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A declaration of interdependence



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N o.'Μ 68 Date 24 AUGUST 1979 THE HON. ANDREW PEACOCK M.P. ... .

Address by Hon. A.S, Peacock, M.P., Minister for Foreign Affairs to the Third International Community Education Conference 24 August, 1979.

. "A DECLARATION OF INTERDEPENDENCE^ : ’ · ' ·

Th i s h a s b e e n a c o m m u n i t y e d u c a t i o n c o n f e r e n c e a n d

THE TREND OF THE' CONFERENCE HAS BEEN TO PUT, IN EFFECT, A

HYPHEN BETWEEN '"COMMUNITY" AND "EDUCATION", I t IS NOW

. BECOMING MUCH MORE WIDELY ACCEPTED BY EDUCATIONALISTS, BY

POLITICIANS AND BY THE GENERAL PUBLIC THAT COMMUNITY AND.

EDUCATION ARE INTERDEPENDENT.- THAT EDUCATIONAL STRUCTURES.

SHOULD RELATE MORE CLOSELY TO THE COMMUNITY THEY SERVE AND

THAT THE MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY SHOULD BE ENCOURAGED TO ν'

V PARTICIPATE IN ALL MATTERS WHICH DETERMINE THEIR OWN AND

t h e i r c h i l d r e n 's f u t u r e . T h e i s s u e s w h i c h h a v e b e e n

DISCUSSED AT THIS CONFERENCE W ILL HAVE AN IMPORTANT BEARING

. ON THE CONTINUING DEVELOPMENT - IN THE WIDE SENSE - OF

'Au s t r a l i a . T h e y w i l l a l s o b e i n t e g r a l t o o u r g r o w i n g r o l e

IN THE COMMUNITY OF NATIONS,

As t h i s Co n f e r e n c e h a s s h o w n , c o m m u n i t y e d u c a t i o n is

n o t a n e n d in i t s e l f , I t h a s t h e b r o a d o b j e c t i v e s o f

i m p r o v i n g t h e q u a l i t y o f s o c i a l l i f e, p r o v i d i n g e q u a l l i f e

OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL, FOSTERING A SENSE OF SOCIAL .

. RESPONSIBILITY AND ENCOURAGING DIVERSITY WITHIN THE .

. EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM IN RESPONSE TO PARTICULAR NEEDS OF THE .

■ ' . /COMMUNITY

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COMMUNITY " AS PERCEIVED BY THE COMMUNITY ITSELF, TrlE

NATURE OF THESE OBJECTIVES, IT SEEMS TO ME, DICTATE THAT

AN ESSENTIAL ELEMENT IN COMMUNITY EDUCATION IS THE

DEVELOPMENT OF A CAPACITY BOTH TO INITIATE AND TO COPE WITH

CHANGE,

Th e r e i s a n e e d t o a d a p t t o e c o n o m i c c h a n g e , F o r

EXAMPLE, IN AUSTRALIA WE HAVE A SOCIETY WHICH IS BECOMING

INCREASINGLY AWARE OF THE NEED TO ADAPT ITS INDUSTRIES TO

NEW TECHNOLOGIES AND TO GROWING REGIONAL COMPETITION IN

MANUFACTURES, I t IS IMPORTANT THAT THE ESTABLISHED LABOUR

FORCE EE RECEPTIVE TO THE NEED FOR CONTINUING EDUCATION TO

THE BENEFIT OF BOTH THE INDIVIDUAL AND SOCIETY,

IT IS ESSENTIAL ALSO THAT THE COMMUNITY RECOGNISES

THE NEEDS OF OUR YOUNG PEOPLE AT A TIME WHEN THEY ARE FEELING

THE PRESSURES OF A HIGHLY COMPETITIVE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION,

Yo u n g p e o p l e a r e e n t i t l e d t o a n e f f e c t i v e a n d r e l e v a n t

EDUCATION FOR JOBS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF

THE COMMUNITY AND OFFER THEM A SENSE OF PURPOSE AND"

ACHIEVEMENT, ΪΗΕ RELEVANCE OF PARTICULAR TYPES OF

EDUCATION IS ALL THE MORE VITAL AT A TIME OF RAPID

TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE.

. H e w o u l d b e r e m i s s i n n o t e x p l o r i n g h o w f a r '

EDUCATIONAL SYSTEMS WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PRESENT

SITUATION AND HOW FAR EDUCATION COULD HELP TO ALLEVIATE

" /THE

3.

THE PROBLEM. MANY EMPLOYERS IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR AND IN,

PRIVATE INDUSTRY,; AS REVEALED IN THE WILLIAMS REPORT, -

COMPLAIN THAT A SUBSTANTIAL NUMBER OF YOUNG PEOPLE WHO SEEK

JOBS LACK BASIC SKILLS.' THIS HAS PARTLY BEEN THE RESULT

OF INADEQUATE STANDARDS IN SOME AREAS OF THEIR TRAINING.

IT IS IMPORTANT TO ENSURE THAT IN MAKING EDUCATION MORE

RESPONSIVE TO THE NEEDS OF THE COMMUNITY AND IN ENCOURAGING

DIVERSITY IN EDUCATIONAL TRAINING WE NOT LOSE SIGHT OF A

PRIMARY REQUIREMENT THAT WE ENCOURAGE A SENSE OF EXCELLENCE

IN THE EDUCATION WE PROVIDE FOR OUR·YOUNG PEOPLE.

Co m m u n i t y e d u c a t i o n i s o f c o u r s e e q u a l l y r e l e v a n t

TO O U R "SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT. W e HAVE BEEN REMINDED THAT OUR

SOCIAL LIFE IS ORDERED IN A SERIES OF COMMUNITIES WHICH MAY

BE CONCENTRIC, OR SOMETIMES OVERLAPPING. THESE COMMUNITIES

INCLUDE FAMILY, NEIGHBOURHOOD, NATIONAL AND EVEN INTERNATIONAL

COMMUNITIES. BUT IN A WIDER SENSE, THEY EXTEND TO COMMUNITIES

OF CULTURE AND EDUCATION WHICH ENGAGE OUR INTELLECT AND

IMAGINATION. -THESE WIDER COMMUNITIES PROVIDE BOTH

PERSPECTIVE AND DISCIPLINE AND BECOME A GUARD AGAINST

EXCESSIVE COMMITMENT TO MORE PAROCHIAL VALUES. ' -

/

. x .

Th i s C o n f e r e n c e h a s t a k e n p l a c e a t a c r u c i a l s t a g e

i n Au s t r a l i a 's s o c i a l d e v e l o p m e n t . P a r a l l e l t o t h e p r o c e s s

OF INTEGRATION, AND THE EMERGENCE OF A DISTINCTLY NATIONAL

IDENTITY, THE AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY IS BECOMING INCREASINGLY

/DIVERSE.

, . . . . / A

d i v e r s e , B u t t h e r e a r e p r o b l e m s , R e s e a r c h a n d p u b l i c

OPINION POLLS POINT TO STRONG PROTECTIVE TENDENCIES WITHIN

THE COMMUNITY, EVEN AMONGST RECENT IMMIGRANTS, AGAINST

NEWCOMERS, FEARS, USUALLY EXAGGERATED, HAVE BEEN EXPRESSED

OVER EMPLOYMENT AND THE CONSEQUENCE OF CULTURAL, RACIAL OR

RELIGIOUS PENETRATION,

Al t h o u g h Au s t r a l i a h a s n e v e r b e e n a n e t h n i c a l l y

HOMOGENEOUS SOCIETY A NUMBER OF AUSTRALIANS HAVE YET TO

ABSORB THE FACT THAT TODAY MORE THAN A QUARTER OF ITS

CITIZENS ARE OF NON-BRITISH STOCK, FURTHER, AS POINTED

OUT IN THE GALBALLY REVIEW, THE PATTERN OF IMMIGRATION HAS

CHANGED IN RECENT YEARS, ΪΗΕ PROPORTION OF MIGRANTS FROM

Br i t a i n a n d o t h e r Eu r o p e a n c o u n t r i e s h a s f a l l e n f r o m 70%

TO 40% WITH A SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN MIGRATION FROM

Mi d d l e E a s t c o u n t r i e s , A s i a, a n d s t i l l m o r e r e c e n t l y f r o m

So u t h Am e r i c a , "

We a r e t h e r e f o r e a f a r m o r e h e t e r o g e n e o u s s o c i e t y .

THAN THE ONE THAT FORMED THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

79 y e a r s a g o, E a c h n e w g r o u p h a s b r o u g h t t o o u r n a t i o n a l

WAY OF LIFE SOME FURTHER, RICH CONTRIBUTION - SETTING ·

SUFFICIENT PRECEDENT FOR US TO PERMIT AN ACCOMMODATION

BETWEEN OUR VALUES A N D ‘THOSE OF NEWCOMERS, B'JT THAT PROCESS

OF ACCOMMODATION - OF RESPONSE TO CHANGE - WILL BE

' FACILITATED BY COMMUNITY EDUCATION,

* /T h e

" · . •"/5

T h e t e r m " n a t i o n a l i n t e r e s t " is c o m m o n l y u s e d t o

EMBRACE A COUNTRY'S NATIONAL SECURITY, ITS ECONOMIC

PROSPERTIY, AND ITS NATIONAL POWER AND INFLUENCE, I? IS

ALSO USED TO ENCOMPASS ITS NATIONAL AND SOCIAL WELLBEING.

AND THE MAINTENANCE OF ITS POLITICAL VALUES AND INSTITUTIONS,

I BELIEVE THAT A FAIR DEAL FOR THE MANY ETHNIC GROUPS WHICH

NOW COMPRISE OUR NATIONAL SOCIETY IS CLEARLY IN THE

Au s t r a l i a n n a t i o n a l i n t e r e s t , I t is i n o u r i n t e r e s t

INTERNALLY - AND REGIONALLY AS A WESTERN NATION LOCATED IN

t h e As i a-Pa c i f i c r e g i o n - t h a t h a r m o n y p r e v a i l in o u r

NATIONAL COMMUNITY, THIS REQUIRES, ABOVE ALL, A SENSE OF

UNDERSTANDING,A SENSE OF JUSTICE, AND A SENSE OF THE COMMON

GOOD IN ALL SECTIONS OF THE COMMUNITY, EDUCATIONALISTS -

USING THAT TERM .IN THE BROADEST SENSE, TO INCLUDE ALL THOSE

WHO HAVE A ROLE IN SHAPING OUR OPINIONS AND RESPONSES - HAVE

AN IMPORTANT RESPONSIBILITY IN FOSTERING THIS OUTLOOK,

Th i s C o n f e r e n c e h a s s h o w n t h a t t h e y r e c o g n i s e t h e c o n t r i b u t i o n

THEY CAN MAKE AND ARE RESPONDING TO THE CHALLENGES BEFORE

THEM, *

Tu r n i n g m o r e d i r e c t l y t o t h e i n t e r n a t i o n a l t h e m e o f

t h e C o n f e r e n c e , I i n v i t e y o u t o r e f l e c t o n Au s t r a l i a 's

GROWING INTERDEPENDENCE WITH THE REGION. FOR NEARLY

30 YEARS WE HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN EDUCATION IN OUR OWN

REGIONAL INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY. W e HAVE PROVIDED

ASSISTANCE TO SPONSORED STUDENTS THROUGH THE COLOMBO PLAN

/a n d

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6 .

a m d t h e Co m m o n w e a l t h , a n d in a v e r y s u b s t a n t i a l w a y w e

HAVE PROVIDED OPPORTUNITIES FOR MANY THOUSANDS OF PRIVATE

STUDENTS FROM ASIAN AND PACIFIC COUNTRIES WHO HAVE COME

t o s t u d y in Au s t r a l i a ,

Aw a r d s t o n o m i n e e s o f d e v e l o p i n g c o u n t r i e s r e f l e c t

THE DEVELOPMENT p r i o r i t i e s o f t h e s e c o u n t r i e s . In

p a r t i c u l a r , w e w e l c o m e t r a i n i n g r e q u e s t s w h i c h w i l l HELP THESE

COUNTRIES TO MEET THE NEEDS OF KEY DEVELOPMENT SECTORS, ΪΗΕ

BENEFITS OF THE TRAINING PROGRAM ARE NOT ONLY IN THE CONTRIBUTION

WHICH IS MADE TO SKILLED MANPOWER RESOURCES BUT ALSO IN THE

GROWTH Or GOODWILL, UNDERSTANDING AND CULTURAL EXCHANGE WHICH

HAS DEVELOPED BETWEEN THE PEOPLE OF AUSTRALIA AND OUR-

REGIONAL NEIGHBOURS, ,

Ou r a i d p r o g r a m is a i m e d a t i m p r o v i n g t h e q u a l i t y o f

LIFE AT ALL LEVELS OF DEVELOPING SOCIETIES, H e WANT TO SEE

ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL BENEFITS EXTENDED TO THEIR LEAST

ADVANTAGED MEMBERS, WHILE AWARDS FOR TRAINING IN AUSTRALIA

TEND TO CONCENTRATE ON HIGHER LEVEL, MORE SPECIALISED SKILLS,

WE BELIEVE THAT THE TRAINING PROVIDED WILL PRODUCE A FLOW-ON

EFFECT IN TERMS OF THE LIVING STANDARDS OF THE POPULATION.

AT LARGE, ' .

Au s t r a l i a w e l c o m e s t h e h i g h p r i o r i t y t h a t m a n y

d e v e l o p i n g c o u n t r i e s NOW GIVE TO c o m m u n i t y e d u c a t i o n ,

INCLUDING VOCATIONAL TRAINING, COMMUNITY SELF-HELP PROJECTS,

/a d u l t

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a d u l t l i t e r a c y a n d t h e s p e c i a l n e e d s o f w o m e n a n d y o u n g

p e o p l e . M e e t i n g s o f s u c h i n t e r n a t i o n a l b o d i e s s u c h a s t h e

So u t h e a s t As i a n Mi n i s t e r s of E d u c a t i o n Or g a n i s a t i o n a n d t h e

Co m m o n w e a l t h Ed u c a t i o n Li a i s o n Co m m i t t e e h a v e e m p h a s i s e d

THE VALUE OF COOPERATION AND INFORMATION-SHARING BETWEEN

BOTH DEVELOPED AND DEVELOPING COUNTRIES ACTIVE IN NON-FORMAL'

EDUCATION, .

I AM ALSO PLEASED THAT SOME AUSTRALIAN TRAINING

INSTITUTIONS WHICH PROVIDE COURSES FOR COMMUNITY EDUCATORS

ARE MOST WILLING TO EXTEND THIS TRAINING TO DEVELOPING

COUNTRY PERSONNEL AND TO DESIGN COURSES TO MEET THE NEEDS

AND RESOURCES OF DEVELOPING COUNTRIES, SHOULD ANY GOVERNMENT

WISH TO USE THEIR AUSTRALIAN TRAINING ASSISTANCE ALLOCATION

FOR THIS TYPE OF TRAINING, THE AUSTRALIAN AUTHORITIES WOULD

BE INTERESTED TO CONSULT WITH THEM ABOUT THEIR PARTICULAR

INTERESTS AND REQUIREMENTS. .

La d i e s a n d Ge n t l e m e n , I h a v e s o u g h t t o r e c a l l b r i e f l y

OUR INVOLVEMENT IN MANY OVERLAPPING COMMUNITIES. .

ΪΝ CONCLUDING, I WISH TO DRAW THE CONFERENCE'S

ATTENTION TO WORDS ON A POSTER WHICH WAS PRINTED TO

COMMEMORATE THE UNITED NATIONS H qRLD POPULATION YEAR:

, . ,/8

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"Our l i v e s a r e i n e x t r i c a b l y l i n k e d

BY -THE COMMON THREAD OF* HUMANITY:

If w e b r e a k i t, -H e a r e a l l u n d o n e ".

He a r e a l l "i n v o l v e d in m a n k i n d " a s i n d i v i d u a l s ,

f a m i l y m e m b e r s , c i t i z e n s a n d m e m b e r s of t h e i n t e r n a t i o n a l

c o m m u n i t y , T h i s is t h e i n t e r d e p e n d e n c e w h i c h w e m u s t

r e c o g n i s e , '

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