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Julia Gillard keynote speaker at Melbourne Polytechnic Alumni program launch

04 Aug 2016

The launch of Melbourne Polytechnic’s inaugural Alumni program was an event to remember, with the Honourable Julia Gillard, former Prime Minister and Chancellor of Dūcere, the keynote speaker at the launch on 27 July 2016.

Ms Gillard’s commitment to supporting and reforming education is well recognised, both as Prime Minister and during her time as Minister for Employment & Workplace Relations, Education and Social Inclusion (2007-2010).

In February 2015, Gillard was appointed Chancellor of Dūcere, a company that delivers a premium educational offering that grants unprecedented access to a Global Leaders Faculty of the world’s most successful individuals.

On her appointment as Chancellor of Dūcere, Ms Gillard said ‘the connection between higher education, industry and government is vital to the future success of academic institutions. So too are the links between academic underpinning and real world learning at all levels of education which is one of the main reasons for my involvement with Dūcere.’

Ms Gillard also holds the position of Chair of the Global Partnership for Education, a leading organization dedicated to expanding access and quality education worldwide.

In her keynote address, Ms Gillard spoke in detail about the concept and value of Lifelong Learning, a topic highly relevant in today’s rapidly changing employment marketplace.

She was joined by Gary Lee, the Australia Day Council 'New Australian of the Year 2016' who has been recognised for his accomplishments using dance, sport, fashion and volunteering to integrate those from culturally and linguistically diverse with the local community.

He created PoisE’n and PoisE’nBollypop, dance crews that fuse Bollywood and hip-hop dance forms as platforms to help new students integrate into society and reduce social isolation. Mr Lee is also an ambassador for Bully Zero Australia Foundation, Welcome to Australia, AFL Multicultural Program and Melbourne Victory.

Melbourne Polytechnic’s Alumni program is focused on the principle of ‘lifelong learning’, and addressing the challenges presented by a new world where ‘a job for life’ is no longer the norm.

 ‘People of all ages now have to deal with a much more fluid job market, where technological changes have a significant impact on the jobs that will be available in five, ten, twenty years’ time,’ says Jess Marnich, Melbourne Polytechnic’s Lifelong Learning and Alumni Manager.

‘School leavers now have to face changing careers multiple times in their lives, and the education system has to be able to equip them to make those changes. Equally, people who have been working for many years now face the prospect of having to change careers or industries at a time when they thought they would be well and truly settled where they are. Or they may finally want to follow their passion, after years of doing what they felt they ‘had’ to do.

‘Lifelong learning addresses those challenges by equipping people with skills for life, not just skills for a job,’ she says.

‘Lifelong learning is one of Melbourne Polytechnic’s strategic pillars,’ says Guy Inbar, Director Short Courses and Future Students.

‘Our holistic approach to lifelong student relationships starts at secondary schools through the engagement of our Student Recruitment team, continues as our students study on campus, then as they graduate we support the relationship through the Lifelong Learning and Alumni team.’

Former students of Melbourne Polytechnic, which was formerly NMIT, are encouraged to register as alumni by visiting the Melbourne Polytechnic Alumni website.  Melbourne Polytechnic’s long history, spanning over 100 years, includes time as Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE (NMIT), Preston College of TAFE, Collingwood College of TAFE, Northern Metropolitan College of TAFE, Collingwood Technical School, and Preston Technical School. Alumni of all of these institutions are warmly welcomed as part of the Melbourne Polytechnic family.


Media enquiries should be directed to Melbourne Polytechnic Communications Officer, Anita Coia, on 03 9269 1251 or ua.ud1556192908e.cin1556192908hcety1556192908lopen1556192908ruobl1556192908em@ai1556192908dem1556192908

Melbourne Polytechnic operates across six campuses and five specialist training centres throughout Melbourne. The institute delivers high quality vocational and higher education in industry-standard facilities.