Today, on World TAFE Day, I reiterate my pledge…

Today, on World TAFE Day, I reiterate my pledge to support the AEU‘s Stop TAFE Cuts Campaign.

A Shorten Labor Government will:
– Guarantee two out of three public vocational education dollars go to TAFE.
– Waive upfront fees for 100,000 students to attend TAFE.
– Invest $100 million in modernising TAFE facilities around the country.
– Ensure one in every ten jobs on Commonwealth priority projects are filled by Australian apprentices.
– Provide 10,000 pre-apprentice programs for young people who want to learn a trade.
– Provide 20,000 adult apprentice programs for older workers who want or need to retrain.
– Establish a National Commission of Review into Post-secondary education within the first 100 days of government.

BILLS – National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Bill 2018, National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2018 – Second Reading

Senator BILYK (Tasmania) (13:12): I rise today to contribute to the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Bill 2018 and the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2018. The sexual abuse of a child is one of the most horrific and despicable crimes a person can commit. For many survivors the effects of this crime can be devastating and will usually last for a lifetime. These effects can include feelings of guilt, shame and self-blame, even though it is the perpetrator who should be held accountable. Child sexual abuse can also affect an adult survivor’s ability to be intimate with others and can lead to difficulty forming close relationships. Some survivors will experience flashbacks and painful memories during their lives and even during sexual activity, even if it’s consensual and on their own terms. Survivors can also struggle with self-esteem, which in turn impacts on other aspects of life, such as their relationships, career and health. A 2013 study by the Australian Institute of Family Studies found that the other effects of child sexual abuse include adverse mental and physical health consequences, substance abuse and risky behaviour. Even though some survivors, with support and treatment, go on to lead happy and fulfilling lives, they may still bear the psychological and emotional scars of the abuse they have suffered. Continue reading

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Today, 15 June, is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

According to COTA (Council On The Ageing) Tasmania, it is estimated that between 3,000 and 4,500 older Tasmanians are victims of abuse. The abuse takes many forms including emotional, physical, financial, sexual or neglect.

People unfortunately become more vulnerable to abuse as they grow older, and are often reluctant to report it, especially since around half of the abuse is perpetrated by family members. This is why preventing elder abuse is a responsibility of the entire community and we need to raise awareness.

Elder abuse can be reported via the Tasmanian Elder Abuse Helpline on 1800 441 169.

ABC Cuts

The Abbott/Turnbull Government has launched the biggest attack on the independence of the ABC in a generation, despite their promise before the 2013 election of “no cuts to the ABC”.

Labor will reverse the $83.7 million in cuts from the last Budget, to give the ABC funding certainty over the next budget cycle.

To add your voice to the campaign to save your ABC visit http://savetheabc.org.au and share this post.

His Royal Highness Prince Edward Visits Schools in Southern Tasmania

Thanks to St Aloysius Catholic College for the invitation to attend His Royal Highness Prince Edward’s visit to acknowledge the work of schools and volunteers who are delivering the The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in Southern Tasmania.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award promotes youth personal development through participation in community service, physical activity, expedition and skills.

Lovely to catch up with students and teachers from St Aloysius Catholic College, Fahan School Hobart Australia, Southern Christian College, Huonville High School and other groups.

COMMITTEES;Select Committee on the Future of Public Interest Journalism;Report – 05 Feb 2018

As chair of the Senate Select Committee on the Future of Public Interest Journalism, I’d like to make a few comments on the report we’re presenting to the Senate today.

A vibrant, diverse and free fourth estate is an essential component for any healthy democracy.

Australians rely on quality journalism to give them access to the information they need. This helps them to make informed decisions about how they participate in democracy, as well as enriching their lives more generally. In short, public interest journalism keeps the powerful accountable. It ensures that both the Commonwealth and parliament are transparent and accountable to the Australian people. Continue reading

Blackmans Bay Primary School Leavers Assembly

Always a pleasure to attend the end of year/Grade 6 leavers assembly at my children’s old school – Blackmans Bay Primary.
Awards recognising an astounding array of skills and talent across the board were plentiful. Best of luck for the future to all and a safe and happy Christmas to the whole school community.
That’s the last school assembly for me for 2017!

Illawarra Primary School Final Assembly

Second last school assembly for the year for me. Not particularly good photo but I had a lovely time at Illawarra Primary School this morning.
Best wishes and farewell to all the Grade 6 leavers. Thankyou to all the staff and the broader school community for the great work undertaken through 2017. Safe and happy Christmas to all.