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Monday, 4 June 1984
Page: 2415

Senator PETER BAUME(3.35) —I support my colleague Senator Margaret Reid, senator for the Australian Capital Territory, on the motion she has moved to take note of the annual report of the Canberra College of Advanced Education. I had cause here last week to draw attention to a problem which had occurred on campus at the CCAE last year and which we raised during the Estimates committee hearings. The problem was that a student had complained that his or her assessment had been on grounds other than academic merit, that some other influence had come to bear. I just placed on record my appreciation of the answer we received from the Canberra College of Advanced Education. It acknowledged and admitted that a complaint had been made and that the student had complained in these terms. It advised that it had resolved the complaint. I must compliment the college on its openness on the measures it has taken to try to ensure that student assessments on this campus-as, I hope, is the case on every other campus throughout Australia-will be on the grounds of academic merit alone. I can think of nothing more serious than that anything should occur in our tertiary institutions to affect that kind of assessment.

On page 6 of the report there is mention of the impending retirement of Dr Sam Richardson. It is a matter of slight regret that the tabling statement of the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs (Senator Ryan) made no mention of the retirement of this remarkable man. I hope that it indicates no lack of appreciation by the Minister of the contributions Dr Richardson has made. Senator Reid has already referred to Dr Sam Richardson, but I would like to add my words to hers. I was for a while Minister for Education and had occasion to work with Dr Richardson as I did with other directors of colleges and with vice- chancellors. Dr Richardson stands out as one of the great administrators on campuses in Australia. He is one of the great principals and his retirement from the CCAE will, in fact, be an event of great significance for that organisation. Dr Parfitt, who replaces him, will have an awesome task. I wish the new principal well. The principal, Dr Sam Richardson, who will be retiring, is a man of vision, skill, foresight, great leadership and dignity. His contribution to this college is one that will be long remembered. I assure Dr Richardson that he will take with him the good wishes of many people who have been Ministers for Education, of many who have worked with him on the college and of many who have worked with him within the Commonwealth bureaucracy. I hope that the college will take appropriate steps to ensure that the work he has done is duly honoured and duly recognised.

Question resolved in the affirmative.