A few days ago, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced an upcoming summit to be held in Canberra, that will discuss the future of Australia. The summit will involve 1,000 invitees and will be co-chaired by Rudd and University of Melbourne vice-chancellor Glyn Davis.
Ten key areas will be discussed, with 100 people allocated per area. All Australians will be invited to present their opinions via the Internet. The topics stipulated for discussion are:
- The economy
- Economic infrastructure
- Rural industry
- Social inclusion
- Indigenous people and services
- THE ARTS (someone pick me up off the ground, I just fell off my chair)
- National security
Perhaps like a few others, I was pleasantly surprised to see the arts on the list. I sort of thought no matter who is in office, no government cares much about the future of the arts in Australia, and certainly not enough to make it part of a political summit.
But then, like many, many others, I was astonished and confused as to why EDUCATION was NOT on the list of topics to be discussed. Hidden amongst the economy was a byline about attracting quality teachers, but surely there’s enough to discuss about our education systems in Australia to warrant it as a topic of its own accord at the upcoming summit? How can you possibly discuss the future of our country without discussing education? Its simply not logical. The education of today’s children in Australia IS our future, period!
Guess we should be grateful the arts got a guernsey, hey? The arts AND education discussed at the same summit??? Now that would be asking too much, wouldn’t it?