At Crescent Institute’s first ever event in Canberra, the Hon Julie Bishop, Chancellor of The Australian National University, spoke about Australia’s education system and the imperative need for equity and diversity.
From a young age growing up in the Adelaide Hills, Julie Bishop harboured a strong desire to be an advocate for others, with her aspiration to become a lawyer eventually leading to a remarkable career spanning politics and now as Chancellor of The Australian National University allowing her to link education and her diplomacy skills.
Interviewed by SBS Political reporter Sara Tomevska, Julie spoke of the critical challenge facing Australia’s education system – equity. Julie reflected on the one-size-fits-all approach often observed in state schools that is hindering progress in areas such as literacy and numeracy. Where despite significant funding equitable outcomes are not always realised, highlighting the urgent need for innovative solutions and a comprehensive re-evaluation of our educational framework.
During the event, Julie Bishop underscored the pivotal role that scholarships play, particularly for First Nations students and staff. Scholarships provide crucial opportunities for underrepresented individuals to access quality education and pursue their aspirations. Crescent Institute recognises the importance of scholarships in fostering inclusivity and aims to actively support initiatives that enable equitable access to education.
As Chancellor, Julie Bishop is acutely aware of the challenges and opportunities confronting the tertiary sector. The discussion highlighted the need for diversification and specialisation within universities to meet the evolving demands of the workforce. However, achieving these objectives requires greater funding from the federal government. Julie also stressed the importance of universities exploring alternative avenues, such as the commercialisation of research and philanthropy measures, to reduce reliance on public funds. By embracing these strategies, the tertiary sector can flourish and offer a world-class education to students.
Julie Bishop's unique perspective as Chancellor and her extensive diplomatic experience underscored the vital connection between education and diplomacy. She envisioned students having the opportunity to study overseas through initiatives like the New Colombo Plan, which currently operates in 40 locations. By nurturing global perspectives and fostering international relationships, collaborative educational experiences across borders can deepen our understanding of Australia's place in the world.
Crescent Institute extends its heartfelt gratitude to The Australian National University, the Hon Julie Bishop, Sara Tomevska, and all the participants who made this insightful discussion possible. Your engagement and contributions are greatly appreciated. We look forward to welcoming you to future events as we continue our vision to open tomorrow to everyone through inclusive professional learning and engagement opportunities with Australia’s political, business and cultural leaders on topics of national importance.