Enter the Prime Minister’s Spelling Bee

Schools in Bonner can get involved in this year’s Prime Minister’s Spelling Bee to promote literacy in an entertaining and engaging way.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said this year the spelling bee would be hosted by Kids News and conducted through a digital format rather than face to face.

“Not only will the three national winners win the chance to meet the Prime Minister with return flights to Canberra with a parent, accommodation, an iPad and $250 book pack, but they will also win a $1000 voucher for their school to spend on books, technology or other equipment,” Mr Vasta said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison urged all schools to get involved and register.“Literacy is so critical to a young person’s education in Australia. It provides the fundamental base to develop other skills, and the tools to embrace the joy of reading and writing,” the Prime Minister said.

“This is free competition that is fun and exciting and will help students learning literacy build their confidence.”

Minister for Education and Youth Alan Tudge said the spelling bee would help nurture a love of words in students.

“Spelling bees are not only great fun, they have wider benefits like helping kids develop confidence and discovering new ways to learn,” Minister Tudge said.

“I urge parents, teachers and our young people to get behind the Prime Minister’s Spelling Bee and I encourage all schools to take part.”

The Prime Minister’s Spelling Bee was due to commence in 2020 but was postponed due to the pandemic.

The Morrison Government has provided over $345,000 of funding to support the initiative.The national spelling bee will run in Term 1, 2021 for children in Years 3 to 8 and schools can now register.

It will be held at school level in March, with finals for each state and territory taking place in April.Schools can register and find more information on the Kids News website.

Registrations will close on Friday, 5 March 2021.

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Curious Mind from Bonner takes part in virtual camp

More Australian girls with a passion for science, technology, engineering and mathematics will take part in the annual Curious Minds Summer Camp.

More than 120 young women from across Australia will virtually attend a four-day intensive program and receive six months of one-on-one mentorship from 48 women in STEM professions.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said he was very pleased to share Annaliese Bohnstedt of Brisbane Bayside State College was amongst those chosen to take part in Curious Minds.

“The Curious Minds program provides an opportunity for Year 9 and 10 girls to explore their interests and build confidence in STEM subjects,” Mr Vasta said.

“I want to congratulate Annaliese and and hope she learns new skills and gains the confidence to pursue a career in STEM after school.

“Because of COVID-19, these high-potential young women will take part in a virtual four-day intensive program, including online challenges, followed by six months of coaching sessions with inspiring female mentors working in the STEM community.

“I encourage other young girls in Bonner with similar dreams to get involved and also pursue their passion for STEM.

“STEM skills are vital to future jobs and Australia’s future economy, and our Government is committed to empowering young women to excel in these areas.”

The Australian Government has provided $2.35 million to expand the camp to include Curious Minds West Coast and Curious Minds East Coast programs.

The virtual west camp will be held from 6-9 December and the east camp from 13-16 December.

More information on the program is available here.

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More university places from next year

The Morrison Government’s Job-ready Graduates legislation has passed the Senate which means from next year there will be more university places, and study subjects in areas of expected job growth will now be cheaper.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said for year 12 students currently completing their final exams, it was positive news to know they had more opportunities with more university spaces available to continue their education.

“This legislation will create up to 30,000 additional university laces for Australian students next year, when combined with the 12,000 places announced in the 2020 Budget,” Mr Vasta said.

“People wanting to undertake further study can also take advantage of the extra 50,000 short course places in 2021, to learn new skills in national priority areas like mental health, engineering and mathematics.

“In the Budget the Morrison Government announced a $51 billion investment in education, including $550.3 million for additional university places and short courses.”

Mr Vasta said because of that investment, more Australians would get the opportunity to study for a university degree and more Australians would benefit from cheaper fees in areas of expected job demand.

“Australia’s economic recovery will be built on our strengths, and that includes a highly skilled workforce,” Mr Vasta said.

“Our plan will also establish a $900 million National Priorities and Industry Linkage Fund to better align the university sector, with local businesses to encourage job placements, formal research partnerships and advanced apprenticeships and internships.

“To support women in STEM, our Government is providing $22.1 million for universities and employers to provide advanced qualifications and industry cadetships for women in science, technology, engineering and maths.

“Getting on-the-job training as part of a degree is invaluable and leads to better job outcomes after university.”

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More skills training for Queenslanders

Queensland school leavers and job seekers will benefit from increased access to free or low-fee skills training under a significant investment through the JobTrainer Agreement to be rolled out across Queensland.

Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash said strengthening Australia’s skills and training system was a priority as the nation responded to COVID-19.

The $1 billion JobTrainer program will provide up to an additional 340,700 training places across the country for school leavers and help upskill and retrain jobseekers in areas of demand.

“JobTrainer is central to Australia’s recovery from COVID-19. It will provide Australians with new opportunities and skills to get a job” Minister Cash said.

“It is a significant joint investment by the Commonwealth and State and Territory Governments.”

The Queensland agreement will inject an extra $201 million into the state’s vocational education and training sector.

The Australian Government will contribute $100.5 million, which will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Queensland Government.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said this was a fantastic result for Queensland which would greatly assist job seekers and young people, especially school leavers.

“The JobTrainer Fund will help lift Queensland as the state recovers from COVID-19,” Mr Vasta said.

“I have spoken to a lot of young people concerned about what the future holds and to provide more skills training opportunity will provide some certainty and confidence our economy will get back on track and there will be jobs for young people.”

Minister Cash said JobTrainer was part of the Australian Government’s $6.5 billion investment in Vocational Education and Training in 2020-21.

“As part of this investment the Commonwealth is also providing additional support with the Supporting Apprentices and Trainees (SAT) wage subsidy, which has provided more than $500 million to employers across Australia since April this year.

“As part of the SAT the Government has invested $102.89 million to assist 10,461 employers to retain 17,290 apprentices and trainees in Queensland.”

For more information about JobTrainer visit: https://www.dese.gov.au/jobtrainer-fund.

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National Skills Week highlights critical role of vocational education and training

National Skills Week 2020 will focus on the critical role the vocational education and training (VET) sector has in the nation’s economic recovery from COVID-19.

As a part of the Morrison Government’s economic response to COVID-19, we have committed a further $3.3 billion to skills, including funding the creation of an additional 340,700 VET training places in areas of demand.

The Government’s reforms and investments in the VET sector will strongly assist our economic recovery.

Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash said National Skills Week was an opportunity for people to think about their career and consider where vocational education and training could take them.

“In response to the impacts of COVID-19, the Morrison Government is investing an additional $3.3 billion to give hundreds of thousands of Australians access to upskilling opportunities, rollout critical infection control training and keep apprentices and trainees connected to work,” Minister Cash said.

“Our JobTrainer Fund is an investment of $500 million from the Commonwealth Government, matched by the State and Territory Governments and providing around 340,700 additional free or low-cost training places.”

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said National Skills Week was also about recognizing the valuable work of our vocational education and training sector, as it responds quickly to COVID-19 and helps set up our economic recovery.

“We have some great local training organisations in Bonner committed to supporting people to change career paths and even upskill and now is definitely the time to do it,” Mr Vasta said.

Assistant Minister for Vocational Education, Training and Apprenticeships, the Hon Steve Irons MP said additional investment was being made to support the nation’s apprentices and their employers through this challenging environment.

“The Supporting Apprentices and Trainees wage subsidy is being expanded and extended so that it can support almost 90,000 businesses employing around 180,000 apprentices throughout Australia,” Assistant Minister Irons said.

For more information about National Skills Week activities and virtual events across Australia visit  www.nationalskillsweek.com.au/

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Ross Vasta throws support behind Save our Seton

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP has thrown his support behind Save our Seton, a group of parents and students committed to saving Seton College following the announcement by Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) to close the school in 2024.

Mr Vasta and LNP Candidate for Mansfield Janet Wishart held a teleconference with BCE today, declaring he would do whatever it takes to keep Seton College open.

“Unfortunately, the decision to close this wonderful institution will have a devastating impact on our local community,” Mr Vasta said.

“I’ve been contacted by many parents who are so upset about the closure and had been told it was a “compliance issue” or “funding issue” with the Australian Government.

“I can confirm I have received a letter from Education Minister Dan Tehan to clarify that is not the case, and the department will work with the school to assist in any way possible.

“The good news is BCE advised there are no plans for the site to be repurposed so that means we have an opportunity to save Seton College.”

Ms Wishart said as a parent of a child with a disability, she knows firsthand just how hard these families fight every day for their kids.

“The decision to close Seton College is devastating for our local community and to date, the current Palaszczuk Labor Government and local member have refused to speak with families, and they simply deserve better,” Ms Wishart said.

“Working with Ross I’ll be fighting to ensure the voices of local families are heard, local families who have been let down by this decision and Labor’s inaction.”

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New shade sail couldn’t block the heat from Carina State School’s magazine committee

Carina State School’s journalists in the making had the opportunity to ‘put the heat’ on Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP when he visited to see the new shade sails funded by a $35,000 Morrison Government grant.

Mr Vasta dropped into Carina State School following the completion of the shade sail installation.

“Here I was to see these fantastic new shade sails funded by a $35,297 Community Development Grant, but they couldn’t protect me from the heat of the school’s Magazine Committee,” Mr Vasta said.

“Erika, Mikayla, Safina and Khaow-Too sat me down for an in-depth chat and I was pleased to share stories of why I went into politics and answer all their great questions,” Mr Vasta said.

“When they asked me what advice I had for school captains Liam, Addison, Macey and Sandy who also joined the meeting, I told them leading by example and helping others is what made great leaders.

“The Magazine Committee did a great job asking questions, recording my answers and even organising a photo. I have no doubt I met some future budding journalists.”

Mr Vasta said funding for the new shade sails were announced during the 2019 election campaign, and he was happy to see the project finally completed.

“Unfortunately, construction was delayed this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, however with school back on track the installation is now complete and students have a beautifully shaded quadrangle space to enjoy lunch with their friends,” Mr Vasta said.

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New fans for Tingalpa State School

New ceiling fans to provide relief from the summer heat have been installed at Tingalpa State School’s assembly hall thanks to a $20,000 grant through the Morrison Government’s Local Schools Community Fund.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP recently visited the school to see the new fans and said the addition greatly improved the facility for students, teachers and the wider Tingalpa community.

“In the middle of summer, it can be very uncomfortable in the hall for students, staff, families and visitors,” Mr Vasta said.

“Having a cooling system in place was necessary due to the hall’s location to the noisy Wynnum Road and the need to keep doors closed for the noise and wind control.

“Thanks to this $20,000 grant, these new fans will not only benefit the school community but the wider community as well.”

Mr Vasta said with a shortage of indoor sporting venues in the area, the ceiling fan upgrade would encourage additional community use.

“Having a cooling system in place now allows the school to feature this facility as a good option for external events and sporting games for community groups, which will have tremendous benefits for the school.”

Mr Vasta said the Tingalpa P&C was instrumental in making this grant happen and it wouldn’t have been possible without their fundraising efforts and attention to detail in applying for the grant.

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New reading resources for families and teachers

Families and teachers in Bonner can now access free online resources to help their children learn to read.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the Morrison Government had launched a free phonics check for teachers and a simple reading awareness check for families.

“Literacy and numeracy are the fundamentals of a successful education, and our Government is giving families free tools to ensure their children’s reading is on track,” Mr Vasta said.

“We have provided $10.8 million to develop resources for families and educators to assess the language skills of students to help them better understand a child’s reading level.

“By checking on the language skills of our youngest students we can ensure that no one is left behind and every student has the building blocks to develop strong reading, writing and speaking skills.”

Mr Vasta said he encouraged all local schools in Bonner to take advantage of the free phonics check to help teachers determine a child’s reading progress and what additional support they may need.

“Literacy and numeracy are the absolute fundamentals of a world-leading education, and studies have shown phonics is the most effective way of teaching children to read,” Mr Vasta said.

“Our Government has delivered on its election promise to provide a voluntary phonics health check for Year 1 students.

“Our Government has also released a new reading awareness check and literacy resources for parents to help their children learn to read.”

The phonics check and reading awareness check are available with more resources to support literacy development on stage one of the new online Literacy Hub at www.literacyhub.edu.au

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Submissions open for review into Disability Standards for Education

The Coalition Government is calling for public submissions into a review of the Disability Standards for Education 2005.

Minister for Education Dan Tehan said the standards played a key role in ensuring students with disability could access and participate in education without any barriers.

“It’s incredibly important we review these standards regularly to make sure they are doing their job to give equal access and opportunity for students with disability,” Mr Tehan said.

“The standards help students with disability and their families know their rights and make clear the obligations of all education providers – from preschool and kindergarten through to vocational education providers and universities.

“This could include making reasonable adjustments in the classroom, such as additional learning support and modifying homework tasks, or adjusting the classroom environment to suit a student’s mobility needs.

“An extensive community consultation process will be held from 16 July to 25 September, providing an opportunity for the public to share experiences and ideas.”

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said he strongly encouraged current, former and prospective students with disability, their families and carers, educators, and other members of the public to share their thoughts on the standards and their implementation.

“People can have their say by completing an online questionnaire, making a submission, participating in a webinar, or by expressing their interest in a focus group, one-on-one interview, or an online discussion,” Mr Vasta said.

The first webinar on 23 July will centre on schooling.

The standards are reviewed every five years.

For more information, visit the Consultation Hub at www.disabilitystandardsreview.education.gov.au

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