Tranby Aboriginal Co-Operative College, Glebe

About this Item
SpeakersMarkham Mr Colin
BusinessPrivate Members Statements


Mr MARKHAM (Keira) [5.18 p.m.]: I bring to the attention of the Parliament the opening of the new Tranby Aboriginal Co-operative College at Glebe and the achievements of this exceptional educational institution during the past 40 years. The innovative design of the new Tranby college is inspiring not only for its present students but for students in the future. Tranby college is an independent Aboriginal community-based provider of educational services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from all parts of Australia. Since its establishment in 1958 Tranby college has been committed to provide a teaching and learning environment which respects and nurtures culturally appropriate ways of sharing and gaining knowledge holistically, intuitively, vibrantly, creatively, spiritually and always respectfully.

In September I attended the opening of the new Tranby college with facilities worth $4 million. The results of the upgrade were impressive. I can assure honourable members that my colleague, the Minister for Education and Training, and Minister Assisting the Premier on Youth Affairs, who also attended the opening, was more than impressed with those achievements. The facilities include classrooms, a computer laboratory, an art room and a student common room. Tranby college is qualified to deliver accredited courses such as the Certificate in Adult Foundation Education and the Diploma in Development Studies in Aboriginal Communities. Tranby’s courses, which incorporate the different cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds of its students, are designed for success, not failure. This year, 12 students are enrolled in the certificate course and 27 students are enrolled in the diploma course.

Tranby provides students with more than basic education. It works within kinship systems and has a range of support services, including counselling, health support, addiction therapy and workshops for the healing of spirits. This excellent system of support has helped Aboriginal people find and sustain employment. This model institution is having a positive impact on the high rate of unemployment, suicide and substance abuse among Aboriginal people. I have seen at first-hand the success of Tranby college which has resulted from hard work. Aboriginal students have achieved positive self-awareness, self-acceptance and self-esteem, and have become role models for members of their communities. The staff at Tranby college are dedicated to reviving and enhancing the strengths and successes of Aboriginal culture. Tranby’s motto is "Working together to live" and is described by the distinctive logo of a hammer held by black and white hands.

Tranby college has been a meeting place for diverse groups. Its logo remains a powerful reminder of the importance of co-operation, support, respect and goodwill and an equally powerful reminder of the success of Tranby’s achievements over the past 40 years through strong and committed partnerships. In 1994 Tranby, together with the Northern Territory Institute for Aboriginal Development, Tauondi in South Australia, the New South Wales Aboriginal and Islander Skills Development Association and the Redfern Aboriginal Dance Theatre formed the Federation of Independent Aboriginal Education Providers. The federation has become the peak advisory body on matters relating to, and affecting, indigenous education and training.

I am pleased to report that Tranby will continue to be pro-active in redressing the injustices and inequity evident in the cultural, economic, social, political and spiritual education of Aboriginal peoples. Tranby college owes much to the dedication of an Aboriginal guy, Kevin Cook, who has spent a lifetime making sure that Aboriginal people, especially young ones, get an opportunity for culturally based learning. Jack Beatson, the Chief Executive Officer of Tranby college, has dedicated his life to the college to make sure that young Aboriginal people get a better crack of the whip than those of his era. I commend both Kevin and Jack for their work. It is a credit to the Aboriginal people of this State to have a college such as Tranby.