Marino leaves Norfolk Island out in the cold – Assistant Minister refuses to meet

Students, staff and the Norfolk Island community remain in a state of uncertainty as the Morrison Government fails to announce an education provider for Norfolk Island Central School for 2022 and beyond.

NSW Teachers Federation President, Angelo Gavrielatos and Norfolk Island Central School’s representative, Susie Hale have flown to Canberra to discuss the untenable position the Island is in.

Despite repeated attempts since 12 May to arrange a meeting with Assistant Minister Marino, only late yesterday afternoon did the Assistant Minister advise that she “will not be taking any further meetings this week.”

“This deliberate snub is an insult to Ms Hale and the education community she represents. The provision of education on Norfolk is at crisis point and the Assistant Minister couldn’t even find 15 minutes to meet despite the request for a meeting over 3 weeks ago,” Mr Gavrielatos said.

“It betrays the Morrison Government level of concern regarding this crisis.”

NSW Teachers Federation Norfolk Island representative, Susie Hale, who flew to Canberra last night, said: “The uncertainty with respect to ongoing provision of education has been going on for two years. While it remains unresolved, students are suffering; teachers are stressed; and parents and the community remain out in the cold without an answer as to who will provide education on Norfolk Island in the immediate future.”

The lack of urgency and communication from the Commonwealth have made the situation so critical that Mr Gavrielatos and Ms Hale felt they had no alternative but to travel to Canberra to ask questions of the Government.

“We are talking about continuity of public education for the children of Norfolk Island. This needs to be sorted out now. The disregard for the needs of Norfolk Island’s children and community must stop,” Mr Gavrielatos said.

Whilst in Canberra Mr Gavrielatos and Ms Hale will be meeting with the Shadow Minister, the Hon Jason Clare and Greens spokesperson, Senator Larissa Waters, and David Smith, MP for Norfolk Island.

Members of the NSW Teachers Federation at Norfolk Island Central School have resolved to take further action should the situation not be resolved as a matter of urgency.

“Norfolk Island is a long way from Canberra. Maybe our actions have to be louder so that someone listens,” Ms Hale said.