STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS - Batman Electorate: Adult and Community Education

04 December 2018

Today I bring the adult and community education, or ACE, sector to the attention of the House. ACE is a discreet fourth sector of education in Australia. It is not for profit and is community based. These diverse organisations include neighbourhood houses, community learning centres, community colleges and adult education institutions.

In my electorate we are fortunate enough to have Preston Reservoir Adult Community Education, or PRACE, which has been delivering education pathways to the most disadvantaged and disenfranchised people, who look to ACE for a flexible environment not found elsewhere. This is because ACE providers have acknowledged expertise in working with disadvantaged cohorts, including people with disability, early school leavers, low-skilled and vulnerable workers, people from low socioeconomic backgrounds, Indigenous Australians, unemployed Australians and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

The ACE programs build community capacity. Through critical connections to other services ACE enhances social cohesion, promoting health and wellbeing. This is a sector that recognises and addresses the gaps in opportunity for those marginalised by circumstance. It is a vital sector that requires our support if we are serious about lifting people out of poverty and providing every Australian with the opportunity to be their best self. Education has been, was and always will be a key part of the Labor movement. I'm a firm advocate for every person having access to education pathways and employment. I congratulate ACE providers, with a special mention to PRACE.