Letters to the editor

Campaign: Fight gender inequality is the message of PLAN International Australia's deputy chief executive officer Susanne Legena.
Campaign: Fight gender inequality is the message of PLAN International Australia's deputy chief executive officer Susanne Legena.

Return course

I understand why TAFE wants to discontinue VCE because of low numbers, but what about other people who wish to complete their VCE at TAFE? I have attended mainstream schools in the past, but they just ignite my depression, so I am forced to study at TAFE. Now its axing VCE, I have nowhere else to go. One year ago, I was at Mortlake College. I was a good student and I won an excellence award in science. When the 2016 school year began, I did even better, averaging 85 per cent in all my classes (except PE). In the second term, I suddenly started to feel depressed and anxious. I felt like nothing was going to be right, so I stopped attending because of my depression. A few months later, I was feeling better and I thought about studying at TAFE. I heard about a program called YARP, which is a program for students who want to get back into education. I was originally uninterested in it. At the time, I was seeing a psychologist weekly and I had been taking medication for about three months. I then looked into the YARP program. I read that it could lead me to doing VCE eventually. I was excited because I eventually want to complete VCE, go to university and hopefully get a career in video game design. I started YARP on October 14 this year. So far, I’m doing very well. Even though I live in Mortlake and it takes me about half an hour to get to Warrnambool, I think it’s a better option for me. But South West TAFE is cancelling its VCE program because not enough people are doing it. When I started YARP, I was hoping in 2017 I would start doing my VCE. Without TAFE, I have nowhere else to go, but if I see an opportunity, I will take it. And if I go to a mainstream school, the environment will most likely make me depressed again. I can’t spend my life depressed or worthless. I want to be worth something in this world. From the bottom of my heart, I sincerely hope that South West TAFE will overturn this decision.

Jack McDonald, Mortlake

Fight gender inequality

Women face everyday sexism every day. In Australia, research by Plan International revealed that just eight per cent of girls and young women feel they’re always treated equally to boys. Only 14 per cent say they always receive the same opportunities to succeed as boys.

Following our event on how to tackle everyday sexism, participants including government representatives, researchers, journalists and the online community outlined strategies we can all adopt, both men and women, to fight gender inequality: Check your language, don’t say “you run like a girl”. Instead of telling girls they look beautiful, tell them they’re strong. Call out everyday sexism, and stop laughing at sexist remarks. Check your unconscious bias, there’s no such thing as men’s work or women’s work, boys or girls chores. Value women for their personalities and intelligence, not just their looks. Celebrate women leaders, and encourage girls to dream big. Lead by example as children mirror our behaviour, it’s our responsibility to ensure their generation leaves no glass ceilings intact.

Susanne Legena, Deputy CEO, Plan International Australia 

Election reform needed

Re the story Missed chance to better council? (The Standard, November 12). This article brings home the urgent need to revise the electoral system now used by the Victorian Electoral Commission.

Earlier this year the Commonwealth revised the senate voting system used by the Australian Electoral Commission for voting below the line so to be valid you had to number up to the total number of vacancies. If this was extended to all multi-vacancy elections it would avoid much confusion in the community plus candidates could no longer just nominate and refuse to contact people if to be elected. This is the case with many today and most people know very little about many candidates.

James Judd, Colac