The Ship Song Project

It started as a three-week project in the winter of 2010 to pay tribute to the Sydney Opera House, the arts epicentre of the nation. After drawing together Australia's and the region's best performers, it ended nine months later. “It grew in ambition,” said director Paul Goldman. The Ship Song Project has now come to life. The idea was to use Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' 1990 song and recreate it, filmed beneath the Opera House’s architectural sails. The result is a musical amalgam of Australian opera, dance, classical, folk and rock that edifies the harborside home to the arts. Click on the image below to go to The Ship Song Project for the whole story. … [Read more...]

Beyond earn or learn


30 November 2012 Current government policy strongly advocates that young people finish Year 12, then move from school to further training and/or to paid employment. To combat high youth unemployment and poor outcomes for those with lower levels of education, the Australian government introduced the Learn or Earn program. This study undertaken by the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition (AYAC) highlights the human impact and common experience of the Learn or Earn initiative and lets young people themselves tell their own experience of Learn or Earn. The reasons young people disengage are varied and complex and show why engaging in education may be difficult or not the highest priority … [Read more...]

Davis goes in to bat for humanities

The Australian    |    29 November 2012 Melbourne University's humanitarian vice-chancellor Glyn Davis has defended funding for the humanities, arguing in an email sent to all staff that “discovery, by definition, means embracing the unknown”. Davis says “only a fraction” of Australian Research Council funding goes to the humanities after opposition finance spokesman Andrew Robb said that in a tight fiscal environment, it is critical that Canberra put a premium on quality when it comes to supporting research.  According to Davis the “principle of discovery crosses disciplines”. As we discuss this important topic, we need to retain a sense of proportion.  Only a fraction — around 1%— … [Read more...]

Degree attainment surges

The Australian    |    30 November 2012 Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show almost 37% of 25-34 year olds have degrees, up from 35% per cent last year and less than 25% a decade ago, a surge which has surprised analysts. Some analysts suggest the figure has been inflated by skilled migrants and international students, and is not a true reflection of Australians’ qualifications and warned growth could falter as student and migrant numbers fell. But not dashing Dan Edwards of the Australian Council of Educational Research who, although surprised the figure had risen again despite declining international student numbers,  has quite correctly pointed out domestic graduate … [Read more...]

ATAR not everything

David Battersby

30 November 2012 Recent reports are much exaggerated that there will be a lowering of standards and eventually some type of armageddon because universities are admitting “sub-par” students, as measured by their ATAR. The Minister, Chis Evans, quickly rejected the hyper-inflated rhetoric about the lowering of standards and the perceived armageddon that awaited us.   Others reminded us that we conveniently forget that non-recent school leavers, many with post-secondary school qualifications, make up the majority of those commencing university these days. From the recent hyperbole, a more insightful question has emerged about whether the original purpose of the ATAR is becoming a … [Read more...]

End the Cycle Exhibition

End the cycle1

3-31 December City Library 253 Flinders Lane Melbourne This exhibition focuses on stories and images of people with disabilities living in Bangla Desh, Cambodia and the Solomon Islands.3 December is International Day of People with Disabilities. End the Cycle website. … [Read more...]

New national investment plan to “drive top class research”


29 November 2012 A  new whole-of-government approach to research funding -  the National Research Investment Plan - will ensure Australians continue to benefit from a record investment in science and research, according to Commonwealth minister, Senator Chris Evans. …for the first time, a comprehensive national research planning process will enable a coordinated approach to research investment to ensure it meets national needs and provides value for money. He said the Gillard Government is investing almost $9 billion in science, research and innovation, an overall increase in funding of 35% since 2007. Universities Australia (UA) welcomed the plan as a much needed coherent framework … [Read more...]