshops and teaching tools to improve literacy and numeracy. The Labor Government is building the Education State so that every Victorian student gets the opportunity to get a great education and every community has access to a great local school. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Giving our kids access to free books will encourage a love of reading from a young age, strengthening important literacy skills and expanding their imaginations.” “A strong foundation in literacy and numeracy is vital for every child and young person and underpins their ability to reach their potential in education and in life.” Download the Media Release (603 KB)

New Vertical High School In Prahran On Track

Families in Melbourne’s inner south will soon have access to one of Victoria’s first government vertical schools, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Education James Merlino today toured the new Prahran High School construction site to see first-hand the building progress on the new school. Prahran High School will open for its first cohort of Year 7 students on the first day of term 1 2019 and is being built to accommodate 650 local students from Year 7-12. The school will become part of the existing educational precinct, which includes Melbourne Polytechnic and the National Institute of Circus Arts. Prahran High School will be constructed over five levels – all featuring direct access to outdoor learning terraces.           A large central atrium will run north to south through the building, creating a focal meeting point. The ground floor will contain a library, music and drama facilities, while levels 1, 2 and 3 will house the science, visual arts and food technology spaces along with a gymnasium. There will also be a rooftop garden on level 4, and general classrooms, ICT and break out areas will be incorporated throughout the new building. Architects Gray Puksand have designed the new school and Kane Constructions is building it. The school’s inaugural Principal Nathan Chisholm started his role in Term 2 this year and is working towards building the school’s vision and values and establishing relationships with the local community. The Labor Government is building the Education State so that every student can access a great local school and education, and has invested more than $3.8 billion to improve classrooms, upgrade facilities and build new schools across the state. This school building boom has delivered more than 1,300 school upgrades and 70 new school projects across the state, supporting more than 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians. Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “We’re building new schools here in Prahran and right across the state because no matter where you live, you deserve access to a great local school.” “This is about giving kids in the inner south the world-class school and learning environment they need to thrive.” Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “The Liberals closed more than 300 schools and we’re getting on with reopening them. Prahran High School is one of 70 new schools we’re rolling out across the state.” Quote attributable to Member for Southern Metropolitan Region Philip Dalidakis “We’re investing in the Prahran community and giving it the school it deserves, as opposed to the Liberal Party who prefer to shut schools down.” Download the Media Release (584 KB)

New Vertical High School In Prahran On Track

Families in Melbourne’s inner south will soon have access to one of Victoria’s first government vertical schools, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Education James Merlino today toured the new Prahran High School construction site to see first-hand the building progress on the new school. Prahran High School will open for its first cohort of Year 7 students on the first day of term 1 2019 and is being built to accommodate 650 local students from Year 7-12. The school will become part of the existing educational precinct, which includes Melbourne Polytechnic and the National Institute of Circus Arts. Prahran High School will be constructed over five levels – all featuring direct access to outdoor learning terraces.           A large central atrium will run north to south through the building, creating a focal meeting point. The ground floor will contain a library, music and drama facilities, while levels 1, 2 and 3 will house the science, visual arts and food technology spaces along with a gymnasium. There will also be a rooftop garden on level 4, and general classrooms, ICT and break out areas will be incorporated throughout the new building. Architects Gray Puksand have designed the new school and Kane Constructions is building it. The school’s inaugural Principal Nathan Chisholm started his role in Term 2 this year and is working towards building the school’s vision and values and establishing relationships with the local community. The Labor Government is building the Education State so that every student can access a great local school and education, and has invested more than $3.8 billion to improve classrooms, upgrade facilities and build new schools across the state. This school building boom has delivered more than 1,300 school upgrades and 70 new school projects across the state, supporting more than 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians. Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “We’re building new schools here in Prahran and right across the state because no matter where you live, you deserve access to a great local school.” “This is about giving kids in the inner south the world-class school and learning environment they need to thrive.” Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “The Liberals closed more than 300 schools and we’re getting on with reopening them. Prahran High School is one of 70 new schools we’re rolling out across the state.” Quote attributable to Member for Southern Metropolitan Region Philip Dalidakis “We’re investing in the Prahran community and giving it the school it deserves, as opposed to the Liberal Party who prefer to shut schools down.” Download the Media Release (584 KB)

CFA Volunteers To Benefit From $5 Million In Grants

Volunteer firefighters are sharing in more than $5 million in grants, thanks to a new Andrews Labor Government-funded program. Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino today announced there are almost 250 successful applications in the first round of the CFA’s Enhancing Volunteerism Grants Program. The grants will provide volunteer firefighters with a welcome boost, supporting vital equipment and facility upgrades, as well as local initiatives that strengthen volunteerism and brigade culture. The $5.16 million investment includes an additional $1.8 million for training and community engagement, which will fund a range of leadership courses, recruitment and retention programs, as well as driver training and a traditional planned burning program. There is also funding for projects for leadership training for women in CFA. The Government has set a target to increasing the number of women in CFA brigade leadership roles to 15 per cent. Mr Merlino said the grants were being provided to support volunteer firefighters and brigades by: addressing immediate needs and enhancing operational capability improving culture, diversity and fairness strengthening volunteer leadership skills encouraging recruitment, retention and recognition of volunteers reflecting the evolving needs and demographics of the communities that volunteer brigades serve. The total value of the program is $10 million, with the remaining $4.84 million to be allocated in a second round of grants. Applications for the second round will open for 30 days from 1 June. The Enhancing Volunteerism Grants Program is funded through an additional $60 million the government announced for Victoria’s fire services in October. For more information, visit cfa.vic.gov.au. Quotes attributable to Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino “The first round of the Enhancing Volunteerism Grants Program grants builds on the outstanding service volunteer brigades provide in protecting lives and properties.” “The CFA received hundreds of applications and undertook a robust assessment process to approve projects that address the key criteria.” “I congratulate all of the successful applicants and look forward to the second round of grants opening in June.” Download the Media Release (602 KB)

CFA Volunteers To Benefit From $5 Million In Grants

Volunteer firefighters are sharing in more than $5 million in grants, thanks to a new Andrews Labor Government-funded program. Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino today announced there are almost 250 successful applications in the first round of the CFA’s Enhancing Volunteerism Grants Program. The grants will provide volunteer firefighters with a welcome boost, supporting vital equipment and facility upgrades, as well as local initiatives that strengthen volunteerism and brigade culture. The $5.16 million investment includes an additional $1.8 million for training and community engagement, which will fund a range of leadership courses, recruitment and retention programs, as well as driver training and a traditional planned burning program. There is also funding for projects for leadership training for women in CFA. The Government has set a target to increasing the number of women in CFA brigade leadership roles to 15 per cent. Mr Merlino said the grants were being provided to support volunteer firefighters and brigades by: addressing immediate needs and enhancing operational capability improving culture, diversity and fairness strengthening volunteer leadership skills encouraging recruitment, retention and recognition of volunteers reflecting the evolving needs and demographics of the communities that volunteer brigades serve. The total value of the program is $10 million, with the remaining $4.84 million to be allocated in a second round of grants. Applications for the second round will open for 30 days from 1 June. The Enhancing Volunteerism Grants Program is funded through an additional $60 million the government announced for Victoria’s fire services in October. For more information, visit cfa.vic.gov.au. Quotes attributable to Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino “The first round of the Enhancing Volunteerism Grants Program grants builds on the outstanding service volunteer brigades provide in protecting lives and properties.” “The CFA received hundreds of applications and undertook a robust assessment process to approve projects that address the key criteria.” “I congratulate all of the successful applicants and look forward to the second round of grants opening in June.” Download the Media Release (602 KB)

Work Starts On Derinya Primary Kitchen Garden

Frankston South students will soon learn how to grow and prepare their own food at a new school kitchen garden, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today visited Derinya Primary School in Frankston South to turn the first sod and get construction underway on the school’s new $112,000 kitchen garden. The kitchen garden will mean students at the school will be able to grow, harvest and cook their own food as part of lessons. The project and associated landscaping will be completed later this year, with architects Saltwater Design & Building Management and builders Wielan Constructions delivering it. Derinya Primary School is one of hundreds of schools across the state now being upgraded, as the Labor Government delivers the Education State. The Education State will mean every student can attend a great local school and get a great education, with the government investing more than $3.8 billion to improve classrooms, upgrade facilities and build new schools. This school building boom has delivered more than 1,300 school upgrades and 70 new school projects across the state, supporting more than 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “It’s exciting to imagine that soon students at Derinya Primary will be growing and cooking their own food at school, and in the process, learn new things about the environment and nutrition in a practical way.” “I’m proud to be part of a government delivering Frankston families and their children the absolute best local schools and education opportunities.” Quote attributable to the Member for Frankston Paul Edbrooke “Projects like this can make a big difference to the everyday experiences of students who deserve nothing less than the first-rate local school facilities.” Download the Media Release (585 KB)

Work Starts On Derinya Primary Kitchen Garden

Frankston South students will soon learn how to grow and prepare their own food at a new school kitchen garden, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today visited Derinya Primary School in Frankston South to turn the first sod and get construction underway on the school’s new $112,000 kitchen garden. The kitchen garden will mean students at the school will be able to grow, harvest and cook their own food as part of lessons. The project and associated landscaping will be completed later this year, with architects Saltwater Design & Building Management and builders Wielan Constructions delivering it. Derinya Primary School is one of hundreds of schools across the state now being upgraded, as the Labor Government delivers the Education State. The Education State will mean every student can attend a great local school and get a great education, with the government investing more than $3.8 billion to improve classrooms, upgrade facilities and build new schools. This school building boom has delivered more than 1,300 school upgrades and 70 new school projects across the state, supporting more than 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “It’s exciting to imagine that soon students at Derinya Primary will be growing and cooking their own food at school, and in the process, learn new things about the environment and nutrition in a practical way.” “I’m proud to be part of a government delivering Frankston families and their children the absolute best local schools and education opportunities.” Quote attributable to the Member for Frankston Paul Edbrooke “Projects like this can make a big difference to the everyday experiences of students who deserve nothing less than the first-rate local school facilities.” Download the Media Release (585 KB)

 

Helping Surf Coast Students Get The Skills To Work

High school students across the Surf Coast will soon be able to finish school with an apprenticeship or traineeship, ready for work in high demand and high growth industries thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today visited Surf Coast Secondary College in Torquay to announce the Government’s new Head Start Apprenticeships and Traineeships initiative would launch there next year. Head Start will deliver up to 1,700 new apprenticeships and traineeships at 100 secondary schools across Victoria – giving Surf Coast students more support to study an apprenticeship or traineeship at school. Surf Coast Secondary College will work with nearby schools in Geelong to deliver the local Head Start initiative cluster. Students can now finish their VCAL or VCE while spending more time doing important and paid on-the-job training. Schools will get additional support and funding to help run Head Start. This includes a school-based Head Start coordinator to help deliver the initiative, providing employment and vocational pathway advice and one-on-one support to students. The Victorian Budget 2018/19 provided $50 million to deliver Head Start, alongside $109 million to overhaul secondary school career education and $26 million to enhance vocational education in schools. Head Start will provide apprenticeships targeted at priority industries and traditional trades like construction, defence and health, with enterprise apprenticeships and traineeships to be developed that target high technology areas needed for the jobs of tomorrow like coding. The Victorian Government’s Education State is making sure all students are supported to get a great education, stay in school and learn the skills they need for the future. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Every child, in every community deserves attention and support to succeed at school and beyond – which is exactly what we are delivering in the Surf Coast.” “Our record investment in education is making sure every student is supported to develop the skills they need to succeed in their chosen career and in life.” Download the Media Release (584 KB)

Helping Surf Coast Students Get The Skills To Work

High school students across the Surf Coast will soon be able to finish school with an apprenticeship or traineeship, ready for work in high demand and high growth industries thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today visited Surf Coast Secondary College in Torquay to announce the Government’s new Head Start Apprenticeships and Traineeships initiative would launch there next year. Head Start will deliver up to 1,700 new apprenticeships and traineeships at 100 secondary schools across Victoria – giving Surf Coast students more support to study an apprenticeship or traineeship at school. Surf Coast Secondary College will work with nearby schools in Geelong to deliver the local Head Start initiative cluster. Students can now finish their VCAL or VCE while spending more time doing important and paid on-the-job training. Schools will get additional support and funding to help run Head Start. This includes a school-based Head Start coordinator to help deliver the initiative, providing employment and vocational pathway advice and one-on-one support to students. The Victorian Budget 2018/19 provided $50 million to deliver Head Start, alongside $109 million to overhaul secondary school career education and $26 million to enhance vocational education in schools. Head Start will provide apprenticeships targeted at priority industries and traditional trades like construction, defence and health, with enterprise apprenticeships and traineeships to be developed that target high technology areas needed for the jobs of tomorrow like coding. The Victorian Government’s Education State is making sure all students are supported to get a great education, stay in school and learn the skills they need for the future. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Every child, in every community deserves attention and support to succeed at school and beyond – which is exactly what we are delivering in the Surf Coast.” “Our record investment in education is making sure every student is supported to develop the skills they need to succeed in their chosen career and in life.” Download the Media Release (584 KB)

Brunswick School Kids Celebrate Their Italian Skills

Brunswick South Primary School kids today got to show off their Italian language skills when two special visitors toured their school. Minister for Education James Merlino and Italian Consul General Pierluigi Trombetta visited the school to see its bilingual classes in action. While Brunswick South Primary School has been teaching Italian for almost 20 years, in recent years the school has extended its program to become the first Italian bilingual program in Victoria. The school’s Italian bilingual program is taught from Prep to Year 6 and follows the Victorian curriculum. The program includes visual and performing arts, English and maths classes as well as extra-curricular activities and lunchtime clubs. The Andrews Labor Government is investing $2.4 million this year on the Designated Bilingual Program with 14 bilingual programs offered at 12 primary schools, including the Italian bilingual program at Brunswick South Primary School. The Government recognises that a globally orientated education system is crucial to the economic future of Victoria and ensures that our young people have the skills they need to succeed in an increasingly inter-connected world. The Victorian Curriculum has introduced Intercultural Capability as a new learning area to equip students with knowledge and skills needed to become active and informed global citizens. This will ensure that all students will learn more than one language, demonstrate intercultural understanding, respect cultural diversity, and understand their responsibilities as global citizens. 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. For more information and help in your language: education.vic.gov.au/mylanguages Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Victoria is the place for education with rich cultural diversity reflected in our schools. We want to help every child be their best and have the same chances of success.” “We’re listening to families in Brunswick South to help their child do well in the future. A culture of achievement can only occur when everyone feels supported and a sense of belonging.” Download the Media Release (583 KB)  

Brunswick School Kids Celebrate Their Italian Skills

Brunswick South Primary School kids today got to show off their Italian language skills when two special visitors toured their school. Minister for Education James Merlino and Italian Consul General Pierluigi Trombetta visited the school to see its bilingual classes in action. While Brunswick South Primary School has been teaching Italian for almost 20 years, in recent years the school has extended its program to become the first Italian bilingual program in Victoria. The school’s Italian bilingual program is taught from Prep to Year 6 and follows the Victorian curriculum. The program includes visual and performing arts, English and maths classes as well as extra-curricular activities and lunchtime clubs. The Andrews Labor Government is investing $2.4 million this year on the Designated Bilingual Program with 14 bilingual programs offered at 12 primary schools, including the Italian bilingual program at Brunswick South Primary School. The Government recognises that a globally orientated education system is crucial to the economic future of Victoria and ensures that our young people have the skills they need to succeed in an increasingly inter-connected world. The Victorian Curriculum has introduced Intercultural Capability as a new learning area to equip students with knowledge and skills needed to become active and informed global citizens. This will ensure that all students will learn more than one language, demonstrate intercultural understanding, respect cultural diversity, and understand their responsibilities as global citizens. 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. For more information and help in your language: education.vic.gov.au/mylanguages Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Victoria is the place for education with rich cultural diversity reflected in our schools. We want to help every child be their best and have the same chances of success.” “We’re listening to families in Brunswick South to help their child do well in the future. A culture of achievement can only occur when everyone feels supported and a sense of belonging.” Download the Media Release (583 KB)  

Building New School Facilities In Mooroolbark

The Andrews Labor Government is making sure students in Yarra Ranges have the classrooms and school facilities they need for a great education. Minister for Education James Merlino today toured Bimbadeen Heights Primary School in Mooroolbark to see the progress on its exciting upgrade firsthand. The school is close to completing a $5.8 million upgrade, including construction of a new learning hub and an arts and music building. The learning hub will include a new presentation area and flexible learning spaces for students in Years 1 to 4. A new arts and music building will comprise a performance space connecting to an amphitheatre and an art room integrated with the outdoor areas. K2LD Architects designed the upgrade, with Melbcon currently building it. Construction is expected to be completed mid-2019. The Government is building the Education State so every Victorian student can get a great education and every community has access to a great local school. This includes an unprecedented $3.8 billion investment to improve classrooms, upgrade facilities and build new schools across the state. This school building boom has delivered more than 1,300 school upgrades and 70 new school projects across the state, supporting more than 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This exciting upgrade will give more families living in Mooroolbark access to the great local classrooms and school facilities they deserve.”  “Every student deserves access to a great local school and we’re getting on with the job of building better schools right across the state.”   Download the Media Release (556 KB)

Building New School Facilities In Mooroolbark

The Andrews Labor Government is making sure students in Yarra Ranges have the classrooms and school facilities they need for a great education. Minister for Education James Merlino today toured Bimbadeen Heights Primary School in Mooroolbark to see the progress on its exciting upgrade firsthand. The school is close to completing a $5.8 million upgrade, including construction of a new learning hub and an arts and music building. The learning hub will include a new presentation area and flexible learning spaces for students in Years 1 to 4. A new arts and music building will comprise a performance space connecting to an amphitheatre and an art room integrated with the outdoor areas. K2LD Architects designed the upgrade, with Melbcon currently building it. Construction is expected to be completed mid-2019. The Government is building the Education State so every Victorian student can get a great education and every community has access to a great local school. This includes an unprecedented $3.8 billion investment to improve classrooms, upgrade facilities and build new schools across the state. This school building boom has delivered more than 1,300 school upgrades and 70 new school projects across the state, supporting more than 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This exciting upgrade will give more families living in Mooroolbark access to the great local classrooms and school facilities they deserve.”  “Every student deserves access to a great local school and we’re getting on with the job of building better schools right across the state.”   Download the Media Release (556 KB)

Wear Orange To Show Support For SES Volunteers

Victorians are wearing orange today to show their support for the dedicated women and men who volunteer with the Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES). Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino said Wear Orange Wednesday was the perfect opportunity to say thank you to the VICSES volunteer members, who selflessly don their orange overalls and respond to emergencies such as floods, storms and road rescues. Major Melbourne landmarks such as the MCG, Bolte Bridge, AAMI Park and the Melbourne Star are being lit orange to mark the occasion, with events scheduled across the state. VICSES volunteers responded to more than 31,000 requests for assistance last year, amounting to a total of 302,623 operational hours. VICSES has been operating since 1950, with 149 units located across six regions. The Andrews Labor Government is committed to providing VICSES volunteers with the facilities, equipment and training they need to continue keeping communities safe. The Victorian Budget 2018/19 provided $7.8 million for VICSES, with Cobram SES and Wonthaggi SES receiving funding for new unit headquarters, and Essendon SES receiving $1.2 million for a major upgrade to its headquarters. The Budget also funds a $10 million state-wide volunteer support package, providing training and development grants for volunteers in the state’s emergency-service organisations. Wear Orange Wednesday is being held during National Volunteer Week. To share a message of thanks with VICSES volunteers on Facebook or Twitter, use the hashtags #thankyouSES and #WOWday. Quotes attributable to Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino “VICSES volunteers are here to serve the community 24 hours a day, seven days a week.” “Wear Orange Wednesday is the perfect opportunity to show your appreciation for their efforts, by wearing something orange and sending a message of support on social media.” “Thanks to the thousands of people who donate their time with their local VICSES unit, Victoria is a much safer place.”   Download the Media Release (572 KB)

Wear Orange To Show Support For SES Volunteers

Victorians are wearing orange today to show their support for the dedicated women and men who volunteer with the Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES). Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino said Wear Orange Wednesday was the perfect opportunity to say thank you to the VICSES volunteer members, who selflessly don their orange overalls and respond to emergencies such as floods, storms and road rescues. Major Melbourne landmarks such as the MCG, Bolte Bridge, AAMI Park and the Melbourne Star are being lit orange to mark the occasion, with events scheduled across the state. VICSES volunteers responded to more than 31,000 requests for assistance last year, amounting to a total of 302,623 operational hours. VICSES has been operating since 1950, with 149 units located across six regions. The Andrews Labor Government is committed to providing VICSES volunteers with the facilities, equipment and training they need to continue keeping communities safe. The Victorian Budget 2018/19 provided $7.8 million for VICSES, with Cobram SES and Wonthaggi SES receiving funding for new unit headquarters, and Essendon SES receiving $1.2 million for a major upgrade to its headquarters. The Budget also funds a $10 million state-wide volunteer support package, providing training and development grants for volunteers in the state’s emergency-service organisations. Wear Orange Wednesday is being held during National Volunteer Week. To share a message of thanks with VICSES volunteers on Facebook or Twitter, use the hashtags #thankyouSES and #WOWday. Quotes attributable to Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino “VICSES volunteers are here to serve the community 24 hours a day, seven days a week.” “Wear Orange Wednesday is the perfect opportunity to show your appreciation for their efforts, by wearing something orange and sending a message of support on social media.” “Thanks to the thousands of people who donate their time with their local VICSES unit, Victoria is a much safer place.”   Download the Media Release (572 KB)

Inclusive Education Scholarships For Teachers

The Andrews Labor Government is investing in specialist teacher training to give every child the chance to succeed, regardless of their background or circumstances. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced 360 government funded scholarships for Victorian teachers to undertake a Master of Education specialising in inclusive and special education or applied behaviour analysis as part of an $11.5 million scholarship program. The Inclusive Education Grants initiative is part of the $61 million suite of inclusive education reform activities announced by the Labor Government last year. The program ensures that every child, especially those who already face additional challenges, gets a great education to enable them to reach their full potential. The scholarships provide an opportunity for teachers in government schools to develop their skills to build supportive environments that promote inclusion in their schools and enable the workforce to reach a new level of teaching excellence. On offer are 60 Master of Education (Applied Behaviour Analysis) scholarships, which will enable teachers and regional staff to learn how to address student behaviour support needs through a newly established, internationally recognised course at Monash University. A further 300 Master of Education (with a special needs specialisation) scholarships are available for teachers and staff to learn how to better facilitate the inclusion of students. Masters qualified staff can provide significant input into school planning to better support students with disabilities and additional learning needs. A ceremony was held last night to celebrate the first thirty-nine scholarship recipients who are currently undertaking specialist training to better support their students. At the ceremony Dr Graeme Innes AM, disability advocate and former Disability Discrimination Commissioner, spoke about the importance of inclusion in schools. Supporting students and young children with disabilities and additional needs and strengthening inclusive education is a key Education State priority. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “What we teach, how we teach it, and how we support principals, teachers, students and their families is the key to the success of the Education State.” “Through the power of an education system that is truly inclusive of every Victorian, regardless of their background or circumstances, we have the opportunity to change lives. That’s exactly what this funding will deliver.” Quote attributable to former Disability Discrimination Commissioner Dr Graeme Innes AM “The classroom can be a place where views and attitudes are formed for all of life and it is therefore critical that we equip teachers with the expertise to develop truly inclusive learning environments.” Download the Media Release (557 KB)  

Inclusive Education Scholarships For Teachers

The Andrews Labor Government is investing in specialist teacher training to give every child the chance to succeed, regardless of their background or circumstances. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced 360 government funded scholarships for Victorian teachers to undertake a Master of Education specialising in inclusive and special education or applied behaviour analysis as part of an $11.5 million scholarship program. The Inclusive Education Grants initiative is part of the $61 million suite of inclusive education reform activities announced by the Labor Government last year. The program ensures that every child, especially those who already face additional challenges, gets a great education to enable them to reach their full potential. The scholarships provide an opportunity for teachers in government schools to develop their skills to build supportive environments that promote inclusion in their schools and enable the workforce to reach a new level of teaching excellence. On offer are 60 Master of Education (Applied Behaviour Analysis) scholarships, which will enable teachers and regional staff to learn how to address student behaviour support needs through a newly established, internationally recognised course at Monash University. A further 300 Master of Education (with a special needs specialisation) scholarships are available for teachers and staff to learn how to better facilitate the inclusion of students. Masters qualified staff can provide significant input into school planning to better support students with disabilities and additional learning needs. A ceremony was held last night to celebrate the first thirty-nine scholarship recipients who are currently undertaking specialist training to better support their students. At the ceremony Dr Graeme Innes AM, disability advocate and former Disability Discrimination Commissioner, spoke about the importance of inclusion in schools. Supporting students and young children with disabilities and additional needs and strengthening inclusive education is a key Education State priority. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “What we teach, how we teach it, and how we support principals, teachers, students and their families is the key to the success of the Education State.” “Through the power of an education system that is truly inclusive of every Victorian, regardless of their background or circumstances, we have the opportunity to change lives. That’s exactly what this funding will deliver.” Quote attributable to former Disability Discrimination Commissioner Dr Graeme Innes AM “The classroom can be a place where views and attitudes are formed for all of life and it is therefore critical that we equip teachers with the expertise to develop truly inclusive learning environments.” Download the Media Release (557 KB)  

Helping Ballarat Students Get The Skills To Work

High school students in Ballarat will soon be able to finish school with an apprenticeship or traineeship, ready for work in high demand and high growth industries thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today visited Phoenix P-12 Community College in Sebastopol to announce the Labor Government’s new Head Start Apprenticeships and Traineeships initiative, launching there next year. The local schools delivering the Head Start initiative alongside Phoenix P-12 will include Mount Clear College, Ballarat High School and Ballarat Secondary College. Head Start will deliver up to 1,700 new apprenticeships and traineeships at 100 secondary schools across Victoria – giving local students more support to study an apprenticeship or traineeship at school. Students can stay at school an extra year to finish their VCAL, VCE and their apprenticeships while spending more time doing important, paid, on the job training. Schools will get additional support and funding to help run Head Start. This includes a school-based Head Start coordinator to help deliver the initiative, providing employment and vocational pathway advice and one-on-one support to students. The Victorian Budget 2018/19 provided $49.8 million to deliver Head Start, alongside $109 million to overhaul secondary school career education and $26 million to enhance vocational education in schools. Head Start will provide apprenticeships targeted at priority industries and traditional trades like construction, defence and health, with enterprise apprenticeships and traineeships to be developed that target high technology areas needed for the jobs of tomorrow like coding. The Labor Government’s Education State is making sure all students are supported to get a great education, stay in school and learn the skills they need for the future. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Every child, in every community deserves attention and support to succeed at school and beyond – which is exactly what we are delivering in Ballarat.” Quote attributable to Member for Buninyong Geoff Howard “We want all young Victorians who are learning a trade to be qualified and ready to work in areas where there are real job opportunities.” Quote attributable to Member for Wendouree Sharon Knight “Our record investment in education is making sure every student gets supported to develop the skills they need to succeed in their chosen career and in life.” Download the Media Release (568 KB)

Helping Ballarat Students Get The Skills To Work

High school students in Ballarat will soon be able to finish school with an apprenticeship or traineeship, ready for work in high demand and high growth industries thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today visited Phoenix P-12 Community College in Sebastopol to announce the Labor Government’s new Head Start Apprenticeships and Traineeships initiative, launching there next year. The local schools delivering the Head Start initiative alongside Phoenix P-12 will include Mount Clear College, Ballarat High School and Ballarat Secondary College. Head Start will deliver up to 1,700 new apprenticeships and traineeships at 100 secondary schools across Victoria – giving local students more support to study an apprenticeship or traineeship at school. Students can stay at school an extra year to finish their VCAL, VCE and their apprenticeships while spending more time doing important, paid, on the job training. Schools will get additional support and funding to help run Head Start. This includes a school-based Head Start coordinator to help deliver the initiative, providing employment and vocational pathway advice and one-on-one support to students. The Victorian Budget 2018/19 provided $49.8 million to deliver Head Start, alongside $109 million to overhaul secondary school career education and $26 million to enhance vocational education in schools. Head Start will provide apprenticeships targeted at priority industries and traditional trades like construction, defence and health, with enterprise apprenticeships and traineeships to be developed that target high technology areas needed for the jobs of tomorrow like coding. The Labor Government’s Education State is making sure all students are supported to get a great education, stay in school and learn the skills they need for the future. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Every child, in every community deserves attention and support to succeed at school and beyond – which is exactly what we are delivering in Ballarat.” Quote attributable to Member for Buninyong Geoff Howard “We want all young Victorians who are learning a trade to be qualified and ready to work in areas where there are real job opportunities.” Quote attributable to Member for Wendouree Sharon Knight “Our record investment in education is making sure every student gets supported to develop the skills they need to succeed in their chosen career and in life.” Download the Media Release (568 KB)

Latest Fire Services Response Times Published Online

The response times of Victoria’s fire services varies widely across the state according to the latest data for the March quarter released by CFA and MFB The data is now released every quarter giving further transparency to all Victorians to see how their own fire services meets their communities needs. Figures for January-March, which are now available online, show the MFB: Responded to 95.8 per cent of structure fires within 7.7 minutes, higher than the MFB and government target of 90 per cent Responded to 95.5 per cent of Emergency Medical Response within 9.2 minutes, higher than the target of 90 per cent. For CFA brigades, the Customer Service Delivery Standard compliance rate is 88 per cent. This rate is a measure of the first truck arriving on scene, regardless of brigade area. The March-quarter figures show CFA brigades continuing to perform well across a number of urban and rural environments, however continued to showcase the great variance in response time depending on where Victorians lived. The results showed CFA: Responded to 88 per cent of fires in significant urban areas within the standard response time of 8 minutes. The individual results for this measure ranged between 31 and 100 per cent Responding to 89 per cent of fires in all other urban areas with the standard response time of 10 minutes Responding to 100 per cent of fires in areas with predominantly natural surroundings within the standard response time of 20 minutes. The Andrews Labor Government has asked the Inspector-General for Emergency Management to implement an independent assurance process, which will ensure the ongoing integrity of response-time data. This will also include analysis of the data and measures to inform the development of future response strategies. The complete MFB data can be viewed at: http://www.mfb.vic.gov.au/About-Us/Our-Performance.html The complete CFA data can be viewed at: http://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/about/emergency-response-times/ Quotes attributable to Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino “This is the fourth set of data released and it is showing areas where the fire services are simply not keeping up with the growth our state is experiencing. This isn’t good enough.” “Our fire services are still organised in a way that worked in the 1950s but doesn’t work today. If we’re serious about community safety then we must make changes and bring our fire services into the 21st century.” Download the Media Release (583 KB)

Latest Fire Services Response Times Published Online

The response times of Victoria’s fire services varies widely across the state according to the latest data for the March quarter released by CFA and MFB The data is now released every quarter giving further transparency to all Victorians to see how their own fire services meets their communities needs. Figures for January-March, which are now available online, show the MFB: Responded to 95.8 per cent of structure fires within 7.7 minutes, higher than the MFB and government target of 90 per cent Responded to 95.5 per cent of Emergency Medical Response within 9.2 minutes, higher than the target of 90 per cent. For CFA brigades, the Customer Service Delivery Standard compliance rate is 88 per cent. This rate is a measure of the first truck arriving on scene, regardless of brigade area. The March-quarter figures show CFA brigades continuing to perform well across a number of urban and rural environments, however continued to showcase the great variance in response time depending on where Victorians lived. The results showed CFA: Responded to 88 per cent of fires in significant urban areas within the standard response time of 8 minutes. The individual results for this measure ranged between 31 and 100 per cent Responding to 89 per cent of fires in all other urban areas with the standard response time of 10 minutes Responding to 100 per cent of fires in areas with predominantly natural surroundings within the standard response time of 20 minutes. The Andrews Labor Government has asked the Inspector-General for Emergency Management to implement an independent assurance process, which will ensure the ongoing integrity of response-time data. This will also include analysis of the data and measures to inform the development of future response strategies. The complete MFB data can be viewed at: http://www.mfb.vic.gov.au/About-Us/Our-Performance.html The complete CFA data can be viewed at: http://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/about/emergency-response-times/ Quotes attributable to Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino “This is the fourth set of data released and it is showing areas where the fire services are simply not keeping up with the growth our state is experiencing. This isn’t good enough.” “Our fire services are still organised in a way that worked in the 1950s but doesn’t work today. If we’re serious about community safety then we must make changes and bring our fire services into the 21st century.” Download the Media Release (583 KB)

Top Performers Recognised At Premier’s VCE Awards

Victoria’s top performing VCE students have been recognised with Premier’s VCE Awards during a special ceremony at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Minister for Education James Merlino today presented the awards to the high-achieving students and congratulated them on their hard work. Winners included a debating captain with her sights set on a career in international law and human rights, a student who credits his teacher with fuelling his passion for a career in economics and a student who mastered English as an Additional Language to realise her dream of studying medicine. A total of 274 Victorian students received 302 awards across 85 subjects, including 276 Study Awards, 23 Top All-Round VCE High Achiever Awards and three Top International Student Awards. The Top All-Round VCE High Achiever awards recognise those students who achieved study scores of 46 or higher out of 50 in at least five VCE subjects, while Study Awards recognise the very best performers in individual VCE subjects. The Andrews Labor Government is building the Education State so every Victorian student can get a great education and every community has access to a great local school. This includes an unprecedented $3.8 billion investment to improve classrooms, upgrade facilities and build new schools across the state. This school building boom has delivered more than 1,300 school upgrades and 70 new school projects across the state, supporting more than 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians. A full list of the Premier’s VCE Awards recipients is available at: education.vic.gov.au/vceawards Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “I congratulate these top-performing VCE students who, with support from their school communities, friends and families, have worked hard and excelled in their studies.” “We’re building the Education State to support students just like these, so that every Victorian gets the opportunity to reach their potential and every community has access to a great school with outstanding teachers.” Download the Media Release (561 KB)

Top Performers Recognised At Premier’s VCE Awards

Victoria’s top performing VCE students have been recognised with Premier’s VCE Awards during a special ceremony at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Minister for Education James Merlino today presented the awards to the high-achieving students and congratulated them on their hard work. Winners included a debating captain with her sights set on a career in international law and human rights, a student who credits his teacher with fuelling his passion for a career in economics and a student who mastered English as an Additional Language to realise her dream of studying medicine. A total of 274 Victorian students received 302 awards across 85 subjects, including 276 Study Awards, 23 Top All-Round VCE High Achiever Awards and three Top International Student Awards. The Top All-Round VCE High Achiever awards recognise those students who achieved study scores of 46 or higher out of 50 in at least five VCE subjects, while Study Awards recognise the very best performers in individual VCE subjects. The Andrews Labor Government is building the Education State so every Victorian student can get a great education and every community has access to a great local school. This includes an unprecedented $3.8 billion investment to improve classrooms, upgrade facilities and build new schools across the state. This school building boom has delivered more than 1,300 school upgrades and 70 new school projects across the state, supporting more than 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians. A full list of the Premier’s VCE Awards recipients is available at: education.vic.gov.au/vceawards Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “I congratulate these top-performing VCE students who, with support from their school communities, friends and families, have worked hard and excelled in their studies.” “We’re building the Education State to support students just like these, so that every Victorian gets the opportunity to reach their potential and every community has access to a great school with outstanding teachers.” Download the Media Release (561 KB)