Sharon Bird and Ryan Park today met with former Wollongong TAFE College Principal Ray Tolhurst and local NSW Teachers’ Federation representatives to wish Wollongong TAFE a belated 75th Birthday.

The North Wollongong campus was opened back in 1942 and was the start of the education precinct which now includes the TAFE campus, Wollongong High School of the Performing Arts, Keira High School and the University of Wollongong.

After much fanfare back in 1992 when the then North Wollongong TAFE College turned 50, former Principal Ray Tolhurst was disappointed to learn that the campus’ 75th Birthday would pass without even a cake.

Sharon Bird said that it was indicative of the Liberal’s attitude towards TAFE, schools and universities.

“In 1992 a great celebration was held with an Open Day and Ray has dropped in a copy of the eight page Illawarra Mercury feature marking the anniversary. 

“It is disappointing that, 25 years later, the New South Wales government didn’t even notice the milestone.  The education precinct at North Wollongong has educated and trained many of our local workers today.  Unfortunately the Liberals are just not interested in investing in or celebrating our local TAFEs, schools and university – they are just hell-bent on cutting funding to education.

Ryan Park said while it was disappointing, it was hardly surprising because the NSW Liberal Government doesn’t give a damn about ensuring TAFE has a long term future in our region”.

“Only the Labor Party has the policies and funding commitments that will ensure not only TAFE survives but thrives going forward and will ensure that this first class provider of vocational education celebrates many more milestones in the future”.