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

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

  • A BIGGER, BETTER PINKS RESERVE FOR THE OUTER EAST

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

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

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

  • MORE TRAIN STATION CAR PARKING FOR MOOROOLBARK COMMUTERS

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

  • AWARD WINNING GARDEN TO BE RE-CREATED IN OLINDA

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

  • AWARD WINNING GARDEN TO BE RE-CREATED IN OLINDA

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

Media Centre

Recognising Victoria’s Early Childhood Professionals

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

Recognising Victoria’s Early Childhood Professionals

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

New Names For Schools Opening In 2020

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

New Names For Schools Opening In 2020

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

Getting More Victorians Into Kindergarten Teaching

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

Getting More Victorians Into Kindergarten Teaching

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

Better Learning Facilities For Young People In Red Cliffs

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

Better Learning Facilities For Young People In Red Cliffs

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

Helping Mildura Kids Get The Most Out Of Kindergarten

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

Helping Mildura Kids Get The Most Out Of Kindergarten

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

Morrison Budget A Complete Failure For Victorian Kids

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

Morrison Budget A Complete Failure For Victorian Kids

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

KILSYTH NETBALL COURTS NOW UNDER COVER

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

KILSYTH NETBALL COURTS NOW UNDER COVER

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

Mansfield Students Set To Excel With New Stem Building

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

Mansfield Students Set To Excel With New Stem Building

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

 

New Science Wing Opens For Sunbury Students

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

New Science Wing Opens For Sunbury Students

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

Striking A Chord In Victorian Classrooms

Students from across Victoria will have better access to quality music education thanks to a new music teacher mentoring program supported by the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino said more than 125 teachers in 80 schools will be mentored in music teaching this year through the DUET Music Learning and Mentoring program, run by the Song Room. The DUET program helps teachers with limited or no experience in music education establish new music programs or expand existing ones, particularly in rural or regional areas. The Labor Government has invested $380,000 in the DUET program designed to build teacher confidence and introduce more musical education into the classroom. The program includes face-to-face mentoring, coaching and support through workshops for teachers spanning Prep to Year 12, and across specialist schools. The Song Room is a national organisation that provides tailored, long-term music and arts learning programs in schools located in predominantly high need communities. Research has found high-quality music education has a range of benefits including positive social, cultural and educational outcomes. DUET is part of a broader suite of initiatives that are increasing opportunities for all children and young people in Victoria to access and experience quality music education, regardless of their background or location. This includes the Musical Futures Australia Professional Learning Program, the Quality Music Education Fund and National Music Teacher Mentoring Program. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Research shows that music education can lead to better grades across the board, better results and better attendance.” “That’s why we’re supporting teachers across Victoria, so they can have the resources, networks and experience to deliver music education to our classrooms.” Download the Media Release (200 KB)  

Striking A Chord In Victorian Classrooms

Students from across Victoria will have better access to quality music education thanks to a new music teacher mentoring program supported by the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino said more than 125 teachers in 80 schools will be mentored in music teaching this year through the DUET Music Learning and Mentoring program, run by the Song Room. The DUET program helps teachers with limited or no experience in music education establish new music programs or expand existing ones, particularly in rural or regional areas. The Labor Government has invested $380,000 in the DUET program designed to build teacher confidence and introduce more musical education into the classroom. The program includes face-to-face mentoring, coaching and support through workshops for teachers spanning Prep to Year 12, and across specialist schools. The Song Room is a national organisation that provides tailored, long-term music and arts learning programs in schools located in predominantly high need communities. Research has found high-quality music education has a range of benefits including positive social, cultural and educational outcomes. DUET is part of a broader suite of initiatives that are increasing opportunities for all children and young people in Victoria to access and experience quality music education, regardless of their background or location. This includes the Musical Futures Australia Professional Learning Program, the Quality Music Education Fund and National Music Teacher Mentoring Program. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Research shows that music education can lead to better grades across the board, better results and better attendance.” “That’s why we’re supporting teachers across Victoria, so they can have the resources, networks and experience to deliver music education to our classrooms.” Download the Media Release (200 KB)  

Premiers’ Reading Challenge Inspiring Kids To Read More

Victorian children and young people are preparing to take on the challenge to read more books – as the Premiers’ Reading Challenge gets underway. Minister for Education James Merlino today launched the Premiers’ Reading Challenge 2019, with thousands of avid readers expected to take part at schools, in early childhood centres and in homes across the state. Now in its 15th year, the Premiers’ Reading Challenge continues to inspire more children to read, helping to build essential literacy skills that support their education. Accomplished Melbourne-based children’s illustrator Adele Thomas designed this year’s Premiers’ Reading Challenge posters, inspired by the taglines ‘Spark their imagination’ for the early years, ‘Reach new heights’ for primary level and ‘Expand your universe’ for secondary level. Students in Years 3-10 need to read at least 15 books in the six months from February to September in order to complete the challenge. For prep-Year 2 students, the challenge is to read or experience 30 books. More than 12,000 books feature on the list – 200 of them new. Children can read picture books, short stories, poems or non-fiction books in any language as part of the Challenge. Children who have not yet started school are challenged to read or experience 40 books with the help of their families as part of the Premiers’ Reading Challenge for the Early Years. A key Education State target is increasing the number of Year 5 and Year 9 students reaching the highest levels of achievement in reading by 25 per cent, and the Challenge is an important literacy initiative in striving to meet this target. Last year, 266,950 participants in 965 local schools, 1,947 early childhood services and homes across the state got lost in the pages of more than 4.4 million books. Since the Challenge began in 2005, more than 2.8 million students in Victoria have read nearly 49 million books. For more information, visit: education.vic.gov.au/prc. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Good luck to every household taking on the Premiers’ Reading Challenge in 2019 – I hope that you find adventure on every page.” “Supporting children to read is one of the most powerful things you can do to encourage a love of reading and literacy – developing skills that will set them up for life.” Download the Media Release (218 KB)

Premiers’ Reading Challenge Inspiring Kids To Read More

Victorian children and young people are preparing to take on the challenge to read more books – as the Premiers’ Reading Challenge gets underway. Minister for Education James Merlino today launched the Premiers’ Reading Challenge 2019, with thousands of avid readers expected to take part at schools, in early childhood centres and in homes across the state. Now in its 15th year, the Premiers’ Reading Challenge continues to inspire more children to read, helping to build essential literacy skills that support their education. Accomplished Melbourne-based children’s illustrator Adele Thomas designed this year’s Premiers’ Reading Challenge posters, inspired by the taglines ‘Spark their imagination’ for the early years, ‘Reach new heights’ for primary level and ‘Expand your universe’ for secondary level. Students in Years 3-10 need to read at least 15 books in the six months from February to September in order to complete the challenge. For prep-Year 2 students, the challenge is to read or experience 30 books. More than 12,000 books feature on the list – 200 of them new. Children can read picture books, short stories, poems or non-fiction books in any language as part of the Challenge. Children who have not yet started school are challenged to read or experience 40 books with the help of their families as part of the Premiers’ Reading Challenge for the Early Years. A key Education State target is increasing the number of Year 5 and Year 9 students reaching the highest levels of achievement in reading by 25 per cent, and the Challenge is an important literacy initiative in striving to meet this target. Last year, 266,950 participants in 965 local schools, 1,947 early childhood services and homes across the state got lost in the pages of more than 4.4 million books. Since the Challenge began in 2005, more than 2.8 million students in Victoria have read nearly 49 million books. For more information, visit: education.vic.gov.au/prc. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Good luck to every household taking on the Premiers’ Reading Challenge in 2019 – I hope that you find adventure on every page.” “Supporting children to read is one of the most powerful things you can do to encourage a love of reading and literacy – developing skills that will set them up for life.” Download the Media Release (218 KB)

Victorian Liberals Back Morrison’s Dud School Deal

The Victorian Liberals have chosen to back their mates in Canberra rather than fight for fair school funding for public school kids. Shadow Education Minister Cindy McLeish told ABC radio this morning that the Andrews Labor Government should roll over to Scott Morrison’s demands, which would see Victorian public school students get less funding for the next decade: “They [the Andrews Government] are playing games and not signing the deal, whereas the other states are on the deal.” The deal the Victorian Liberals are backing would see public school kids receive less funding than private school kids. Unlike the Shadow Education Minister, we will always fight for a fair deal for our students. If Victoria took the dud deal the Liberals are advocating for, it would see our public schools miss out on about $800 million in the next three years. This is the equivalent of around 2,000 extra public school teachers. To ensure no one is misled about the claims being made by the Morrison minority Government, the Andrews Labor Government has today launched an advertising campaign to advocate for the best result for Victorian kids. The Liberals’ proposal is to support non-government schools to get to 100 per cent of the school resource standard but only allow government schools to get to 95 per cent.  This is fundamentally unfair and illogical. In a demonstration of the Labor Government’s commitment to negotiating and reaching a new agreement, it will lift Victoria’s contribution to the schooling resource standard to 75 per cent over ten years. Through the Education State, the Labor Government has invested $8.9 billion to improve every classroom in every school for every student. This investment has delivered Victoria’s best ever NAPLAN results in reading and numeracy in 2018, showing impressive outcomes that can be achieved when education is a government priority. More information about the campaign is available at: www.education.vic.gov.au/about/educationstate/funding Quotes attributable to the Minister for Education James Merlino “The Victorian Liberals have once again shown their true colours – they will always support their Liberal mates in Canberra at the expense of properly funding Victorian public schools.”  “We have an obligation to let Victorians know what the federal government is proposing and that we’ll keep fighting to get the best deal for our schools.” Download the Media Release (214 KB)

Victorian Liberals Back Morrison’s Dud School Deal

The Victorian Liberals have chosen to back their mates in Canberra rather than fight for fair school funding for public school kids. Shadow Education Minister Cindy McLeish told ABC radio this morning that the Andrews Labor Government should roll over to Scott Morrison’s demands, which would see Victorian public school students get less funding for the next decade: “They [the Andrews Government] are playing games and not signing the deal, whereas the other states are on the deal.” The deal the Victorian Liberals are backing would see public school kids receive less funding than private school kids. Unlike the Shadow Education Minister, we will always fight for a fair deal for our students. If Victoria took the dud deal the Liberals are advocating for, it would see our public schools miss out on about $800 million in the next three years. This is the equivalent of around 2,000 extra public school teachers. To ensure no one is misled about the claims being made by the Morrison minority Government, the Andrews Labor Government has today launched an advertising campaign to advocate for the best result for Victorian kids. The Liberals’ proposal is to support non-government schools to get to 100 per cent of the school resource standard but only allow government schools to get to 95 per cent.  This is fundamentally unfair and illogical. In a demonstration of the Labor Government’s commitment to negotiating and reaching a new agreement, it will lift Victoria’s contribution to the schooling resource standard to 75 per cent over ten years. Through the Education State, the Labor Government has invested $8.9 billion to improve every classroom in every school for every student. This investment has delivered Victoria’s best ever NAPLAN results in reading and numeracy in 2018, showing impressive outcomes that can be achieved when education is a government priority. More information about the campaign is available at: www.education.vic.gov.au/about/educationstate/funding Quotes attributable to the Minister for Education James Merlino “The Victorian Liberals have once again shown their true colours – they will always support their Liberal mates in Canberra at the expense of properly funding Victorian public schools.”  “We have an obligation to let Victorians know what the federal government is proposing and that we’ll keep fighting to get the best deal for our schools.” Download the Media Release (214 KB)

Boosting Kindergarten Services In Ballarat

Work is now underway to upgrade the Girrabanya Children’s Centre due to investment by the Andrews Labor Government. This expansion will see Ballarat families have access to more kindergarten and childcare places. Minister for Education James Merlino today visited the centre to tour the construction site of the $1.25 million upgrade, which will help meet the demand for long-day care and kindergarten programs in Ballarat. The project includes refiguring the kindergarten so that occasional care services will be rehoused on-site, providing greatly improved facilities targeted to families. The upgraded centre will offer increased flexibility for local parents through integrated long-day and short-term care, with the option to move between the two as needed within a single facility. Construction is expected to finish in June, and will provide local families with young children access to an additional kinder places. The state’s biggest early education build will continue over the coming years, with almost 1,000 new and upgraded kinders to come. The Government will invest more than $1.68 billion over the next decade to build approximately 785 new kinders and expand 170 existing services. This is part of the Government’s $5 billion commitment to deliver a full 15 hours of three-year-old kinder to every Victorian child over the next decade, with the rollout beginning in 2020. This is about ensuring Ballarat families have access to stronger support in early childhood, so kids are ready for kinder, ready for school and ready for life. The Labor Government provided the City of Ballarat funding towards the centre through a Children’s Facilities Capital Program grant. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Making Victoria the Education State starts with the early years, which is why we’re delivering unprecedented investment in early childhood services. “This project will give Ballarat families access to a first-rate early years facility that is targeted to their needs.” Quote attributable to the Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison “Ballarat families – and our youngest residents – will benefit from these upgrades, so they can get the best head start for their education.” Download the Media Release (214 KB)

Boosting Kindergarten Services In Ballarat

Work is now underway to upgrade the Girrabanya Children’s Centre due to investment by the Andrews Labor Government. This expansion will see Ballarat families have access to more kindergarten and childcare places. Minister for Education James Merlino today visited the centre to tour the construction site of the $1.25 million upgrade, which will help meet the demand for long-day care and kindergarten programs in Ballarat. The project includes refiguring the kindergarten so that occasional care services will be rehoused on-site, providing greatly improved facilities targeted to families. The upgraded centre will offer increased flexibility for local parents through integrated long-day and short-term care, with the option to move between the two as needed within a single facility. Construction is expected to finish in June, and will provide local families with young children access to an additional kinder places. The state’s biggest early education build will continue over the coming years, with almost 1,000 new and upgraded kinders to come. The Government will invest more than $1.68 billion over the next decade to build approximately 785 new kinders and expand 170 existing services. This is part of the Government’s $5 billion commitment to deliver a full 15 hours of three-year-old kinder to every Victorian child over the next decade, with the rollout beginning in 2020. This is about ensuring Ballarat families have access to stronger support in early childhood, so kids are ready for kinder, ready for school and ready for life. The Labor Government provided the City of Ballarat funding towards the centre through a Children’s Facilities Capital Program grant. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Making Victoria the Education State starts with the early years, which is why we’re delivering unprecedented investment in early childhood services. “This project will give Ballarat families access to a first-rate early years facility that is targeted to their needs.” Quote attributable to the Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison “Ballarat families – and our youngest residents – will benefit from these upgrades, so they can get the best head start for their education.” Download the Media Release (214 KB)

More VCE Subject Choices For Regional And Rural Students

Regional and rural students will soon have a greater choice in VCE subjects, thanks to a $1.2 million investment by the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today opened the VCE Collaboration Fund, which is part of a $22.6 million investment to give regional and rural students access to the full range of VCE subjects. The VCE Collaboration Fund is an innovative model that supports regional and rural schools to partner with each other to broaden the VCE subject choice and quality of VCE offerings. The fund will support around 100 schools over the next four years to give VCE students greater choice in what they study by offering access to subjects in other schools. Learning can be delivered face-to-face in the classroom, virtually through video conferencing, or through a ‘blended’ face-to-face and virtual approach. School partnerships can apply for up to $40,000 in funding for things like purchasing learning resources, equipment, and transport so that staff and students can travel across partner school sits. Victorian schools from all sectors can apply, provided at least one school in the partnership is a government school in a regional or rural area. Expressions of interest for round one are now open. The program aims to support students to pursue their chosen educational, training and vocational pathways. Choice of subjects at schools is a key driver for student retention and for VCE completion. Yet students in rural and regional Victoria generally have fewer VCE subjects to choose from than their metropolitan counterparts. The Fund is being delivered alongside a major expansion of VCE subjects offered through the virtual learning programs of Virtual School Victoria and the Victorian School of Languages, and through a new ‘blended learning’ pilot through Victorian Virtual Learning Network. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’re closing the gap between city and country – giving students greater choice of VCE subjects that appeal to their interests, strengths and career aspirations.” “Regional and rural VCE students will be better supported than ever before, regardless of where they go to school.”   Download the Media Release (209 KB)

More VCE Subject Choices For Regional And Rural Students

Regional and rural students will soon have a greater choice in VCE subjects, thanks to a $1.2 million investment by the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today opened the VCE Collaboration Fund, which is part of a $22.6 million investment to give regional and rural students access to the full range of VCE subjects. The VCE Collaboration Fund is an innovative model that supports regional and rural schools to partner with each other to broaden the VCE subject choice and quality of VCE offerings. The fund will support around 100 schools over the next four years to give VCE students greater choice in what they study by offering access to subjects in other schools. Learning can be delivered face-to-face in the classroom, virtually through video conferencing, or through a ‘blended’ face-to-face and virtual approach. School partnerships can apply for up to $40,000 in funding for things like purchasing learning resources, equipment, and transport so that staff and students can travel across partner school sits. Victorian schools from all sectors can apply, provided at least one school in the partnership is a government school in a regional or rural area. Expressions of interest for round one are now open. The program aims to support students to pursue their chosen educational, training and vocational pathways. Choice of subjects at schools is a key driver for student retention and for VCE completion. Yet students in rural and regional Victoria generally have fewer VCE subjects to choose from than their metropolitan counterparts. The Fund is being delivered alongside a major expansion of VCE subjects offered through the virtual learning programs of Virtual School Victoria and the Victorian School of Languages, and through a new ‘blended learning’ pilot through Victorian Virtual Learning Network. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’re closing the gap between city and country – giving students greater choice of VCE subjects that appeal to their interests, strengths and career aspirations.” “Regional and rural VCE students will be better supported than ever before, regardless of where they go to school.”   Download the Media Release (209 KB)

More Support For Swimming Lessons In Victorian Schools

Victorian schools will get even more support to improve the delivery of life-saving swimming and water safety programs thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced the introduction of swimming coordinators across every Victorian education area to support schools to offer swimming programs and award Victorian Water Safety Certificates. The 17 swimming coordinators will also support the delivery of new resources and training for teachers developed by Life Saving Victoria as part of a $4 million 2018-19 Budget investment in swimming and water safety education. The Labor Government has increased funding across the previous two Victorian Budgets to give schools further support and ensure there is no financial burden on parents. This $19 million investment in the Swimming in Schools program has seen the number of Victorian government schools offering swimming lessons jump from 91 to 97 per cent last year. However, this has not been reflected in the number of schools using the Victorian Water Safety Certificates, with many students receiving alternative certificates. The swimming coordinators will take a proactive role in supporting schools and swimming lesson providers to use Life Saving Victoria’s new online system to award certificates to students who demonstrate the required swimming abilities in 2019. The Labor Government made swimming compulsory in the curriculum in November 2016. The Victorian Curriculum expects students will achieve the equivalent of the swimming and water safety skills set out by the Victorian School Water Safety Certificate, which includes being able to swim 50m continuously, before leaving primary school. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Every drowning death is one too many and nothing is more important than ensuring our kids are being taught this life saving skill. We are leading the nation when it comes to delivering swimming in schools but we still want to do more.” “We know we have thousands of kids learning to swim at the level required to obtain the certificate but not receiving it because schools and swim schools are not aware of how to obtain it or are providing alternative certificates.” “To further support our schools to deliver this program we will introduce swimming coordinators across the state. This will ensure there is an even greater focus on teaching our kids to swim, providing further support to teachers and schools.” Download the Media Release (529 KB)

More Support For Swimming Lessons In Victorian Schools

Victorian schools will get even more support to improve the delivery of life-saving swimming and water safety programs thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced the introduction of swimming coordinators across every Victorian education area to support schools to offer swimming programs and award Victorian Water Safety Certificates. The 17 swimming coordinators will also support the delivery of new resources and training for teachers developed by Life Saving Victoria as part of a $4 million 2018-19 Budget investment in swimming and water safety education. The Labor Government has increased funding across the previous two Victorian Budgets to give schools further support and ensure there is no financial burden on parents. This $19 million investment in the Swimming in Schools program has seen the number of Victorian government schools offering swimming lessons jump from 91 to 97 per cent last year. However, this has not been reflected in the number of schools using the Victorian Water Safety Certificates, with many students receiving alternative certificates. The swimming coordinators will take a proactive role in supporting schools and swimming lesson providers to use Life Saving Victoria’s new online system to award certificates to students who demonstrate the required swimming abilities in 2019. The Labor Government made swimming compulsory in the curriculum in November 2016. The Victorian Curriculum expects students will achieve the equivalent of the swimming and water safety skills set out by the Victorian School Water Safety Certificate, which includes being able to swim 50m continuously, before leaving primary school. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Every drowning death is one too many and nothing is more important than ensuring our kids are being taught this life saving skill. We are leading the nation when it comes to delivering swimming in schools but we still want to do more.” “We know we have thousands of kids learning to swim at the level required to obtain the certificate but not receiving it because schools and swim schools are not aware of how to obtain it or are providing alternative certificates.” “To further support our schools to deliver this program we will introduce swimming coordinators across the state. This will ensure there is an even greater focus on teaching our kids to swim, providing further support to teachers and schools.” Download the Media Release (529 KB)

Second Campus For Richmond High School Opens Doors

Richmond families can now access a new, state-of-the-art vertical secondary school, with the Griffiths Street campus of Richmond High School officially open. Today, Minister for Education James Merlino joined Member for Richmond Richard Wynne, Principal Colin Simpson and the Year 7 and 8 students and teachers to celebrate the opening of the Griffiths street campus, complete with four storey main building with plenty of classrooms and flexible space. The $43 million school also gives local students access to exciting sporting facilities, including competition grade netball courts, that will be shared with residents to fully embed the school with the local community. Richmond High School opened last year with Year 7 students based on the Gleadell Street campus. The school was designed by Hayball and built by McCorkell Constructions and ADCO Constructions. The Andrews Labor Government is building the Education State so that every student can access a great school and has invested $3.8 billion in the past four years to improve classrooms, upgrade facilities and build new schools across the state. The Labor Government will also open 100 new schools across the state over the next eight years. Victoria’s school building boom has delivered new schools and more than 1300 school upgrades supporting almost 5000 construction jobs for Victorians. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Victoria’s population is booming, and we have got on with the job of building and upgrading schools across the state to meet the needs of our growing communities.” “Now fully open, Richmond High School is more than just a great new local school, it will be a hub that provides great facilities that everyone in the community can be proud of.” Quote attributable to Member for Richmond Richard Wynne “The community campaign hard for this school after the Liberals closed Richmond High School, and to see it completed is a reward for all of that hard work.”   Download the Media Release (531 KB)

Second Campus For Richmond High School Opens Doors

Richmond families can now access a new, state-of-the-art vertical secondary school, with the Griffiths Street campus of Richmond High School officially open. Today, Minister for Education James Merlino joined Member for Richmond Richard Wynne, Principal Colin Simpson and the Year 7 and 8 students and teachers to celebrate the opening of the Griffiths street campus, complete with four storey main building with plenty of classrooms and flexible space. The $43 million school also gives local students access to exciting sporting facilities, including competition grade netball courts, that will be shared with residents to fully embed the school with the local community. Richmond High School opened last year with Year 7 students based on the Gleadell Street campus. The school was designed by Hayball and built by McCorkell Constructions and ADCO Constructions. The Andrews Labor Government is building the Education State so that every student can access a great school and has invested $3.8 billion in the past four years to improve classrooms, upgrade facilities and build new schools across the state. The Labor Government will also open 100 new schools across the state over the next eight years. Victoria’s school building boom has delivered new schools and more than 1300 school upgrades supporting almost 5000 construction jobs for Victorians. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Victoria’s population is booming, and we have got on with the job of building and upgrading schools across the state to meet the needs of our growing communities.” “Now fully open, Richmond High School is more than just a great new local school, it will be a hub that provides great facilities that everyone in the community can be proud of.” Quote attributable to Member for Richmond Richard Wynne “The community campaign hard for this school after the Liberals closed Richmond High School, and to see it completed is a reward for all of that hard work.”   Download the Media Release (531 KB)