I rise to make a contribution on the South West TAFE annual report for 2010. I would like to begin with a short profile of South West TAFE to get a sense of the service area that this important training and education institution covers in south-western Victoria. Its catchment area covers a huge expanse, approximately 23 300 square kilometres, and it has campuses at Glenormiston, Portland, Hamilton and of course Warrnambool.
The TAFE provides embedded training to industry clients within south-western Victoria and also across the border into the south-east of South Australia. South West TAFE services a population in excess of 125 000 people through partnerships between industry, individuals and communities. It is the south-west’s largest provider of vocational education and training services, with over 400 accredited courses and approximately 12 500 students per year.
Almost one-third of training is for apprentices and trainees.
The year 2010 was significant for South West TAFE in terms of infrastructure building. I know for a fact that the complex in Timor Street in Warrnambool was opened in early June last year. Indeed I was representing the then Minister for Education and opened that facility myself. There was much acclaim for that facility in the town because it marked a huge step forward for the institution. For those who can recall what the institution looked like four years ago, it is quite remarkable to see the dramatic change that has occurred, not just in Timor Street but also at the new site in Portland. The structure in Timor Street was awarded the Victorian Architecture Awards regional prize for 2010.
For people who are not familiar with Warrnambool but get the opportunity to visit that great city, the building stands out in Timor Street.
It is colloquially called the ‘beehive building’, but a lot of people have grown to accept that choices needed to be made about appropriate styles of buildings. I think a mock Victorian or mock colonial building would actually have detracted from the heritage buildings in that area.
The other important aspect of the work that was undertaken by South West TAFE during 2010 was its extended partnership arrangements, particularly with every single secondary school in south-western Victoria, which includes 42 schools. It also continued its partnership with Deakin University as well as RMIT and Charles Sturt University. In respect of its involvement in the local community South West TAFE also, along with Deakin, plays a huge role. In particular it plays a role with the Fun4Kids program, which I know Ms Pulford and her children are quite familiar with, as well as with the industry workforce development strategy for the Great South Coast.
The TAFE is also represented on approximately 200 committees, boards and networks in south-western Victoria. It is absolutely embedded in the whole area in which it is located. It is clear that the area is blessed with abundant natural resources as well as in terms of renewable energy. This institution is very well placed to train and retrain adults to ensure that we have a strong, vibrant local community, with skills and training that match the employment that is available.
I take this opportunity to thank Joe Piper, the CEO, and also Wayne Krause, the president of the board, for all the hard work they have done over the many years that I have been involved with the TAFE and also the outgoing and current members of the board for their persistence and commitment and for the flexibility that they, the staff and the students demonstrated over the reporting period, particularly when a variety of courses and classes had to change locations. I commend the report to the house.