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Speech at the opening of Surf Life Saving Australia Conference by the Minister for Vocational and Technical Training.



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Media Release

OPENING OF SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTRALIA CONFERENCE

19 August, 2005

Minister for Vocational and Technical Education, Gary Hardgrave, today opened Surf Life Saving Australia’s national conference on the Gold Coast.

“Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) is an iconic Australian organisation that has made an immeasurable contribution to the Australian way of life. Over 280 delegates from across the country have come together to share ideas for training development needs,” Mr Hardgrave said.

“The historic and ongoing training program used by SLSA has seen nearly 500,000 lives saved at Australian beaches, rivers and swimming pools since 1907.

“The Australian Government is committed to maintaining a high quality national training system, which will assist organisations like SLSA to advance their own vocational and technical education (VTE) programmes.

“The training provided by the Surf Life Saving Australia sets people up for life. Anyone with experience with the association is highly regarded out in the workplace as employers recognise the value of Surf Life Saving Australia’s training and its work.

“The Government has recently offered almost $5 billion to states and territories for a new national training agreement. This funding offer, an increase of 4.1% from the previous year, will contribute to both publicly and privately funded vocational and technical education in Australia.

“Significant efforts have been made by SLSA to ensure their employees and volunteers can gain quality assured, nationally recognised qualifications” Mr Hardgrave noted.

“A prime example of this is that those who obtain the popular Surf Life Saving Bronze Medallion now have the chance to progress to a nationally recognised qualification, the certificate II in Public Safety (Aquatic Rescue).

“I’d like to congratulate and thank Surf Life Saving Australia for their ongoing efforts to keep us safe in the water, and I look forward to seeing them embrace the benefits of a national training system,” Mr Hardgrave concluded.

Media Contact: Suzanne Ferguson 0402 896 100