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Transcript of press conference: Canberra: 26 August 2013: University of Canberra Centre for Quality Teaching and Learning; Better Schools Plan; National Broadband Network; Civics and Citizenship Education

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Campaign Transcript


E & O E - PROOF ONLY _____________________________________________________________

Subjects: University of Canberra Centre for Quality Teaching and Learning; Better Schools Plan; National Broadband Network; Civics and Citizenship Education _____________________________________________________________

JOURNALIST: Well firstly, could you tell us what you’re doing here at UC?

BILL SHORTEN: It’s remarkable at University of Canberra today - we’re seeing the classrooms of the future. Technology is just going to change the way our classrooms look. The design of classrooms hasn’t changed almost since gold was discovered in Australia; teacher up the front, students in a row listening and learning their lessons.

We are seeing in the digital age how much technology can turbocharge the education of millions of Australian schoolchildren. At UC, we are seeing the classroom of the future right now. We’ve got some of the brightest teachers in the ACT learning how to use technology so that every child can have a future classroom right now, to give them the best start in life.

JOURNALIST: Can you tell us about this Centre for Quality Teaching and Learning that will commence next year?

SHORTEN: The Labor Government knows that we need to constantly upgrade the skills of teachers - we’re very lucky with the teachers, the quarter of a million teachers we have in Australia. But we need to help make sure they’re up to date with the latest technology, the latest advancements, so our schools can be in the top five nations in the world by 2025.

So today I’m here looking at the $26 million we are spending to make sure that we have the best teachers, upgraded with the best skills, in the best schools, so we have the best chance for our kids to compete when they grow up to become adults, and they can get good jobs and earn more money.

JOURNALIST: We’ve just heard some concerns from one of the teachers - and one of which was it’s all well and good to have this training, but they may not have the infrastructure technology there?

SHORTEN: Well, I say to every parent in Australia, if you want your children to have access to the best educational infrastructure in the world, then for goodness sakes make sure you vote Labor on September the 7th. The National Broadband Network gives every schoolchild in Australia the chance to compete with the rest of the world. We shouldn’t betray the chances of our schoolchildren by having low ambitions to provide the best technology in schools to our kids to have the best start in life.

JOURNALIST: You’re also making an announcement at Questacon - can you tell us about that?

SHORTEN: Canberra’s the nation’s capital. But what is really important is that our schoolkids get the chance to come and see Canberra in action. It’s the nation’s capital. It’s where the laws are made. And so many important national institutions are here. Everything from the War Memorial, right through to Questacon, right through to the Australian Institute of Sport. And let’s not forget Parliament House.

Federal Labor will provide another $6.5 million to allow children who come from schools at a distance more than 150 kilometres from Canberra - and that’s most schools in Australia - to ensure that we can get more than 100,000 children a year coming to their nation’s capital. You know, one thing you’ve got to admire about the Americans is that they really do take a national pride in their institutions. And lots of their schoolkids visit Washington. Australia’s not going to be in second place in terms of providing pride in our national institutions.

That’s why Labor is expanding the program, which will mean that children and parents can get support of between $20 up to $260, so thousands of Aussie schoolkids can come and see what happens in Canberra, and see how this nation’s put together, learn about the Constitution, learn about our war efforts at the Australian War Memorial, see our elite athletes in action at the Australian Institute of Sport, and see where laws get made which affect all Australians.


Communications Unit: T 03 8625 5111

Authorised by G. Wright, Australian Labor Party, 5/9 Sydney Avenue, Barton, ACT, 2600