Tamara Smith, Greens MP for Ballina announced today she will be the new Greens NSW spokesperson on education.
“I am proud to follow in the footsteps of former Education spokesperson the late Dr John Kaye. I am aware of the hugely important legacy left by him, including his passion for lifelong, free, quality public education.”
Ms Smith was given the Education portfolio which encompasses schools, skills and TAFE and Early Childhood, because of her 21 year background in teaching across a wide range of educational environments including aboriginal education, distance learning and remote and rural educational settings.
Tamara has also worked in juvenile justice settings and has held a number of positions within the NSW Teachers Federation including; Welfare officer, Country Organiser and member of the Legal Cases Committee. Ms Smith did a law clerkship with Federation Law before she was admitted as a solicitor in the NSW Supreme Court.
“As NSW Greens education spokesperson, I will be focusing on guaranteeing the full six years of Gonski funding in NSW and monitoring how our students with disabilities are educated in this state. It will be my aim to ensure that;
- all students in NSW schools have their learning needs met and are respected to think for themselves, to think critically, to reflect and grow to their full potential, and
- Teaching professionals in NSW are supported to deliver quality teaching and learning in an environment of trust and consultation.
“Affordable, high quality vocational training through TAFE will be high on my list of priorities as will funding for Early Childhood education providers and increased access for all three year olds to take part in Early Childhood education, not just those from a disadvantaged background.”
“During the next six months I will be meeting with stakeholders from across the education sector, including TAFE, Skills, public and non-Government schools, Parents and Citizens groups and teachers associations to really get a sense of the priority issues in the sectors,” said Ms Smith.
Ms Smith will remain the spokesperson for Regional Development and she is also a member of the Legislative Assembly Committee on Investment, Industry and Regional Development.