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Tuesday, 2 September 2014
Page: 9380

Ms CHESTERS (Bendigo) (13:39): In my opinion, nothing better sums up how horrible these higher education reforms are for Australian universities and their students than the words of Gamal Babiker, who is a shopping centre cleaner and a proud member of United Voice. Gamal arrived in Australia 16 years ago as a refugee. He says it is not his work as a cleaner that makes him a happy man but the fact that his three children have been able to complete their higher education. It is an opportunity that he says this federal government's higher education reforms will deny to future students from low-income families like his. Gamal holds a law degree from Sudan, which is worthless in Australia. But Gamal states that he had his chance at life and he and his wife believe that their greatest joy and challenge has been to give their children an opportunity to go to university in this great country. He fears that the deregulation of tertiary education will lock out young people like his children from a chance at an education. He wants every kid to have a chance like his kids had and says this is something we must fight for. Regardless of postcode or the size of their parents' wallet, every child should have the opportunity of a university education. Labor and I will stand with Gamal and fight against these changes. (Time expired)