FAQ

What is SKYHigh?

  • SKYHigh comprises a Working Group (WG) and members mainly comprising local parents concerned about lack of a local secondary school option for the SKY neighbourhood.
  • The SKYHigh WG is working with over 1300 subscribed families (October 2012), our local MP’s and the Education Department to get a high school campus established in the SKY neighbourhood.
  • The SKY neighbourhood includes Seddon, Kingsville and Yarraville, plus portions of Spotswood and Newport.
  • SKYHigh representatives are working with existing inner West school communities to develop a solution that will improve pathways and outcomes for all our children.
  • SKYHigh is a registered association, with an executive (the Working Group) elected at an Annual General Meeting, according to its constitution.

Who is on the SKYHigh executive?

Each year different parents nominate to lead the Working Group. At the August 2013 AGM the following individuals accepted lead roles:

  • President: Melissa Horne
  • Vice President: Martin Zakarov
  • Secretary: Bruce Abernethy
  • Treasurer: Matt Nurse

Political Affiliations?

  • SKYHigh is not affiliated with political parties but some of our members are active in local politics.
  • SKYHigh will be active during the lead-up to the next Victorian State election.
  • SKYHigh encourages all candidates to support our need for improved high school provisioning.

Why do we need a local high school?

  • SKYHigh forecasts there will be over 1,100 SKY children needing a secondary college by 2016.
  • SKY has the highest support for public primary and secondary schools across Melbourne. In 2012, 78% of our 2011 grade 6 children went to a public secondary college, despite SKY not having a local high school.
  • The need for a secondary school is urgent as many SKY families are leaving our suburbs due to lack of a local secondary college.
  • SKYHigh representatives are working with existing inner West school communities to develop a solution that will improve pathways and outcomes for all our children.
  • Following primary school, especially up to year 9, most children in the SKY neighbourhood cannot access a public high school on foot or by bike as they are too distant.
  • Our children, families, community and local businesses are disadvantaged by the lack of a local secondary college.
  • The Kennett Government closed the high school in this area in 1996.

What about other high schools?

  • SKY is located historically in the Williamstown High School catchment, but it is a popular choice and has been forced to restrict year 7 entry to only its nearest neighbourhoods.
  • Other local high schools are Footscray City, Bayside and Maribyrnong, which are at least 5km and a drive/bus ride away.
  • The SKYHigh Working group has always been supportive of the existing public schools in the region–they are just too far away.

What has SKYHigh been doing?

  • August 2010 – Stakeholder forum with Western Metropolitan region school principals, SKYHigh representatives, and local politicians met and discussed potential solutions to the need for a local high school in SKY with a view to presenting options to the community in early 2011.
  • October 2010Change of Government. Back to re-establishing the need for a local high school.
  • 2011SKYHigh representatives met with the Education Minister, who commissioned a 3rd study by independent consultants, Spatial Vision.
  • August 20123rd independent consultant’s provision report completed.
  • September 2012SKYHigh submitted response to provision report and awaiting meeting with Minister Dixon.

Next steps with the Education Department?

  • Awaiting response/next steps from Education Department after SKYHigh responded to latest government provision report. (Our response was submitted on 19 September 2012).
  • SKYHigh have written to the Education Minister, the Honourable Martin Dixon MP, requesting a meeting and the commissioning of a feasibility study ASAP.

Site – where would a school go?

  • Several local sites have been identified as possibilities, such as Bradmill, but it will be the Education Department in liaison with Maribyrnong Council that will determine the final site.

How long will it take to get a school for our children?

  • Examples of schools that have been built/renovated in Melbourne’s Western region have taken from 2 to 4 years BUT that’s after Ministerial approval has been granted and we’re not there yet!

I’m interested but too busy to attend meetings – what can I do?

  • Discuss the issue and SKYHigh in the supermarket, playground, and café. Awareness is key.
  • Join us by emailing info@skyhigh.org.au use our Contact Us form.
  • Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/sky.high.now
  • Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/sky_high_now
  • Complete the online survey: http://www.skyhigh.org.au/survey2012/survey.htm
  • Write to the Minister in old-school letter-style (they can’t ignore letters or provide a form email response as easily):
    • Explain why you need a local high school.
    • Request that he meets with SKYHigh representatives urgently to commission a feasibility study.
    • Copy Bernie Finn and Andrew Elsbury. See Contact Government page for address details.
    • Post your letter in the Your Say section of the SKYHigh website (other examples are there for your reference).