• 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

Funding Boost To Give Every Child Every Chance

The Andrews Labor Government is giving Victorian schools extra resources to support students with disabilities and ensure every child, no matter their background or circumstance, gets a great education. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced each Victorian government school will share in more than $7 million in Inclusion Boost funding to strengthen their inclusive education policies and practices. The Inclusion Boost is part of the $61 million suite of inclusive education initiatives announced by the Labor Government last year that give extra support to children and young people with disabilities. The funding and guidance will allow schools to: Educate teaching and support staff to ensure students with disabilities and additional needs can participate in all education and training activities on the same basis as their peers Develop an inclusion and diversity policy which reflects their commitment to be including of students of all backgrounds and abilities Educate parents and the school community about the inclusion and diversity policy, through community engagement and local promotion activities such as online, printed collateral or at school assemblies and parent forums. This extra support will help schools to reflect on, understand and strengthen how they support students with disabilities. It also builds the expertise of teachers and school leaders through a broad range of tools, resources and professional learning. The Inclusion Boost funding will also form part of the comprehensive inclusive education reform agenda that is ensuring that students of all abilities and their families feel welcome and thrive at school. Supporting students and young children with disabilities and additional needs, and strengthening inclusive education is a key Andrews Labor Government Education State priority. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’re supporting our schools to make sure that all students feel welcome, accepted and engaged so that they can participate, achieve and thrive in school and life.” “Building the Education State means making sure everyone can access a great education – no matter their circumstances.” “We want to give every child, every chance, and it’s essential disability isn’t a barrier to that.” Download the Media Release (592 KB)

Funding Boost To Give Every Child Every Chance

The Andrews Labor Government is giving Victorian schools extra resources to support students with disabilities and ensure every child, no matter their background or circumstance, gets a great education. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced each Victorian government school will share in more than $7 million in Inclusion Boost funding to strengthen their inclusive education policies and practices. The Inclusion Boost is part of the $61 million suite of inclusive education initiatives announced by the Labor Government last year that give extra support to children and young people with disabilities. The funding and guidance will allow schools to: Educate teaching and support staff to ensure students with disabilities and additional needs can participate in all education and training activities on the same basis as their peers Develop an inclusion and diversity policy which reflects their commitment to be including of students of all backgrounds and abilities Educate parents and the school community about the inclusion and diversity policy, through community engagement and local promotion activities such as online, printed collateral or at school assemblies and parent forums. This extra support will help schools to reflect on, understand and strengthen how they support students with disabilities. It also builds the expertise of teachers and school leaders through a broad range of tools, resources and professional learning. The Inclusion Boost funding will also form part of the comprehensive inclusive education reform agenda that is ensuring that students of all abilities and their families feel welcome and thrive at school. Supporting students and young children with disabilities and additional needs, and strengthening inclusive education is a key Andrews Labor Government Education State priority. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’re supporting our schools to make sure that all students feel welcome, accepted and engaged so that they can participate, achieve and thrive in school and life.” “Building the Education State means making sure everyone can access a great education – no matter their circumstances.” “We want to give every child, every chance, and it’s essential disability isn’t a barrier to that.” Download the Media Release (592 KB)

Delivering A Great Local School For Monbulk

Monbulk families will get the world-class local school their kids deserve, with a re-elected Andrews Labor Government to deliver a massive upgrade to Monbulk Primary School. Labor will invest $7.1 million to build a brand-new library, a new grade 5 and 6 building and two new competition grade outdoor netball courts, which will also be used by the Monbulk Football Netball Club after school hours. Every child should have a great local school and the chance to succeed in life, and only a re-elected Andrews Labor Government will deliver that for kids in Monbulk. The Liberals slashed $1 billion out of our education system, leaving schools to crumble and decay across the state. Only Labor will deliver the state of the art facilities students and staff at Monbulk Primary School need to achieve their best. The Labor Government has invested more than $3.8 billion to build 70 new schools and upgrade 1,300 schools across the state since coming to office in 2014. That means thousands of Victorian kids now go to school every day and learn in new classrooms with better technology and facilities, like new gyms and science labs. It’s also helped create 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians right around our state. A re-elected Labor Government will keep delivering for Victorians with more new schools and upgrades to existing schools across the state. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education and Member for Monbulk James Merlino “As both the Minister and the local Member, I know how much Monbulk Primary matters to local families. These investments will make sure local kids are getting the very best start in life.” “No matter where you live, every student deserves to have a great school – a re-elected Andrews Labor Government will make sure they do.” Download the Media Release (583 KB)

Delivering A Great Local School For Monbulk

Monbulk families will get the world-class local school their kids deserve, with a re-elected Andrews Labor Government to deliver a massive upgrade to Monbulk Primary School. Labor will invest $7.1 million to build a brand-new library, a new grade 5 and 6 building and two new competition grade outdoor netball courts, which will also be used by the Monbulk Football Netball Club after school hours. Every child should have a great local school and the chance to succeed in life, and only a re-elected Andrews Labor Government will deliver that for kids in Monbulk. The Liberals slashed $1 billion out of our education system, leaving schools to crumble and decay across the state. Only Labor will deliver the state of the art facilities students and staff at Monbulk Primary School need to achieve their best. The Labor Government has invested more than $3.8 billion to build 70 new schools and upgrade 1,300 schools across the state since coming to office in 2014. That means thousands of Victorian kids now go to school every day and learn in new classrooms with better technology and facilities, like new gyms and science labs. It’s also helped create 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians right around our state. A re-elected Labor Government will keep delivering for Victorians with more new schools and upgrades to existing schools across the state. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education and Member for Monbulk James Merlino “As both the Minister and the local Member, I know how much Monbulk Primary matters to local families. These investments will make sure local kids are getting the very best start in life.” “No matter where you live, every student deserves to have a great school – a re-elected Andrews Labor Government will make sure they do.” Download the Media Release (583 KB)

Armstrong Creek West Primary School Takes Shape

Families in Armstrong Creek are a step closer to having an exciting new primary school thanks to the Andrews Labor Government, with construction commencing on the new Armstrong Creek West Primary School. Minister for Education James Merlino today visited the site of the new $20.2 million new primary school to turn the first sod. The school will cater for 475 students once completed, helping to alleviate enrolment pressures for surrounding schools and meet the demands of a growing population. Designed by K2LD and Architectus and being built by Kane Constructions, the new school will be located at 80 Unity Drive, Mount Duneed. The school will open in 2020 and a principal will be appointed next year. 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. This contrasts with the Liberals and Nationals who let schools crumble and decay, while slashing $1 billion from the education budget. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’re getting on with the job of delivering an exciting new primary school to ensure families can access a great local school as the population in Armstrong Creek continues to grow.” “This will be an incredible local school that will provide the community the first-rate education facilities they deserve.” Quote attributable to Member for Western Victoria Gayle Tierney “Schools are more than just buildings – they’re at the heart of their neighbourhoods and this new school will be an opportunity to provide excellent learning facilities and enhance the local community.” Download the Media Release (584 KB)

Armstrong Creek West Primary School Takes Shape

Families in Armstrong Creek are a step closer to having an exciting new primary school thanks to the Andrews Labor Government, with construction commencing on the new Armstrong Creek West Primary School. Minister for Education James Merlino today visited the site of the new $20.2 million new primary school to turn the first sod. The school will cater for 475 students once completed, helping to alleviate enrolment pressures for surrounding schools and meet the demands of a growing population. Designed by K2LD and Architectus and being built by Kane Constructions, the new school will be located at 80 Unity Drive, Mount Duneed. The school will open in 2020 and a principal will be appointed next year. 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. This contrasts with the Liberals and Nationals who let schools crumble and decay, while slashing $1 billion from the education budget. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’re getting on with the job of delivering an exciting new primary school to ensure families can access a great local school as the population in Armstrong Creek continues to grow.” “This will be an incredible local school that will provide the community the first-rate education facilities they deserve.” Quote attributable to Member for Western Victoria Gayle Tierney “Schools are more than just buildings – they’re at the heart of their neighbourhoods and this new school will be an opportunity to provide excellent learning facilities and enhance the local community.” Download the Media Release (584 KB)

Delivering A Great Local School For Bellbrae

Bellbrae families will get the world-class local school their kids deserve with a re-elected Andrews Labor Government to deliver a massive upgrade to Bellbrae Primary School. Labor will invest more than $9.1 million to build a new competition grade gym, upgrade the school oval, build new open learning spaces and science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) facilities. The Liberals slashed $1 billion out of our education system and left schools to crumble and decay across the state. The Andrews Labor Government has already delivered $1 million to upgrade and modernise facilities at Bellbrae Primary School, with design work currently underway. There’s more work to do and only Labor will deliver the state of the art facilities students and staff at Bellbrae Primary School need to achieve their best with new STEM and sporting facilities. The Labor Government has invested more than $3.8 billion to build 70 new schools and upgrade 1,300 schools across the state since coming to office in 2014. That means thousands of Victorian kids now go to school every day and learn in new classrooms with better technology and facilities, like new gyms and science labs. It’s also helped create 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians right around our state. A re-elected Labor Government will keep delivering for Victorians with more new schools and upgrades to existing schools across the state. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “The Liberals cut $1 billion out of our education system and left great local schools like Bellbrae Primary to struggle along without any major upgrades.” “We’re already upgrading classrooms and facilities at Bellbrae Primary School with design work underway, but there’s more to do and only Labor will deliver the new sporting and STEM facilities students deserve.” Quote attributable to Member for Western Victoria Gayle Tierney “Bellbrae Primary is a great local school and only Labor will build world-class sporting and STEM facilities students and staff need to achieve their best.” Download the Media Release (588 KB)

Delivering A Great Local School For Bellbrae

Bellbrae families will get the world-class local school their kids deserve with a re-elected Andrews Labor Government to deliver a massive upgrade to Bellbrae Primary School. Labor will invest more than $9.1 million to build a new competition grade gym, upgrade the school oval, build new open learning spaces and science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) facilities. The Liberals slashed $1 billion out of our education system and left schools to crumble and decay across the state. The Andrews Labor Government has already delivered $1 million to upgrade and modernise facilities at Bellbrae Primary School, with design work currently underway. There’s more work to do and only Labor will deliver the state of the art facilities students and staff at Bellbrae Primary School need to achieve their best with new STEM and sporting facilities. The Labor Government has invested more than $3.8 billion to build 70 new schools and upgrade 1,300 schools across the state since coming to office in 2014. That means thousands of Victorian kids now go to school every day and learn in new classrooms with better technology and facilities, like new gyms and science labs. It’s also helped create 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians right around our state. A re-elected Labor Government will keep delivering for Victorians with more new schools and upgrades to existing schools across the state. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “The Liberals cut $1 billion out of our education system and left great local schools like Bellbrae Primary to struggle along without any major upgrades.” “We’re already upgrading classrooms and facilities at Bellbrae Primary School with design work underway, but there’s more to do and only Labor will deliver the new sporting and STEM facilities students deserve.” Quote attributable to Member for Western Victoria Gayle Tierney “Bellbrae Primary is a great local school and only Labor will build world-class sporting and STEM facilities students and staff need to achieve their best.” Download the Media Release (588 KB)

Young Leaders To Live, Learn And Explore Indonesia

Victorian students will soon have the opportunity to travel to Indonesia for an immersion experience that will prepare them to live and work as future leaders on a global scale, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced the successful Victorian Young Leaders to China Program would be expanded to Indonesia, giving 40 Victorian Year 9 students and five teachers the opportunity to travel to Yogyakarta in 2019. The Victorian Young Leaders to Indonesia Pilot Program aims to increase students’ Indonesian language proficiency while developing their intercultural understanding and leadership skills. Students taking part in the program will experience Indonesian culture by attending a local school and visiting historical attractions. In addition to providing students with a valuable learning experience, the program also strengthens cultural ties with one of Australia’s most important strategic partners and closest Asian neighbour. The program is a key pillar of the Memorandum of Understanding signed last year between Premier Daniel Andrews and the Sultan of Yogyakarta, His Excellency Hamengku Buwono X. The Andrews Labor Government is also piloting a two-year Victorian Young Leaders to India program which will see up to 80 Victorian secondary students and 10 teachers travel to India for a cultural immersion program as part of the recently launched Victoria’s India Strategy: Our Shared Future. The Victorian Young Leaders Program helps students achieve Education State targets for critical and creative thinking and strengthens their engagement in education. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “In Victoria, we have prioritised education because it sits at the heart of our state’s future social, economic and global success and an important part of any quality education is learning about the world around you.” Quote attributable to Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education Judith Graley “The Victorian Young Leaders to Indonesia Pilot Program will play an important part in the Victoria–Indonesia relationship and contributes to developing a generation of young Victorians with a deep understanding of our closest neighbour.”    Download the Media Release (581 KB)

Young Leaders To Live, Learn And Explore Indonesia

Victorian students will soon have the opportunity to travel to Indonesia for an immersion experience that will prepare them to live and work as future leaders on a global scale, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced the successful Victorian Young Leaders to China Program would be expanded to Indonesia, giving 40 Victorian Year 9 students and five teachers the opportunity to travel to Yogyakarta in 2019. The Victorian Young Leaders to Indonesia Pilot Program aims to increase students’ Indonesian language proficiency while developing their intercultural understanding and leadership skills. Students taking part in the program will experience Indonesian culture by attending a local school and visiting historical attractions. In addition to providing students with a valuable learning experience, the program also strengthens cultural ties with one of Australia’s most important strategic partners and closest Asian neighbour. The program is a key pillar of the Memorandum of Understanding signed last year between Premier Daniel Andrews and the Sultan of Yogyakarta, His Excellency Hamengku Buwono X. The Andrews Labor Government is also piloting a two-year Victorian Young Leaders to India program which will see up to 80 Victorian secondary students and 10 teachers travel to India for a cultural immersion program as part of the recently launched Victoria’s India Strategy: Our Shared Future. The Victorian Young Leaders Program helps students achieve Education State targets for critical and creative thinking and strengthens their engagement in education. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “In Victoria, we have prioritised education because it sits at the heart of our state’s future social, economic and global success and an important part of any quality education is learning about the world around you.” Quote attributable to Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education Judith Graley “The Victorian Young Leaders to Indonesia Pilot Program will play an important part in the Victoria–Indonesia relationship and contributes to developing a generation of young Victorians with a deep understanding of our closest neighbour.”    Download the Media Release (581 KB)

Delivering A Great Local School For Skye

Skye families will get the world-class local school their kids deserve, with a re-elected Andrews Labor Government to deliver a massive upgrade to sporting facilities at Skye Primary School. Labor will invest $7.8 million to build a new indoor gym with competition-grade basketball and netball court as well as a major refurbishment of the school’s learning and administration areas. Every child should have a good local school and the chance to succeed in life, and only a re-elected Andrews Labor Government will deliver that for kids in Skye. The Liberals slashed $1 billion out of our education system and left schools to crumble and decay across the state. Only Labor will deliver the state of the art facilities students and staff at Skye need to achieve their best. The Labor Government has invested more than $3.8 billion to build 70 new schools and upgrade 1,300 schools across the state since coming to office in 2014. That means thousands of Victorian kids now go to school every day and learn in new classrooms with better technology and facilities, like new gyms and science labs. It’s also helped create 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians right around our state. A re-elected Labor Government will keep delivering for Victorians with more new schools and upgrades to existing schools across the state. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “The Liberals closed schools and cut funding to our education system and given the chance, they’ll do it again.” “Only Labor will deliver $7.8 million for a new competition-grade gym and better administration areas for students and staff at Skye Primary School.” Quote attributable to Member for Carrum Sonya Kilkenny “Skye Primary School is a great local school and only Labor will make sure students and staff have the state of the art facilities they need to achieve their best.”   Download the Media Release (587 KB)

Delivering A Great Local School For Skye

Skye families will get the world-class local school their kids deserve, with a re-elected Andrews Labor Government to deliver a massive upgrade to sporting facilities at Skye Primary School. Labor will invest $7.8 million to build a new indoor gym with competition-grade basketball and netball court as well as a major refurbishment of the school’s learning and administration areas. Every child should have a good local school and the chance to succeed in life, and only a re-elected Andrews Labor Government will deliver that for kids in Skye. The Liberals slashed $1 billion out of our education system and left schools to crumble and decay across the state. Only Labor will deliver the state of the art facilities students and staff at Skye need to achieve their best. The Labor Government has invested more than $3.8 billion to build 70 new schools and upgrade 1,300 schools across the state since coming to office in 2014. That means thousands of Victorian kids now go to school every day and learn in new classrooms with better technology and facilities, like new gyms and science labs. It’s also helped create 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians right around our state. A re-elected Labor Government will keep delivering for Victorians with more new schools and upgrades to existing schools across the state. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “The Liberals closed schools and cut funding to our education system and given the chance, they’ll do it again.” “Only Labor will deliver $7.8 million for a new competition-grade gym and better administration areas for students and staff at Skye Primary School.” Quote attributable to Member for Carrum Sonya Kilkenny “Skye Primary School is a great local school and only Labor will make sure students and staff have the state of the art facilities they need to achieve their best.”   Download the Media Release (587 KB)

Delivering A Great Local School For Beechworth

Beechworth Secondary College students will have a world-class science and resource centre to learn in, with a re-elected Andrews Labor Government to build the first stage of the school’s masterplan. Announced by the Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes yesterday, Labor will invest $9.4 million to build the new science and resource centre, which will include two science laboratories, learning spaces, common areas, seminar rooms and staff rooms. The Liberals didn’t spend a single cent on Beechworth Secondary College and slashed $1 billion out of our education system, leaving schools to crumble and decay across the state. The Labor Government has already funded the Beechworth Secondary College masterplan but there’s more work to do and only Labor will deliver the upgrades students and staff at Beechworth Secondary College need to achieve their best. Every child should have a good local school and the chance to succeed in life, and only Labor will deliver that for students in Beechworth. The Labor Government has invested more than $3.8 billion to build 70 new schools and upgrade 1,300 schools across the state since coming to office in 2014. That means thousands of Victorian kids now go to school every day and learn in new classrooms with better technology and facilities, like new gyms and science labs. It’s also helped create 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians right around our state. A re-elected Labor Government will keep delivering for Victorians with more new schools and upgrades to existing schools across the state. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “The Liberals closed schools and cut funding to our education system and given the chance, they’ll do it again.” “We’ve built and upgraded more than 1,300 schools across the state over the past four years and only Labor will keep delivering for Victorian families.” Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “The Liberals didn’t spend a single cent on Beechworth Secondary College and cut more than $1 billion out of our education system.” “We’ve already funded the school’s masterplan but there’s more to do and only Labor will deliver it with more than $9 million for a new science and resource centre.” Download the Media Release (592 KB)

Delivering A Great Local School For Beechworth

Beechworth Secondary College students will have a world-class science and resource centre to learn in, with a re-elected Andrews Labor Government to build the first stage of the school’s masterplan. Announced by the Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes yesterday, Labor will invest $9.4 million to build the new science and resource centre, which will include two science laboratories, learning spaces, common areas, seminar rooms and staff rooms. The Liberals didn’t spend a single cent on Beechworth Secondary College and slashed $1 billion out of our education system, leaving schools to crumble and decay across the state. The Labor Government has already funded the Beechworth Secondary College masterplan but there’s more work to do and only Labor will deliver the upgrades students and staff at Beechworth Secondary College need to achieve their best. Every child should have a good local school and the chance to succeed in life, and only Labor will deliver that for students in Beechworth. The Labor Government has invested more than $3.8 billion to build 70 new schools and upgrade 1,300 schools across the state since coming to office in 2014. That means thousands of Victorian kids now go to school every day and learn in new classrooms with better technology and facilities, like new gyms and science labs. It’s also helped create 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians right around our state. A re-elected Labor Government will keep delivering for Victorians with more new schools and upgrades to existing schools across the state. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “The Liberals closed schools and cut funding to our education system and given the chance, they’ll do it again.” “We’ve built and upgraded more than 1,300 schools across the state over the past four years and only Labor will keep delivering for Victorian families.” Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “The Liberals didn’t spend a single cent on Beechworth Secondary College and cut more than $1 billion out of our education system.” “We’ve already funded the school’s masterplan but there’s more to do and only Labor will deliver it with more than $9 million for a new science and resource centre.” Download the Media Release (592 KB)

Inclusive Education Equipment Boost For Schools

Victorian schools will receive extra resources to strengthen inclusive education for every student, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced government schools across the state will share in the Labor Government’s $12 million Equipment Boost for Schools. Schools will receive an additional $5,000 to invest in specialised equipment and assistive technology that supports students with disabilities and additional learning needs to fully participate in school life. Schools identifying a higher level of need also have the opportunity to apply for additional targeted funds to access high-value or highly specialised equipment and technology that will have a profound impact on students’ participation, learning and success at school. Funding will also expand the range of technology available for students who are blind or partially sighted through the existing blind and low vision technology library, run through the Statewide Vision Resource Centre. The Equipment Boost for Schools is part of the $61 million suite of inclusive education initiatives announced by the Labor Government last year, giving schools extra resources, guidance, access to specialist expertise and support to embed inclusive education in all aspects of school life. As part of the overall inclusive education agenda, the Government has also funded 360 scholarships for Victorian teachers to undertake a Master of Education specialising in inclusive and special education or applied behaviour analysis, as well as an Inclusion Boost for schools to strengthen their inclusive education policies and practices. Through better supporting the individualised needs of students, and strengthening whole-of-school inclusive education practice, schools can best meet the diverse needs of all students. Strengthening inclusive education for all students, including those with disabilities and additional learning needs, is a key Education State priority. For more information, visit: education.vic.gov.au/school. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Inclusive education means that every child, no matter their background or circumstance, are valued and supported to fully participate, learn, develop and succeed.” “The new equipment will have a positive impact on students with disabilities and additional learning needs by providing them with the tools and technologies they need to fully participate in learning and school life.” “It’s vital that our schools inspire a lifelong passion for learning and it’s essential disability isn’t a barrier to that.” Download the Media Release (583 KB)

Inclusive Education Equipment Boost For Schools

Victorian schools will receive extra resources to strengthen inclusive education for every student, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced government schools across the state will share in the Labor Government’s $12 million Equipment Boost for Schools. Schools will receive an additional $5,000 to invest in specialised equipment and assistive technology that supports students with disabilities and additional learning needs to fully participate in school life. Schools identifying a higher level of need also have the opportunity to apply for additional targeted funds to access high-value or highly specialised equipment and technology that will have a profound impact on students’ participation, learning and success at school. Funding will also expand the range of technology available for students who are blind or partially sighted through the existing blind and low vision technology library, run through the Statewide Vision Resource Centre. The Equipment Boost for Schools is part of the $61 million suite of inclusive education initiatives announced by the Labor Government last year, giving schools extra resources, guidance, access to specialist expertise and support to embed inclusive education in all aspects of school life. As part of the overall inclusive education agenda, the Government has also funded 360 scholarships for Victorian teachers to undertake a Master of Education specialising in inclusive and special education or applied behaviour analysis, as well as an Inclusion Boost for schools to strengthen their inclusive education policies and practices. Through better supporting the individualised needs of students, and strengthening whole-of-school inclusive education practice, schools can best meet the diverse needs of all students. Strengthening inclusive education for all students, including those with disabilities and additional learning needs, is a key Education State priority. For more information, visit: education.vic.gov.au/school. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Inclusive education means that every child, no matter their background or circumstance, are valued and supported to fully participate, learn, develop and succeed.” “The new equipment will have a positive impact on students with disabilities and additional learning needs by providing them with the tools and technologies they need to fully participate in learning and school life.” “It’s vital that our schools inspire a lifelong passion for learning and it’s essential disability isn’t a barrier to that.” Download the Media Release (583 KB)

 

Delivering Great Local Schools For Echuca

Echuca families will get the world-class local schools their kids deserve, with a re-elected Andrews Labor Government to finish the entire Echuca Regeneration Project. Labor will invest $16.7 million to build the final two stages of the project, which includes more facilities at the new Echuca Twin Rivers Primary School and a new Echuca P-12 Special School to be located at the same site. Echuca students already have a brand-new school with better classrooms and school facilities to learn in, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s $11 million investment to merge Echuca South and Echuca West primary schools as part of the Echuca Regeneration Project. There’s still more work to do and only Labor will deliver the remaining facilities students and staff deserve. The Minister for Education James Merlino today visited the school to announce the Labor Government will immediately fund $850,000 to finalise planning for the final two stages of the Echuca Regeneration Project. The planning work will be finished by the end of the year, which means the in-coming Government will be able to turn the first sod to start construction next year. Only a re-elected Labor Government will make sure that happens by fully funding both remaining stages. Labor will invest $11 million to complete stage two, which includes building the new Echuca P-12 Special School, new bus drop-off facilities, car and bike parking. Labor will invest a further $5.7 million to complete stage three, which includes a new competition grade gym with music and arts facilities, the final classrooms at the primary school, as well as a sports oval, play areas, and hard courts at the special school. The Liberals cut $1 billion out of our education system and left local schools to crumble, spending just $600,000 on school buildings across the whole Shire of Campaspe during four years of government. The Labor Government has made sure Echuca kids have a great local school, building the new $11 million Echuca Twin Rivers Primary School that opened this year, and only Labor will finish the job. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “The Liberals didn’t spend a single cent on the Echuca Regeneration Project and cut more than $1 billion out of our education system.” “We’ve already built the new Echuca Twin Rivers Primary School but there’s more to do and only Labor will deliver it, with $16.7 million to build a new special school and even better facilities at the primary school.” Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp “This region was deserted by Peter Walsh and the former Coalition government but the Labor Government is getting on with delivering the new Echuca Specialist School.” Download the Media Release (593 KB)

Delivering Great Local Schools For Echuca

Echuca families will get the world-class local schools their kids deserve, with a re-elected Andrews Labor Government to finish the entire Echuca Regeneration Project. Labor will invest $16.7 million to build the final two stages of the project, which includes more facilities at the new Echuca Twin Rivers Primary School and a new Echuca P-12 Special School to be located at the same site. Echuca students already have a brand-new school with better classrooms and school facilities to learn in, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s $11 million investment to merge Echuca South and Echuca West primary schools as part of the Echuca Regeneration Project. There’s still more work to do and only Labor will deliver the remaining facilities students and staff deserve. The Minister for Education James Merlino today visited the school to announce the Labor Government will immediately fund $850,000 to finalise planning for the final two stages of the Echuca Regeneration Project. The planning work will be finished by the end of the year, which means the in-coming Government will be able to turn the first sod to start construction next year. Only a re-elected Labor Government will make sure that happens by fully funding both remaining stages. Labor will invest $11 million to complete stage two, which includes building the new Echuca P-12 Special School, new bus drop-off facilities, car and bike parking. Labor will invest a further $5.7 million to complete stage three, which includes a new competition grade gym with music and arts facilities, the final classrooms at the primary school, as well as a sports oval, play areas, and hard courts at the special school. The Liberals cut $1 billion out of our education system and left local schools to crumble, spending just $600,000 on school buildings across the whole Shire of Campaspe during four years of government. The Labor Government has made sure Echuca kids have a great local school, building the new $11 million Echuca Twin Rivers Primary School that opened this year, and only Labor will finish the job. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “The Liberals didn’t spend a single cent on the Echuca Regeneration Project and cut more than $1 billion out of our education system.” “We’ve already built the new Echuca Twin Rivers Primary School but there’s more to do and only Labor will deliver it, with $16.7 million to build a new special school and even better facilities at the primary school.” Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp “This region was deserted by Peter Walsh and the former Coalition government but the Labor Government is getting on with delivering the new Echuca Specialist School.” Download the Media Release (593 KB)

Students Performing With The Beat

Thousands of Victorian students are perfecting their dance moves, memorising their lyrics and tuning their instruments to prepare for this year’s Victorian State Schools Spectacular. The annual performance brings together 3000 students from over 200 government schools in a musical phenomenon at Hisense Arena in September. Minister for Education James Merlino said the 2018 Spectacular would bring performers together under the theme With the Beat, exploring ideas of belonging and identity. The journey of exploration will see Hisense Arena transformed into a mystical Venetian masquerade ball, sound- tracked by a variety of artists – from Tim Minchin to Beyonce. The 2018 Spectacular is the creative vision of industry professionals including Creative Director Neill Gladwin, Musical Director Chong Lim, Dance Director Deon Nuku, (Scooby Doo, Happy Feet, Moulin Rouge) and Associate Dance Director Yvette Lee, (Dancing with the Stars, X-Factor Australia, Australia’s Got Talent and So You Think You Can Dance). The event provides a unique training opportunity for students – both onstage and behind the scenes – in performing arts, audio, lighting and video production, stage management, costume and film, make up and photography. Success and achievement in the arts is one of the key targets for the Education State, as Victorian students learn to think critically and find creative solutions. Generating growth in creative industries, engaging more Victorians in creative and cultural endeavours, and aiming to equip our students with the skills that will be needed later in their lives is the focus of the Andrews Labor Government’s Creative State targets. The 2018 Victorian State Schools Spectacular is on Saturday 15 September at Hisense Arena at 1.00pm and 6.30pm. Tickets go on sale 19 July at 9.00am at www.ticketek.com.au/spectacular. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “The Victorian State Schools Spectacular celebrates the next generation of creative Victorians who could be at the threshold of their future careers on stage and behind the scenes.” “The Spectacular provides an engaging performing arts opportunity and industry training experience for our young people while showcasing the talent that exists in Victorian government schools.” Download the Media Release (683 KB)

Students Performing With The Beat

Thousands of Victorian students are perfecting their dance moves, memorising their lyrics and tuning their instruments to prepare for this year’s Victorian State Schools Spectacular. The annual performance brings together 3000 students from over 200 government schools in a musical phenomenon at Hisense Arena in September. Minister for Education James Merlino said the 2018 Spectacular would bring performers together under the theme With the Beat, exploring ideas of belonging and identity. The journey of exploration will see Hisense Arena transformed into a mystical Venetian masquerade ball, sound- tracked by a variety of artists – from Tim Minchin to Beyonce. The 2018 Spectacular is the creative vision of industry professionals including Creative Director Neill Gladwin, Musical Director Chong Lim, Dance Director Deon Nuku, (Scooby Doo, Happy Feet, Moulin Rouge) and Associate Dance Director Yvette Lee, (Dancing with the Stars, X-Factor Australia, Australia’s Got Talent and So You Think You Can Dance). The event provides a unique training opportunity for students – both onstage and behind the scenes – in performing arts, audio, lighting and video production, stage management, costume and film, make up and photography. Success and achievement in the arts is one of the key targets for the Education State, as Victorian students learn to think critically and find creative solutions. Generating growth in creative industries, engaging more Victorians in creative and cultural endeavours, and aiming to equip our students with the skills that will be needed later in their lives is the focus of the Andrews Labor Government’s Creative State targets. The 2018 Victorian State Schools Spectacular is on Saturday 15 September at Hisense Arena at 1.00pm and 6.30pm. Tickets go on sale 19 July at 9.00am at www.ticketek.com.au/spectacular. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “The Victorian State Schools Spectacular celebrates the next generation of creative Victorians who could be at the threshold of their future careers on stage and behind the scenes.” “The Spectacular provides an engaging performing arts opportunity and industry training experience for our young people while showcasing the talent that exists in Victorian government schools.” Download the Media Release (683 KB)

5 Million Breakfasts Served Up To School Kids

The Andrews Labor Government’s School Breakfast Clubs have served five million meals to students across Victoria, ensuring they start their school day on a full stomach, ready to learn. Minister for Education James Merlino this morning joined students at Morwell Park Primary School, one of the 500 schools that serve up free and healthy Victorian-produced breakfasts. School Breakfast Clubs have been providing 50,000 free meals each week at 500 of Victoria’s most disadvantaged schools since 2016. In 2017, 569,000 kilograms of food was distributed, with an average 33 students attending a breakfast club in every school, every day of operation. This includes 11,834 kilograms of instant oats, 128,840 apples, and 230,719 litres of milk. Research has shown that since the program started, nine out of ten teachers have seen improved student concentration in the classroom, while seven out of ten teachers have noted improved attendance and more than eight out of ten teachers said they now had better relationships with their students. The research also found in 2017, 87 per cent of schools felt they were meeting the breakfast needs of their students, a dramatic increase from the 43 per cent who felt they were meeting breakfast needs prior to the program. The delivery of the $13.7 million breakfast club commitment is another example of how the Andrews Labor Government is tackling disadvantage and making things fair so that all children can reach their potential, regardless of their background or circumstances. A full list of School Breakfast Clubs can be found at education.vic.gov.au/breakfastclubs. Volunteering opportunities can be found at: foodbankvictoria.org.au/SBCvolunteers. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “One in seven children arrive at school with an empty stomach and our School Breakfast Clubs mean these students no longer go hungry and can now get the most out of their education.” “Despite its success, the program would be cut by the Liberals if they win the next election. They’ve already promised a cost audit, which is code for cuts – cuts to breakfast clubs, cuts to the school uniform program and cuts to helping kids go to school camps and excursions.” Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing “Across eastern Victoria alone we have seen hundreds of students share in more than 1 million meals. These are hundreds of local kids who would have sat through class on an empty stomach without this program.” “Labor’s program is tackling hunger in the classroom and the results are improved attendance and academic performance.” Download the Media Release (592 KB)

5 Million Breakfasts Served Up To School Kids

The Andrews Labor Government’s School Breakfast Clubs have served five million meals to students across Victoria, ensuring they start their school day on a full stomach, ready to learn. Minister for Education James Merlino this morning joined students at Morwell Park Primary School, one of the 500 schools that serve up free and healthy Victorian-produced breakfasts. School Breakfast Clubs have been providing 50,000 free meals each week at 500 of Victoria’s most disadvantaged schools since 2016. In 2017, 569,000 kilograms of food was distributed, with an average 33 students attending a breakfast club in every school, every day of operation. This includes 11,834 kilograms of instant oats, 128,840 apples, and 230,719 litres of milk. Research has shown that since the program started, nine out of ten teachers have seen improved student concentration in the classroom, while seven out of ten teachers have noted improved attendance and more than eight out of ten teachers said they now had better relationships with their students. The research also found in 2017, 87 per cent of schools felt they were meeting the breakfast needs of their students, a dramatic increase from the 43 per cent who felt they were meeting breakfast needs prior to the program. The delivery of the $13.7 million breakfast club commitment is another example of how the Andrews Labor Government is tackling disadvantage and making things fair so that all children can reach their potential, regardless of their background or circumstances. A full list of School Breakfast Clubs can be found at education.vic.gov.au/breakfastclubs. Volunteering opportunities can be found at: foodbankvictoria.org.au/SBCvolunteers. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “One in seven children arrive at school with an empty stomach and our School Breakfast Clubs mean these students no longer go hungry and can now get the most out of their education.” “Despite its success, the program would be cut by the Liberals if they win the next election. They’ve already promised a cost audit, which is code for cuts – cuts to breakfast clubs, cuts to the school uniform program and cuts to helping kids go to school camps and excursions.” Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing “Across eastern Victoria alone we have seen hundreds of students share in more than 1 million meals. These are hundreds of local kids who would have sat through class on an empty stomach without this program.” “Labor’s program is tackling hunger in the classroom and the results are improved attendance and academic performance.” Download the Media Release (592 KB)

New Sports And Arts Centre In Seaford On Track

The Andrews Labor Government will turn Seaford North Primary School into a local neighbourhood hub, with construction on track for a new competition-grade gym and performing arts centre. Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Carrum Sonya Kilkenny today turned the sod of the $5 million project to deliver the state-of-the-art facilities to the Seaford North community. Local clubs and groups can also access the recreation and art facilities, which have been designed by MSM & Associates and will be built by Newpol Constructions, with completion forecast for May 2019. The Labor Government is building the Education State so that every community can access a great local school where students are supported to achieve their best. There are now 70 new schools across Victoria in the construction pipeline and more than 1,300 building projects under way – after an unprecedented $3.8 billion Government investment. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’re upgrading and rebuilding schools right across the state to make sure our hard-working students and teachers have access to the best classrooms and facilities.” “Schools are becoming neighbourhood hubs by gaining sports, cultural and health facilities they can share with their wider communities.” Quote attributable to Member for Carrum Sonya Kilkenny          “Local students, families and communities in Seaford will soon have access to world-class sporting and performing arts facilities they can be proud of.” Download the Media Release (582 KB)

New Sports And Arts Centre In Seaford On Track

The Andrews Labor Government will turn Seaford North Primary School into a local neighbourhood hub, with construction on track for a new competition-grade gym and performing arts centre. Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Carrum Sonya Kilkenny today turned the sod of the $5 million project to deliver the state-of-the-art facilities to the Seaford North community. Local clubs and groups can also access the recreation and art facilities, which have been designed by MSM & Associates and will be built by Newpol Constructions, with completion forecast for May 2019. The Labor Government is building the Education State so that every community can access a great local school where students are supported to achieve their best. There are now 70 new schools across Victoria in the construction pipeline and more than 1,300 building projects under way – after an unprecedented $3.8 billion Government investment. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’re upgrading and rebuilding schools right across the state to make sure our hard-working students and teachers have access to the best classrooms and facilities.” “Schools are becoming neighbourhood hubs by gaining sports, cultural and health facilities they can share with their wider communities.” Quote attributable to Member for Carrum Sonya Kilkenny          “Local students, families and communities in Seaford will soon have access to world-class sporting and performing arts facilities they can be proud of.” Download the Media Release (582 KB)

New Hydrotherapy Pool And Classrooms In Yarrabah

Students will soon have a new hydrotherapy pool and permanent modern classrooms at Yarrabah College thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today turned the sod on the $21 million upgrade project that will deliver specialist education services and build the first-class facilities for children and young people with special needs. Over the next two years, construction will involve the removal of all current relocatable buildings and building new permanent facilities with new and improved walkways and entrances. There will be modern landscaping including a new sensory garden and community courtyard and a new hydrotherapy pool. The first stage includes redevelopment of the junior, middle and specialist learning buildings, with construction expected to be complete in a year. The next stage involves works on administration buildings and secondary school. The final stage, to start in 2020, will improve the outdoor spaces, including the sports field and middle and senior play area. It has been designed by Architectus, with newly appointed Ireland Brown Constructions Builders to construct it. The Yarrabah School upgrade is part of the Labor Government’s commitment to inclusive education, making sure that all children have access to quality facilities, equipment and resources. There are now 70 new schools across Victoria in the construction pipeline and more than 1,300 building projects under way – after an unprecedented $3.8 billion Labor Government investment. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We are building the Education State so that every community can access a great local school where students are supported to achieve their best.” “We’re providing families at Yarrabah better facilities, including a new hydrotherapy pool they can all enjoy.” Quotes attributable to Member for Mordialloc Tim Richardson “We want to create an inclusive school environment that students, staff and parents can identify with and feel a sense of belonging to and that’s why this upgrade is so important.”     Download the Media Release (553 KB)

New Hydrotherapy Pool And Classrooms In Yarrabah

Students will soon have a new hydrotherapy pool and permanent modern classrooms at Yarrabah College thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today turned the sod on the $21 million upgrade project that will deliver specialist education services and build the first-class facilities for children and young people with special needs. Over the next two years, construction will involve the removal of all current relocatable buildings and building new permanent facilities with new and improved walkways and entrances. There will be modern landscaping including a new sensory garden and community courtyard and a new hydrotherapy pool. The first stage includes redevelopment of the junior, middle and specialist learning buildings, with construction expected to be complete in a year. The next stage involves works on administration buildings and secondary school. The final stage, to start in 2020, will improve the outdoor spaces, including the sports field and middle and senior play area. It has been designed by Architectus, with newly appointed Ireland Brown Constructions Builders to construct it. The Yarrabah School upgrade is part of the Labor Government’s commitment to inclusive education, making sure that all children have access to quality facilities, equipment and resources. There are now 70 new schools across Victoria in the construction pipeline and more than 1,300 building projects under way – after an unprecedented $3.8 billion Labor Government investment. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We are building the Education State so that every community can access a great local school where students are supported to achieve their best.” “We’re providing families at Yarrabah better facilities, including a new hydrotherapy pool they can all enjoy.” Quotes attributable to Member for Mordialloc Tim Richardson “We want to create an inclusive school environment that students, staff and parents can identify with and feel a sense of belonging to and that’s why this upgrade is so important.”     Download the Media Release (553 KB)

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 Wyndham Tech School Opens

Students from 18 secondary schools in Wyndham will now have access to the latest technology and innovative learning programs, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today joined Member for Werribee Tim Pallas, Member for Altona Jill Hennessy and Member for Tarneit Telmo Languiller to officially open the brand new Wyndham Tech School – the fifth of 10 Tech Schools to open under the Andrews Labor Government’s $128 million Tech School initiative. Students will be able to use audio visual and virtual reality facilities and high-tech STEM equipment to experiment and develop projects, and design wearable technology in the purpose-built lab. Pilot programs are developed in consultation with schools and industry partners and the school will open to students from Term 3. Designed by Gray Puksand Architects and built by Harris HMC, the Tech School is located at Victoria University’s Werribee Campus. The high-tech hands-on programs will be offered free to more than 13,000 students from the 18 government, catholic and independent schools across Wyndham and are aligned with industries predicted to experience economic and employment growth – helping kids secure the jobs they need in the future. Tech Schools are part of the Labor Government’s plan to boost performance in STEM subjects, including a 25 per cent increase in the number of Year 9 students reaching the highest level of achievement in mathematics and 33 per cent more 15-year-olds reaching the highest levels in science. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We need students to be ready for the jobs of the future and that’s why we’re investing in Tech Schools so they can get the hands-on learning with technology they need.” “The Wyndham Tech School will form an important link between our schools, TAFEs, universities and industry.” Quote attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “The Tech School will be a vibrant new education hub that gives local students the opportunity to solve real-world problems in a real-world context while they are still at secondary school.”  Quote attributable to Member for Altona Jill Hennessy “Tech Schools will make STEM accessible and exciting, giving students the practical experience and confidence they need for the jobs of the future.” Quote attributable to Member for Tarneit Telmo Languiller                                                                                                                                                               “The new Tech School is a true community achievement that will focus on delivering cutting-edge high-tech learning to students from 18 secondary schools in Wyndham.” Download the Media Release (652 KB)

New Wyndham Tech School Opens

Students from 18 secondary schools in Wyndham will now have access to the latest technology and innovative learning programs, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today joined Member for Werribee Tim Pallas, Member for Altona Jill Hennessy and Member for Tarneit Telmo Languiller to officially open the brand new Wyndham Tech School – the fifth of 10 Tech Schools to open under the Andrews Labor Government’s $128 million Tech School initiative. Students will be able to use audio visual and virtual reality facilities and high-tech STEM equipment to experiment and develop projects, and design wearable technology in the purpose-built lab. Pilot programs are developed in consultation with schools and industry partners and the school will open to students from Term 3. Designed by Gray Puksand Architects and built by Harris HMC, the Tech School is located at Victoria University’s Werribee Campus. The high-tech hands-on programs will be offered free to more than 13,000 students from the 18 government, catholic and independent schools across Wyndham and are aligned with industries predicted to experience economic and employment growth – helping kids secure the jobs they need in the future. Tech Schools are part of the Labor Government’s plan to boost performance in STEM subjects, including a 25 per cent increase in the number of Year 9 students reaching the highest level of achievement in mathematics and 33 per cent more 15-year-olds reaching the highest levels in science. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We need students to be ready for the jobs of the future and that’s why we’re investing in Tech Schools so they can get the hands-on learning with technology they need.” “The Wyndham Tech School will form an important link between our schools, TAFEs, universities and industry.” Quote attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “The Tech School will be a vibrant new education hub that gives local students the opportunity to solve real-world problems in a real-world context while they are still at secondary school.”  Quote attributable to Member for Altona Jill Hennessy “Tech Schools will make STEM accessible and exciting, giving students the practical experience and confidence they need for the jobs of the future.” Quote attributable to Member for Tarneit Telmo Languiller                                                                                                                                                               “The new Tech School is a true community achievement that will focus on delivering cutting-edge high-tech learning to students from 18 secondary schools in Wyndham.” Download the Media Release (652 KB)

Funding Boost To Give Every Child Every Chance

The Andrews Labor Government is giving Victorian schools extra resources to support students with disabilities and ensure every child, no matter their background or circumstance, gets a great education. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced each Victorian government school will share in more than $7 million in Inclusion Boost funding to strengthen their inclusive education policies and practices. The Inclusion Boost is part of the $61 million suite of inclusive education initiatives announced by the Labor Government last year that give extra support to children and young people with disabilities. The funding and guidance will allow schools to: Educate teaching and support staff to ensure students with disabilities and additional needs can participate in all education and training activities on the same basis as their peers Develop an inclusion and diversity policy which reflects their commitment to be including of students of all backgrounds and abilities Educate parents and the school community about the inclusion and diversity policy, through community engagement and local promotion activities such as online, printed collateral or at school assemblies and parent forums. This extra support will help schools to reflect on, understand and strengthen how they support students with disabilities. It also builds the expertise of teachers and school leaders through a broad range of tools, resources and professional learning. The Inclusion Boost funding will also form part of the comprehensive inclusive education reform agenda that is ensuring that students of all abilities and their families feel welcome and thrive at school. Supporting students and young children with disabilities and additional needs, and strengthening inclusive education is a key Andrews Labor Government Education State priority. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’re supporting our schools to make sure that all students feel welcome, accepted and engaged so that they can participate, achieve and thrive in school and life.” “Building the Education State means making sure everyone can access a great education – no matter their circumstances.” “We want to give every child, every chance, and it’s essential disability isn’t a barrier to that.” Download the Media Release (592 KB)

Funding Boost To Give Every Child Every Chance

The Andrews Labor Government is giving Victorian schools extra resources to support students with disabilities and ensure every child, no matter their background or circumstance, gets a great education. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced each Victorian government school will share in more than $7 million in Inclusion Boost funding to strengthen their inclusive education policies and practices. The Inclusion Boost is part of the $61 million suite of inclusive education initiatives announced by the Labor Government last year that give extra support to children and young people with disabilities. The funding and guidance will allow schools to: Educate teaching and support staff to ensure students with disabilities and additional needs can participate in all education and training activities on the same basis as their peers Develop an inclusion and diversity policy which reflects their commitment to be including of students of all backgrounds and abilities Educate parents and the school community about the inclusion and diversity policy, through community engagement and local promotion activities such as online, printed collateral or at school assemblies and parent forums. This extra support will help schools to reflect on, understand and strengthen how they support students with disabilities. It also builds the expertise of teachers and school leaders through a broad range of tools, resources and professional learning. The Inclusion Boost funding will also form part of the comprehensive inclusive education reform agenda that is ensuring that students of all abilities and their families feel welcome and thrive at school. Supporting students and young children with disabilities and additional needs, and strengthening inclusive education is a key Andrews Labor Government Education State priority. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’re supporting our schools to make sure that all students feel welcome, accepted and engaged so that they can participate, achieve and thrive in school and life.” “Building the Education State means making sure everyone can access a great education – no matter their circumstances.” “We want to give every child, every chance, and it’s essential disability isn’t a barrier to that.” Download the Media Release (592 KB)