Frontiers and opportunities in Australian education

My latest publication, a chapter on schooling policy in the newest edition of Social Policy in Australia: Understanding for Action has just been released.

It looks at issues and opportunities in education policy.

As the chapter argues, education is the bedrock of a successful society. It benefits individuals, communities and the nation. Relative to other developed nations, Australia's education system is relatively high performing but with sub par equity. Decades of reforms and increased spending by state and Commonwealth have had minimal impact reducing this inequality or improving excellence.

Contributing to these challenges is the uneasy relationship between choice and equity - competing principles that have been ever present in education policy in Australia. The book can be bought on Oxford University Press' website and from university bookstores. To whet your appetite, you can read an edited extract discussing the choice and equity aspect on MI Brief, the Mitchell Institute's blog.

Interested in ideas and Australian politics?

If so, you might be interested in my latest publication, a chapter in this just-released book Turning Left or Right: Values in Modern Politics. The book

"...breaks through the wall of sound bites and explores how century-old political philosophies connect to practical policy for the 21st Century.

Each chapter includes three essays from some of Australia’s most engaged political thinkers who explore contemporary policy issues, find the dividing lines and reinject values and ideas. Importantly, every author’s essay provides insight into the solutions they think are needed to make Australia a better country for future generations."

My chapter is on the role and benefit of multiculturalism, and I am joined on this topic (in a separate contribution) by former foreign minister Alexander Downer.

You can purchase a copy here. Delivery is free within Australia. Would make a marvelous Christmas present ;-)

Malcolm Fraser launches my book!

The evening was a roaring success, with over 300 guests and wonderful speeches by  former PM Malcolm Fraser, Lindsay Tanner (Federal Minister for Finance and Deregulation), James Merlino (Victorian Minister for Multicultural Affairs), Nick Kotsiras (Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs), George Lekakis (Chairperson of the Victorian Multicultural Commission), Sam Afra (ECCV Chairperson) and, of course, myself.

My book, Many Hopes One Dream, uncovers the untold story of Australian multiculturalism – how it was shaped from the ground up by grassroots associations of migrants and refugees.

Based entirely on original research, including interviews with key players and unexplored government, organisational and media archives, Many Hopes One Dream is the first comprehensive study of the united ethnic movement, concentrating on the history and influence of the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria – the oldest federation of migrant, ethnic, refugee and multicultural associations in Australia.

It is a story of the birth, development and evolution of the united ethnic movement. The story of its trials and triumphs, and how, despite formidable obstacles, it was able to shape the reality and institutions of multicultural Australia. It is published by Australian Scholarly Publishing.

Buy your copy of the book here.  For a foretaste, read my guest column in MUSSE: Melbourne University Staff/Student E-news.

Want more?  Here’s Lindsay’s speech, James’s speech, my speech from the launch.

Live, radio interview on SBS’s French program.

The conversation will take place Tuesday 29June, around 11:30am (en francais, bien sur). The lovely Daniele Kemp and I will talk mostly about my book and Australian multiculturalism. To tune in, click here. If you prefer English – or the written word – you can pick up a copy of my book from Readings. (Other options are Melbourne Uni bookshop, Amazon.com, or direct from Australian Scholarly Publishing).  PS it’s lovely to be home.

UPDATE! In a lovely surprise I was joined at the microphone by the celebrated and oh-so-sweet French chef Gabriel Gaté. 

Book launch video and amazon.com sales

Here is a short video of book launch for those that couldn’t attend. If you skip to 2:20 you can hear Lindsay Tanner’s generous praise:

It certainly is an extremely well-written and well-expressed and very intelligent setting of the important role the ECCV has played, and of some of the key figures who over that period of 30 to 35 years of active engagement, in some very often turbulent political times, have played a crucial role in shaping our society.”

In other news, Many Hopes, One Dream is now available on amazon.com although it’s quickest to go through Australian Scholarly Publishing,  the ECCV, or Melbourne Uni bookshop.

Live, national radio interview on my book this week!

I’ve been invited on SBS’s French radio program on Friday 11 September to discuss my new book: Many Hopes, One Dream: the Story of the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria. Tune in at 11am to listen live or download the podcast here.

Don’t forget that ticket sales to book launch will close 11 September.  Don’t miss out! $38 gets you a seat at the formal, celebratory dinner with an impressive line up of speakers, including James Merlino, Victorian Minister for Multicultural Affairs and George Lekakis, Victoria’s Multicultural Commissioner. Former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser will also be appearing. Call the ECCV on (03) 9349 4122 or email eccv@eccv.org.au More info here.

Book launched announced - 23rd September

I’m very excited to announce that my book is being launched by the Victorian Minister for Multicultural Affairs, James Merlino, on the 23rd September. Former PM Malcolm Fraser will also be attending and will likely give a speech.

Tickets to the launch and celebratory dinner are selling fast.  Get yours here

Praise for Many Hopes, One Dream: The Story of the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria by Bronwyn Hinz.

“This book tells a fascinating story of the way the ECCV moved (remarkably quickly) from being a fringe player to occupying a central role as an advocate for people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities. it should be recommended reading for anyone who is interested in knowing how Victoria, and in particular how Melbourne, has managed its remarkable transformation into one of the world’s leading centres of peaceful multicultural cohabitation.”

- Dr John Chesterman, political historian and author of  Civil Rights: How Indigenous Australians Won Formal Equality