Amanda Rishworth: Safe Schools Coalition was doing good work

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Labor’s shadow assistant minister for education has voiced support for the Safe Schools Coalition describing it as a good program.

“It was a good program, it was a program that was delivering resources to students who needed it, and it was about reducing bullying and harassment of kids struggling with their sexuality and gender identity.” Ms Rishworth said.

“What has happened around this is the right wing of the Liberal party really just taking control over Malcolm Turnbull.” the South Australian MP said. “We believe in the program, we implemented the program, and we believe it’s a good program… and it deserves to be recognised for the good work that it’s been doing.

Ms Rishworth was visiting Wanneroo Secondary College this afternoon and speaking to parents about Labor’s education policy.

This morning Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull confirmed the possibility of a double dissolution election in early July. The PM formally asked the Governor to recall the senate for an additional sitting, threatening to pull the trigger on a double dissolution election if Austraian Building and Construction Commission legislation was not passed.

Joining Ms Rishworth in Wanerroo this afternoon was Labor’s candidate for the seat of Cowan, Professor Anne Aly. The counter terrorism expert is hoping to replace the Liberal’s incumbent Luke Simpkins. Cowan is the Liberal’s most marginal seat in Western Australia and has see-sawed between the parties since it’s creation.

Professor Aly said parent are concerned about the quality of the education that their children are receiving.

“Parents want quality outcomes, and equal outcomes for their kids.” Professor Aly said, “That’s only going to happen with a Labor government reinvesting in education.”

Professor Aly said education should be focused on ensuring fair and equitable outcomes for all students. The renown academic said she felt she is ready for a move into a political career.

“I’ve spent a lot of time working from the outside and you get to a point where you discover that… really to achieve real change it requires political will and it was time to step up and try to affect change from the inside.”

Ms Rishworth said there was a big difference between Labor’s approach to education compared to the government’s record over the last term.

“We actually believe in founding schools and making sure schools get the resources that they need. The Liberal party has just cut $30 billion dollars out of schools.” Ms Rishworth said.

‘It goes deeper than that though, we believe that resources should be put where their needed. The Gonski model, which we developed in government, ensured that we targeted low socioeconomic kids to make sure they got the resources they needed.”

Ms Rishworth listed those in lower socioeconomic areas, indigenous kids, and people with disabilities and those who miss out on services under the current funding model. Ms Rishworth said an effective policy needs to include strategies for lifting the educational attainment of those groups.

“The previous funding model hadn’t been in place since 1974, it was archaic, it really has to be a needs based model.” Ms Rishworth said.

Image: Labor’s Shadow Assistant Minister for Education Amanda Rishworth (left) and Professor Anne Any speak with Travis Robinson, chair of the board of Wanneroo Secondary College. Photographer: Leigh Hill


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