MS TIERNEY (Western Victoria—Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education) (12:12:46): I would like to update the house on the Raising Expectations program. Last week I joined the member for Bayswater, Jackson Taylor, at Swinburne’s Croydon campus. We met with a number of the participating students in the Raising Expectations program. This program provides young people in out-of-home care and foster care with additional support to study at TAFE or university. The program provides students with a caseworker to support them through their studies, financial support, such as scholarships, and additional resources to assist them with completion. The program is offered at Swinburne, Federation University and La Trobe University. Jackson and I had the pleasure of meeting two of the over 250 students from the Raising Expectations program. One of those students was Danny. Danny is enrolled in a certificate IV in plumbing and services at the Croydon campus. Danny lived in out-of-home care as a teenager for five years and dropped out of year 12 due to unstable housing and employment. He was homeless and unemployed for over two years until he found out about the Try a Trade program at Swinburne. This sparked his passion, and he enrolled in a pre-apprenticeship in plumbing. Then, with the help of Raising Expectations, Danny went on to do his apprenticeship. He is now doing his licensing, and he plans on doing a mechanical engineering degree at university. As Danny said about Raising Expectations, ‘It’s given me a reason to get out of bed’. It was even more special to visit Swinburne with Jackson as he himself has lived the experience of out-of-home care. Jackson understands how important this program is. Raising Expectations is changing lives. That is why I recently announced over $1 million in funding over three years to expand the program. Only 1 per cent of care leavers go on to higher education, compared to 40 per cent of the general population. Programs like this certainly make a real difference.
Tags: Ministers Statement