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AG E N DA Doorknock team in SA seat of Hindmarsh gets ready to go.

Senate to determine the fate of Gonski funding The election is over but the battle for Gonski continues.


he AEU’s “I Give a Gonski” campaign mobilised supporters in marginal seats across Australia, turned Gonski into a federal election issue, and helped to reduce the Coalition’s majority. The campaign’s next challenge is to stop the re-elected Turnbull government moving away from needs-based Gonski funding to a system that will deliver a majority of extra funding to private schools, regardless of their need. That’s not a system that serves the interests of our most disadvantaged schools and students, and should not be supported.


The Coalition’s narrow election victory, its failure to control the Senate and strong public awareness and support for Gonski will make it tougher for Malcolm Turnbull to end Gonski after 2017. As will potential opposition from state and territory governments, which he needs to negotiate with on his funding deal. The AEU’s I Give a Gonski campaign targeted 17 seats during the lead-up to the election, with a local co-ordinator in each seat working to lift awareness of Gonski and help schools tell their communities how Gonski funding was helping them. Thousands of volunteers took the time to be involved in doorknocking, events at schools and spreading word of Gonski’s

success to their local communities. Principals and other educators helped by publicising their school’s ‘Gonski stories’ and letting people know the difference that increased resources made to them. In addition, the AEU ran advertisements on free-to-air and pay TV in NSW, Queensland, Tasmania and the Northern Territory — highlighting the effect the Coalition’s cuts would have on schools. There was a strong swing against the Coalition in almost every one of the target seats, especially those in outer-suburban and regional areas. In Eden-Monaro, Lindsay and Macquarie, winning Labor candidates specifically mentioned Gonski as a key issue. Of the AEU’s other target

Educator spring 2016  
Educator spring 2016