Philosophical Conversations Public Opinion Junk for code
parliament house.gif
Think Tanks
Oz Blogs
Economic Blogs
Foreign Policy Blogs
International Blogs
Media Blogs
South Australian Weblogs
Economic Resources
Environment Links
Political Resources
South Australian Links
"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

Military Colleges « Previous | |Next »
November 6, 2007

There has been very little public comment about the Coalition's policy of two of the thirty new technical colleges being designated special Australian Defence Technical Colleges. Details can be found in the Technical Colleges Policy paper.

I am concerned about this further Americanisation of Australia. We have seen in TV progams about high schools in the USA which are in effect run by branches of the military. Indoctrination of young people into a military culture is a further move towards a military oriented society. Perhaps if there were a deliberate move to make sure equal attention were given to international problem solving by diplomatic means and social development we might end up with a more balanced society.

| Posted by Len at 7:54 PM | | Comments (17)


So, a new "Hitlerjugend" , with lots of isolation from reality and inculcation of beer-drinking songs and the like?
I thought that was what the army and footy clubs were for.
I'd laugh 'cept for the recent and current political climate, which actually makes any thing seem eventually possible.
On a related subject, it was good to see Rudd dishing out a bit of typically mild ridicule towards Howard's TAFE quivalent as ridiculous duplication with an already well set up system( TAFE)already established. I love these quizzical little looks Rudd gets, when he looks into the distance, when he is trying to suggest an irony or discrepancy in something he has been considering. Underplaying is a art very few politicians have the knack of doing well. Dunstan and Whitlam were two who were gifted as to this form.
Gary, what is Howard's actual problem with TAFE?
Hardly a hot bed of leftism one would have thought, and what other reason could he have for trying to trash it?
But then I suppose you ask the same about aboriginal welfare-the hurt done to people; bystanders, is never nearer than hindmost in what passes for thinking with these sorts of people.

The Liberal Party's policy document on Technical Colleges is here. A performance audit of the Technical Colleges by the Auditor General. A Digest on the Technicl Colleges by the Parliamentary Library. The Australian Technical Colleges website.

They are envisoned as centres of excellence in trade training, thereby raising the profile of vocational and technical education in schools and strengthening the training system as a whole.

it can be argued that the two Defence Technical Colleges, as “dedicated high school(s) emphasizing defence-related skills”, is a reversion to a discredited approach which attempts to stream students into careers rather than give them the education they need to make decisions for themselves about what careers they want.

It could also be argued that these ‘schools’ would inevitably turn into something akin to the American military academies where busy upwardly mobile conservative parents dump their children to teach them some discipline.

do you think that Howard subscribes to the Elwood Cubberly school of thought, who in 1905 said:

Schools should be factories in which raw products, children, are to be shaped and formed into finished products. . . manufactured like nails, and the specifications for manufacturing will come from government and industry.”

The Technical Colleges are specialist senior secondary schools where students combine academic courses and trade training. See the SA examples.

They are fairly explicit competition
with the State-administered TAFE systems. So this program is an example of the commonwealth's willingness to bypass the States, or complete directly with them, in pursuit of what it regards as national goals.

The Technical Colleges seem to be an illustration of the maturing Howard Government's perspective that regards the Commonwealth government as the guardian of the national interest and the States as sectional interests whose actions may potentially harm the national interest.

Peter S,
Surely not.If the Federal Government had the national interest in mind it would have discussed technical education with the States and then provided support for the existing TAFE system.Another option would have been to offer taking over the TAFE matursytem! Its hardly maturity or good economic management to duplicate an existing structure.

the Americanization of Australia that you are worried about is very evident in the Defence forces. They are becoming part of the global American defence system.

Associated with this is the Howard Government's elevation of the military — typified by the promotion of Anzac Day, the attendance by political leaders at military ceremonies,and the selection of a military man as Governor-General.This militarization is linked, and justified by, the ongoing global war on (Islamic) terror.


This is interesting in light of Gary's TAFE thread, and vice versa. Beyond driving lefties out of universities and turning education into a user pays system the Howard government hasn't done anything much with education, so why military school?

I'm starting to think it fits the pattern of what this government does not do. Which is education. Vocational training yes, education no. Just keeping everything nice and mediocre.

Plus it's the next best thing if you can't get away with reintroducing national service.

the military is short on skilled trades people too.


I understood this as being more about the military being short of military people of any description.

It all seems so loopy. At a time when the government is on the nose with young people and we're at war, the government decides to announce this? Maybe they're hoping for mature age students?

re your question: what is Howard's actual problem with TAFE? Hardly a hot bed of leftism one would have thought, and what other reason could he have for trying to trash it?

TAFE is union controlled. He's not trashing it--the Labor run states are letting TAFE wither on the vine. Howard is simply bypassing TAFE.

nope, they have places like Duntroon in Canberra for producing military people. These colleges, from what I can gather, are for the trades people to keep the military machine running. Some has to fix the machine when it break down. Obviously TAFE is not producing these kind of trades people.

The Liberal Party Policy Paper says "..graduates of the Colleges will be given preferential consideration for entry into
.The Australian Defence Force,
.The Coalition Government's new ADF Gap Year progamme
. The Autsralian Centre for Defence Skills and
. The Defence Skills Scholarships program"
Seems as though you are both correct. Existing secondary schools and TAFEs can and do already provide a feedstock for the above?

"Facts, M'dear Bounderby", said Mr. Gradgrind severely.
" Facts, facts and only the facts!", as Mr.Costello concurred and Messrs Windprattle, Brunton, O'Donnell, McGuinness and Howard all "harrumphed" loudly , in unison!
Inscribed like dust on a '45 record- a student as "Tabula Rasa".
And the comment concerning TAFE and loss of funding, is this to do with the sort of silly ideological campaigns that right wing state ALP governments sometimes run against teachers unions, or is it to do with chronic underfunding from Canberra.
To quote one notable product of Australian educational practices;
"please explain".
btw, This "Elwood Cubberly" "bitzer" must have had a most desolate of childhoods, surely?

paul walter,
I understand the C'wealth and the States have not been able to reach agreemant about the C'wealth contributing to the TAFE system because the C'wealth has insisted that teachers be offered individual contracts and the States have rejected that proposal. It would be helpfull if someone could supply up to the minute information about this matter. It must be a consideration for many people in the coming election.


You made me laugh coffee.

in a few weeks the coalition may be sat back in an office suite somewhere pondering where it went wrong.
They could go no further than the drawn out authoritarian farce that has sent a chill down the collective spine of society, occurring over several years now, involving the coercion of people working under state approved conditions in agreement with employers, onto the federal system regardless of the interests of the people involved.
SerfChoices. NoChoices.

Sad thing is, the serf choices thing is not anomolous but typical: look at welfare, indigeneous policy, immigration and refugees,so-called war on terror, the ABC. Its all to do with "cultural change", which is no more than a perverse neurotic urge to force others to conform to an abstracted particular view of how life should be lived. It is a nasty and pathologically-inspired simulacra or caricature of cradle-to-grave welfare where all that remains is sado micromanagement.

Howard is on the nose not because of interest rates- that's only about being picked up on a complacent lie.
It's about a frankly scary control-freak mentality allowed to run rampant for so long that has finally alarmed even those most complacent of people, the
Lyn, thanks.