Labor have announced a reshuffle of their frontbench and in a bizarre move have split their Shadow Ministry by naming Kate Ellis as the Shadow Minister TAFE and Vocational Education and Training, and Senator Doug Cameron as the Shadow Minister for Skills and Apprenticeships.

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Kate Ellis MP

Our new Shadow Minister for VET, (Kate) has come from a family of educators and small business owners, and her website overview would suggest that she is passionate about Education.

Doug Cameron

Senator Doug Cameron

Our new Shadow Minister for Skills and Apprenticeships (Doug) was born in Scotland, is married with two daughters and two grandchildren.

Doug was elected to the Senate in 2007 and has served as Shadow Minister for Human Services since 2013 (until this frontbench reshuffle). Prior to being preselected to run for the Senate, Doug previously served as the national secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union.

 

Kate entered parliament in 2004 as the youngest woman ever elected to the House of Representatives, and became the Minister for Employment Participation and Early Childhood in 2010. In opposition, up until this reshuffle Kate has been the Shadow Minister for Education and the Shadow Minister for Early Childhood. Both Kate and Doug have historically supported and voted for both marriage equality and safe schools coalition which sounds promising.

Kate Ellis seems to be an active local MP and apparently mad fan of the Adelaide Crows… but we won’t hold that against her. Interestingly her husband David Penberthy, is news limited journalist and was former editor of both Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Sunday Mail. He is now a breakfast show host on Adelaide’s Nova FM.

The VET sector is in need of change, in particular with regard to VET Fee Help. Rather than playing political games we are calling on both Shadow Ministers Kate and Doug to work with our Education Minister, Senator Birmingham and his Assistant Minister, Karen Andrews to deliver some much needed VET reform and policy changes to improve the quality of the overall VET sector.

The team at Audit Express look forward to engaging with the new Shadow Minister for VET and the new Shadow Minister for Skills and Apprenticeships on both policy and reform. We wish you both well in your new positions. We would also like to thank the outgoing Shadow Minister Sharon Bird for her passion of VET and her dedication to the overall sector – Sharon you have left big shoes for Kate and Doug to fill! 

To download the full Shadow Cabinet Overview click here.