This week two major protests are being organised to bring home to government that they can’t stop funding art education in TAFE without consequences. We’re still astounded that the government can be so short-sighted and ill-informed about the work of artists and the importance of providing art education through TAFE.
The annual fees for 2013 are gradually being put up on TAFE websites: $8200 for an Advanced Diploma, $7700 for a Diploma and $4200 for a Certificate IV. A loans system will be in place for some students at Diploma/Advanced Diploma level, but not for those doing certificate courses that are the stepping-stones to the Diploma. Most students in rural areas are studying certificate courses, and these students are the least able to pay. The fee increase at little more than a month’s notice will quickly impact on the viability of art schools.
Please keep writing/leaving messages for your local member. We think this is the most effective way of having the government at least delay the change until 2014 – which would give art schools a chance to find ways of staying open and allow current students to complete courses.
Lunchtime Rally Wednesday 14 November
Tomorrow we are rallying outside Parliament House, forming a human sign down the length of Macquarie Street that spells out the names of the locations where TAFE art school are threatened with closure. As there are a lot of them, we think the sign will take most of the street!
If you can join us, please assemble in the Domain behind the State Library at 12 noon, where we will form into word groups. This will take a bit of coordination so please be on time. Please wear a red, black or white top. We will present the hard copy and online petitions to Carmel Tebbutt at 1 pm and anticipate finishing at 1.45.
Bring home the Bacon to Barry – at the Art Gallery of NSW Friday 16 November
We will also be bringing home the consequences of the funding cuts when the Premier opens the Francis Bacon exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW on Friday 16th. The opening is scheduled for 6 pm. We will meet from 5pm – to ensure the invited guests, media and the Premier are aware of our anger about the changes.
Thank you to the many people who have donated funds towards the costs of the campaign. We have ended up with around $4000, more than our initial goal. This has allowed us to also get some assistance publicity for the campaign. Many, many thanks to everyone who donated!
For those of you who are able to attend the protests I look forward to meeting you!