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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 28 November 2018) . . Page.. 5024 ..


community. The 2017-18 ACT budget committed $208,000 over four years to expand English language programs for migrants, refugees and asylum seekers living in the ACT.

In May 2018, Migrant and Refugee Settlement Services was funded to implement a four-year English language support program. The $160,000 program is enabling MARSS to provide individual, case-managed English language programs to refugees and asylum seekers living in the ACT who are from non-English speaking backgrounds and to contribute to improving referral pathways to other support services, including employment.

Also in May 2018, the Office of Multicultural Affairs partnered with the Canberra Institute of Technology to ensure that ACT services access cardholders can access English language courses either for 12 months full-time or 24 months part-time, free of charge. To support this initiative, the CIT has been funded for $40,000 over the next four years.

It is apparent that the suite of funded programs that the government is providing is supporting the learning of languages in the ACT. We are doing so through programs that target areas of need and places where there is a desire for learning that language.

Through last week’s multicultural summit, we heard from the community about the outcomes they wanted to see to improve inclusion and participation in our city. I have no doubt that language learning was one focus that will be considered in the development of the multicultural framework second action plan, which I will present here early in 2019.

We believe that these are the most effective ways to ensure that Canberra is welcoming and inclusive and provides the best platform for success for all of our residents, including young people.

MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong) (6.10): Often we see matters of education as isolated or disconnected, but this motion and the amendments serve together to highlight the complexity of a system. Ms Lee’s motion, clearly critical of the government’s direction and investment regarding language education, calls for action, and on that element I support her. There is a need for action in this space. But minister Berry’s amendments also highlight the need to strategically deliver language education in Canberra schools, to build teacher capability and capacity to deliver language education in Canberra schools, and to ensure a learning pathway for students from preschool or kindergarten through to college in study of a particular language.

This approach and Minister Berry’s desire to integrate the development of an action plan into the broader future of education strategy makes sense as it will take time to grow the workforce required and embed the long-term pathways I think we all want to see.

The ACT Greens certainly want a vibrant public education system that attains world-class standards of excellence and is built on an evolving and evidenced-based curriculum and pedagogy. We want to improve transitions between early childhood,


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