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NCEC Congratulates New Federal Minister for Education

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
21 Sep 2015

Senator Simon Birmingham takes over as the new Federal Minister for Education and Training

The National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC) has congratulated Senator Simon Birmingham, who was appointed Australia's new Federal Minister for Education and Training by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull yesterday and is looking forward to working with him to support education in all school sectors.

"Senator Birmingham, who has served as Assistant Minister for Education and Training since 2014, has handled his responsibilities with distinction and has already established a strong connection with the many Catholic schools that have vocational and educational training programs," NCEC Executive Director Ross Fox said this morning.

As Assistant Minister he demonstrated a strong grasp of complex policy and the NCEC says it is looking forward to him bringing his significant strengths to his broader role in both education and training.

In his maiden speech to the Senate, Senator Birmingham spoke of the benefits of school choice and supported giving parents the freedom to choose the school that best met their child's needs, which he believed was fundamental to a strong education system.

Ross Fox, Executive Director of the National Catholic Education Commission

Quoting Senator Birmingham from his maiden speech in which he said "If we are to aspire to an education system that serves us as well for the next hundred years as it has done so over the last, then we must be willing to embrace change," Mr Fox pointed out that Catholic education had been serving the people of Australia for almost 200 years, adapting to each of the significant changes over that period.

On behalf of the NCEC, Mr Fox also congratulated Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker on his appointment as the new Federal Minister for Vocational Education and Skills. He also congratulated Senator Richard Colbeck who has been appointed Minister for International Education as well as Minister for Tourism and Assistant Trade Minister.

Christopher Pyne moves from Education portfolio to become Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science

In addition, Mr Fox offered his thanks to Christopher Pyne for his leadership as Minister for Education and Training over the past two years and wished him every success in his new leadership role as Minister of Industry, Innovation and Science.

"While his ministerial responsibilities now lie elsewhere, the results from Mr Pyne's work in education with a particular focus on quality teaching and support for students with disability will be seen for some many years to come in our schools and school systems," he said.

NCEC also thanked Senator Scott Ryan and wished him well in his new role.

An active member of the Government's education team, Senator Ryan has been appointed Assistant Cabinet Secretary by Mr Turnbull in the ministry reshuffle.