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Transcript of doorstop: Ourimbah: 5 September 2018: Labor's plan to help Australians study at university



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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP

DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION AND TRAINING

SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN

MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

SENATOR DEBORAH O’NEILL

SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR INNOVATION

SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR MENTAL HEALTH

SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES

EMMA MCBRIDE

MEMBER FOR DOBELL

SHARON CLAYDON

MEMBER FOR NEWCASTLE

ANNE CHARLTON

LABOR CANDIDATE FOR ROBERTSON

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

DOORSTOP INTERVIEW

OURIMBAH

WEDNESDAY 5 SEPTEMBER 2018

SUBJECTS: Labor’s plan to help Australians study at university.

EMMA MCBRIDE MP, MEMBER FOR DOBELL: It's really exciting to welcome

you all to Ourimbah Campus of the University of Newcastle in my electorate on the

Central Coast. I am so pleased that the Deputy Leader has come here to make an

announcement about funding that really makes a difference in communities like

ours, supporting mentoring and the real support to get people into university. At

this campus here, one in four students have come through pathways programs,

New Step or Open Foundation. It has made such a difference in our community.

We've just heard today from people who are the first in their family to attend

university, the first in their family to have a Bachelor's degree, the first in their

family to go on to higher tertiary qualifications. I know people personally, having

grown up on the Central Coast, Sam who I worked with who's a speech

pathologist, she wouldn't be a speech pathologist working in our health system

today if it wasn't for Open Foundation. Other students like Michelle who now is a

nurse at our local hospital, who wouldn't be nursing and caring for our community

without these programs. I am just so pleased. Last time Tanya was here, the

Deputy Leader and our Education spokesperson, she stood up for communities

like ours in regional communities across Australia and stopped this Government

from introducing fees for these pathway programs, and also opening up to RTOs. It

is so critical, it is key to the success of the programs that they are here on

campuses like Ourimbah. I'd like to hand over to Tanya now. Thank you so much.

TANYA PLIBERSEK, DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Thank you so

much Emma McBride for that fantastic introduction and it's such a pleasure to be

here with Senator Deb O'Neill, with my colleague from Newcastle Sharon Claydon,

with Labor's wonderful candidate for the seat of Robertson, Anne Charlton. We're

here today talking about making sure that every young Australian can get access

to a university education. Labor has made a number of commitments in recent

times. We fought off the cuts to pathways programs that Emma was talking about a

moment ago. But we also said that we would restore the demand-driven system.

We would take away the artificial caps that the Liberal Government has introduced

to the number of students who are able to get a university education. When Labor

was last in Government we uncapped student places. The Liberals re-introduced

those unfair caps meaning that thousands of students who've worked hard and

studied hard miss out on a place in university, back to the bad old days of John

Howard when university places were rationed. Well we say if you're prepared to

work hard and study hard there should be a place for you at university and we'll

uncap places. That's a $10 billion commitment over the next decade and it means

about 2,200 extra students on the Central Coast will get a chance at a university

education.

But we've also announced as Emma said that we will make sure that those

university places are more evenly distributed throughout the Australian community.

If you're growing up on the north shore of Sydney and you're a young person,

there's 63 per cent of young people on the north shore of Sydney who have got a

university degree, but if you're growing up on the Central Coast only 21 per cent of

young people here have a university degree. Now we know it's not because the

kids on the north shore are smarter or because they're harder working, it's because

there's less opportunity for a university education on the Central Coast. That's just

not fair. In a country like Australia we want a university education to be available to

anyone who's prepared to put in the effort to work hard, to take on the student

debt, to spend those sleepless nights studying here in the 24 hour library - every

one of those students should be entitled to expect a university education. And

we've announced $174 million for more programs that will reach out into

disadvantaged communities, low socio-economic schools, into Indigenous

communities, into regional and remote communities, to build aspiration for

university and build capacity for university. We've seen the amazing success of

pathways programs here at the Ourimbah campus at the University of Newcastle

and right around Australia we've seen fantastic programs that support people who

are the first in their family or coming from an under-represented community to get

into university. University of Newcastle for example has a fantastic program where

they're working with children - well children who have grown up - who are leaving

out of home care to support them to get a university education. We know that can

make such a difference when it comes to job opportunities, being able to support

yourself and being able to support your family in later years. Nine out of ten jobs

that will be created in coming years will require a university degree or a TAFE

education. We want to make sure that young people in communities like this have

every opportunity of taking on those jobs.

Now we're going to hear from a couple of students about their pathway into

university. I think we're hearing from Zack and Emily, is that right? Who's going to

go first? Emily, you going to jump right in?

EMILY, STUDENT: Hi my name is Emily, I'm a current student of the University of

Newcastle here at Ourimbah campus. I'm studying Environmental Science. I would

just like to say how grateful I am that I had the opportunity to go through the

bridging pathways here on this campus. Open Foundation truly changed my life

and gave me a chance to achieve my full potential. It's amazing that the Labor

Party is continuing to support these pathways because future students have the

chance to achieve what I have. I'm now completing this degree with merit, I'm the

President of the Environment Club. None of this would have been possible without

that course. Coming from a disadvantaged background and a low socio-economic

school, I never thought that coming to university was possible but because Open

Foundation is a free pathway, I thought I'd give it a chance, and here I am today.

So thank you again for supporting me and hopefully future students like me can

come through this pathway.

ZACK, STUDENT: Hi my name is Zack, I'm a current student at the University of

Newcastle. I'm currently doing New Step at this present time and I must say I've

just loved the opportunity that it's given me. Without it I wouldn't be able to do

undergrad whatsoever. It just gives so many people the opportunity that they

thought they would never get, that opportunity to go into university. It should be

known that the support throughout this program is just amazing. There are always

people there, the teachers are so willing to help, but it's prepared me so much for

next year and I'm going into a degree next year knowing what to expect and

knowing what I'm going to do, so I'm currently thinking about doing primary

teaching next year so I'm really excited for the opportunity I've been given through

New Step and I just encourage any students just to apply for this even because

you just never know how your HSC is going to go; it's just an unknown, so just

apply to New Step, it's a really good program. It will help you so much and it's

helped me so much.

PLIBERSEK: Thank you so much, that's fantastic. OK any questions? No? Thank

you very much.

ENDS

MEDIA CONTACT: DAN DORAN 0427 464 350

Authorised by Noah Carroll, ALP, Canberra.