I was very pleased to host the Regional Higher Education Forum in Narrabri last week alongside the Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Education and Employment, Senator Bridget McKenzie.
The meeting was attended by parents, students and people interested in education from a range of different locations within the Parkes electorate. Representatives from the Commonwealth Department of Education and Training and the Department of Social Services were also in attendance.
Everyone at the meeting was given the opportunity to express their concerns regarding higher education for rural and regional students. The feedback we received during the meeting was very positive and informative.
The main concern echoed throughout the meeting related to expenses, particularly the hidden costs associated with higher education for rural and regional students. Other key concerns communicated at the meeting were accessibility to higher education for rural and regional students, whether the aspirations of these students is being satisfied and providing the necessary opportunities for these students to achieve their full potential.
There are 15 forums being held across Australia, all of which are providing a direct voice to the Government in its efforts to create a holistic solution to better support rural and regional students in the higher education space.
I am delighted to be part of a Government that is encouraging rural and regional students to embrace higher education and to undertake a broader global experience whilst also remaining passionate and connected to where they are from.
This week is DonateLife Week, Australia’s national awareness week to promote organ and tissue donation.
DonateLife Week reminds us that we all need to decide whether we would like to become an organ and tissue donor and register our decision on the Australian Organ Donor Register.
With one organ and tissue donor able to transform the lives of 10 or more people, it’s a decision that could one day save lives.
In the same way that we discuss our wishes in the event of our death, we also need to make sure we discuss our decision to become an organ and tissue donor with our families.
In Australia, families play a crucial role in the donation process. Families are asked to confirm the donation decision of the deceased before donation for transplantation can proceed, regardless of whether the decision has been registered. Your family will also be asked to provide vital health information throughout the donation process.
I strongly urge everyone across the Parkes electorate to talk about organ and tissue donation with their loved ones and consider becoming an organ and tissue donor.
For more information visit donatelife.gov.au.