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[Statement on new role in Shadow Ministry]

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18 October 2013


I am honoured to be appointed Shadow Minister for Education, Shadow Minister for Early Childhood and a member of Bill Shorten’s Shadow Cabinet.

Few things are more important to Australia's future than making sure that every child, regardless of their location or circumstance, has access to a world class education from early childhood through to primary and secondary schooling.

Continuing to build our education system is the only way to make sure that the next generation of Australians can secure the high skill and high wage jobs of the future.

My belief in the importance and power of education to expand the opportunities available to our community is one of the key reasons I got into politics.

Labor spent six years in Government championing the cause of education - improving standards and transparency, working with teachers to improve quality and, after decades of wrangling, setting up a fair needs-based funding system.

I am looking forward to working with Julie Owens as the Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Education and standing up for this legacy and for the millions of Australian families who rely on our education and early childhood services every day.

I will not shy away from holding this Government to account.

In Opposition, Christopher Pyne spent five years defending a broken education funding system, dedicating more time to rehearsing quips and platitudes than developing meaningful policy and then half-heartedly adopting Labor’s policy on the eve of the election. This vital sector deserves much more than that.

I will be working day-in and day-out to make sure that the neglect our education system suffered under the last Coalition Government is not repeated.

I look forward to working with parents, students, teachers, early childhood educators, schools and child care providers across Australia. Together we can make sure that public debate and policy development is as meaningful, well informed and robust as the next generation of Australians deserve.