Leadership Team Chair lobbies PM over higher education
Published: 20 March 2015
Leadership Team Chair Jude Munro had the chance to chat with Prime Minister Tony Abbott last month about changes to higher education support, when she attended the Forde Community Afternoon Tea with the Prime Minister at Tudor Park PCYC in Tanah Merah.
The event, hosted by Member for Forde Bert van Manen on 18 February, was part of the Prime Minister's tour of Australian communities.
Ms Munro said she took the opportunity to speak to the Prime Minister about legislation amendments required to allow New Zealand and Pacifika students living in Australia for more than 10 years to access HELP loans. The Federal Government has approved the changes, however, they have been delayed as a result of the higher education reform process.
"I was prompted to broach the subject by the situation of a young woman I met the night before at the ENABLE dux award night in Logan City," Ms Munro said.
"She was 2014 dux at a state high school in Logan City and comes from a Pasifika family. The first year fees alone for the double degree course she's now started will cost $7,000. Given she is ineligible for a HELP grant, this is a huge ask.
"By changing the legislation, we will open up broader education and employment opportunities, and enable our New Zealand and Pasifika graduates to play a greater role in the wider community."