Friday, 16 November 2012

Save Art in TAFE

Although happily NMIT has confirmed that the Advanced Diploma of Jewellery program will continue in 2013, the drastic funding cuts to TAFE in Victoria have hit hard. With the NSW government's recent announcement that it is cutting all funding to fine arts courses in TAFE as of 1 January 2013, the fight to save TAFE, and especially art education in TAFE, is more urgent than ever. So now it's time to ask again...

What can you do to help? 
This time with a focus on NSW...

Call for National Media Attention of TAFE Cuts across Australia
NSW TAFE student action group SaveTAFE is calling for media action to draw attention to the dramatic changes in funding to TAFEs across Australia, asking the ABC's Q&A program and SBS's Insight to dedicate a program to discussing the recent changes to funding models of skills education in Australia, and TAFE in particular. Join their campaign and write to Q&A and Insight calling for an episode on "Skilling in Australia". You can use the sample text on their blog (reproduced below) or say it in your own words:

"With the recent announcement of the NSW government to introduce the Victorian style Vocational Education funding I request your program to dedicate a program to these dramatic changes. Skills education is now a critical national issue with three states Victoria, SA and NSW changing the funding to TAFE and opening up a contestable funding model. QLD, WA and Tasmania are also undergoing changes to their vocational education systems. The debate is currently active in the community between Federal, State and local politicians plus students, teachers, trade unions and the business community."

If you're on Twitter, tag @QandA and @insightSBS asking for discussion of the future of skills education in Australia, and follow the discussion at @SaveTAFE.

Sign the NSW Petition
The NSW government has removed all funding from art courses in TAFE, alleging that there are low employment outcomes of the programs. Sign the petition to remind the NSW Legislative Assembly that the cultural sector is an economic force contributing over $30 billion to Australia each year, and call on the government to fund accessible art education in NSW.

Email the NSW Government and Media
Contact the NSW premier, parliament and media to share your concerns about the future of art education in NSW. Sample email text, contact details for government and media, and email writing tips can be found on the SaveTAFE blog.

Attend a Rally - Today!
The next Rally to Save Art in TAFE will be held tonight, Friday 16 November, in front of the Art Gallery of NSW. The NSW Premier, Barry O'Farrell, will be opening a new Francis Bacon exhibition at 6pm, and supporters of art in TAFE will be there from 5pm to bring home the consequences of funding cuts.

This Sunday 18 November will be a Community Day of Action in Tumbalong Park, Darling Harbour, Sydney from 11am. The day was organised by the NSW Teachers' Federation to protest funding cuts to education in NSW.

Read about this Wednesday's rally at the NSW Parliament House, and keep up to date with future rallies with SaveTAFE.

Maintain your ArtRage!

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