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SKYHigh launches recruitment drive for election year

Parents visiting this week’s Yarraville Festival will be asked to lend their support for SKY High’s  campaign for new high school option in the local area.

President of SKY High, Melissa Horne, said now more than ever local families had to show the State Government and all political parties that they need a strong investment in a local school.

“The Government will ignore us if they can, so we need to drum up as much support for SKY High as possible,” Ms Horne said.

“This is an election year and it is our mission to get as many politicians as possible to put SKY High in their policies. We’ve had a great first start from the Opposition’s commitment in December to investigate ways to deliver a new school, let’s see the Government match it.

“At this week’s Yarraville Festival will be asking all parents and kids to sign our petition and add their  names to our ever increasing membership list.

“Local families know Seddon, Kingsville and Yarraville are experiencing a population boom. But not everyone realises that those proud preppies heading off to their first day of school will need more local classrooms, teachers and other education facilities before they hit year 7.

Ms Horne said the SKY High working group had been working hard over summer to plan a range of  interesting and powerful campaign activities that would make Spring Street sit up and listen.

“This year our campaign will be fun and anyone thinking about lending their hand should come and find us at the Yarraville Festival,” Ms Horne said.

The Yarraville Festival is being held on Sunday 16 February.

Media Release – SKY High and Local Real Estate Agent Call for More High School Funding

An inner west’s real estate agency has joined forces with SKYHigh in calling on the State Government to fund additional capacity in the inner west’s public secondary schools.

Wayne Elly, partner of Greg Hocking today said he would sponsor SKYHigh’s 10 year anniversary as a way of putting pressure on the State Government to fund more public secondary education places for Seddon, Kingsville and Yarraville’s kids.

“As a local real estate agent with 20 years’ experience in the area, I talk to many families who want to live near a high school,” Mr Elly said.

“We are seeing such growth in the area that there is no doubt that a high school in the Seddon, Kingville, Yarraville area is critical to accommodate this future growth for families with kids at high school.

“All local homeowners would get an immediate boost to their property values from a local high school option”.

SKYHigh welcomed the sponsorship by Greg Hocking Estate Agents for the 10 year anniversary celebrations.

President, Melissa Horne said the support represented a growing awareness by residents and local businesses that additional capacity in the public high school network is a boost for the entire community, not just those seeking high school educations.

“Now is the time for the State Government to commit to funding additional capacity in the local high school network as they determine priorities for next year’s budget,” Ms Horne said.

“One of the great things about living here is being part of a tight-knit community with great facilities and lifestyle so close to the city. It’s a tragedy for the community that people are forced to move away from the area they have chosen to raise small children in, because there is a massive gap in the existing public high school network.

“We thank Wayne Elly for his agency’s support of SKYHigh’s 10-year anniversary and call on the State Government to commit public, secondary school funding for the area in next year’s budget.”

The 10-year anniversary celebrations will be held at Beaton Reserve, Powell St, Yarraville on Sunday 1 December following a rally through Yarraville, from 11am. Media and local residents welcome.

Further Information

Melissa Horne: 0412 130 823

Wayne Elly: 0410 305 305

Media Alert – Schoolopoly Photo Opportunity – Monday 23 September at 10:30 am

What: SKYHigh will host a giant game of Schoolopoly and call on the Napthine Government to build more public high school capacity for kids living in the Seddon, Kingsville and Yarraville area in the coming budget.

When: Monday, 23 September at 10:30 am

Where: The small park area behind Alpha Bakehouse and immediately East of Yarraville Station, Anderson St, Yarraville -

Contact: Melissa Horne, President SKYHigh – 0412 130 823

Letters to the editor…

Desperate for a school

The rebadging of Hawthorn Secondary College (The Saturday Age, 30/3) to boost flagging enrolments – only 443 students in 2012 – highlights the inequality of education across Melbourne. Education Minister Martin Dixon has refused to build a new secondary school in the inner west, claiming there is insufficient demand. However, he used inaccurate population figures to come to this decision. Currently there are about 1500 potential students in Seddon, Kinsgville and Yarraville who would attend a local high school if it were built. Good luck to Hawthorn. But, minister, where is the fairness?

Sarah Corbet, Yarraville

Read more:

SKYHigh Media Release MR38 – Inner West students ignored again – DEECD stands by flawed report

SKYHigh Working Group media release

Inner West students ignored again – DEECD stands by flawed report

The Seddon Kingsville Yarraville (SKY) High Working Group (WG) has been officially advised the by the Department of Education (DEECD) that they will not be building a high school in SKY. The DEECD believes there is sufficient public high school capacity in the existing high schools in Melbourne’s inner west.

SKYHigh spokesperson Ms. Janine Lloyd says that “the finding is based on a seriously flawed provision report that appears to be designed to understate future enrolments in SKY”. SKYHigh has provided three critiques of the DEECD’s report to correct obvious errors. The DEECD’s final report actually forecasts a decrease in the number of SKY high school aged children despite a background increase in local population” says Ms. Lloyd. The DEECD has not provided a satisfactory explanation for their forecast decline.

The DEECD’s finding is at clear odds with 78% of 2011 grade 6 children attending a public high school. With 2,000 children enrolled in the four SKY primary schools, this equates to 1,560 children who need a local public high school, well over the 1,100 threshold set for a new school by DEECD. Ms. Lloyd says that the DEECD report “does not pass any basic reality test”, especially when SKYHigh forecasts Maribyrnong permanent capacity will be exceeded in 2016.

Over the past two years, SKYHigh representatives have repeatedly requested meetings with Minister Dixon to discuss the need for a local SKY high school. Minister Dixon has never responded. The 1,500 families that make up SKYHigh feel that there is no option now but to mount a political campaign. Ms. Lloyd says that “we would prefer to continue to work with the DEECD, but they are not willing to consider the gross inaccuracies in their reported modelling, and Minister Dixon won’t even respond to our meeting requests”.

Despite Premier Ted Baillieu’s recognition of local services being a necessity for his government’s vision of a 20-minute city (in the soon to be released planning scheme), SKY children continue to be disadvantaged with no local high school. SKY children have to travel “further than any other metro Melbourne child to get to the nearest co-educational high school” says Ms. Lloyd.

It just doesn’t make sense that western Melbourne private high schools are increasing their enrolment capacity with new buildings and infrastructure, yet the State Government chooses to honour the findings of a flawed EECD report that states there is no need for more co-education high school capacity in Melbourne’s inner West.

For further SKYHigh information, please see or email

Media Enquiries: Janine Lloyd m: 0424 646 595 e: