Chairman’s Welcome to 2019


Wouldn’t it be Nice?



Hello all,

And welcome to another year working for the good of country education.

In 2019, CEP is committed, as ever, to the strengthening and enhancement of learning provision in rural and remote communities. 

Like you, we have watched the flurry of students head off to school in the past week — many thousands of which embarked on their very first day of formal education.

For them and their parents, the start of ‘big school’ presents an equally exciting and emotional experience.

It is an end to one vital chapter in life and the beginning of another — a point at which many parents pause to consider just where their child’s educational journey will take them.


It would be something of a dream if we could say that journey would be the same for all children — blessed with opportunity, resources and equality.

But that’s just not the case.

We can’t work miracles but we can foster change, provided we are granted the tools to do so.


At CEP, we know rural and remote students do not receive equality of educational opportunity.

But we also know this can improve.

This can be addressed.

And now is the time to start. Now is the time for action.

There is no quick fix for the issues facing country education — no one-size-fits-all solution that can be rolled out from the top.

Change is gradual; it takes time and commitment.

What we can control is the way in which we resource and truly support our education communities.

And it is this that we, at CEP, will continue to champion in 2019.


— Mike Stephens, CEP Chair

The Year Ahead for CEP


CEP is committed to supporting initiatives in 2019 that will enhance learning provision in rural and remote communities.
We will especially focus on initiatives that:
  • enable sustainable education into the future
  • advocate the needs of rural and remote education communities to state and federal governments
  • build aspirations in the minds of our country students
  • support the recruitment and retention of educators and education leaders in rural and remote communities
  • explore ways in which our small education settings can be sustained and supported

In 2019, we will continue core programs and partnerships, such as:

  • working with the William Buckland Foundation — supporting the Mallee Track area in developing a learning approach to create sustainability of education in the region
  • Rural Inspire — enhancing aspirations and career mentoring
  • Energy Breakthrough — further developing EB’s hands-on, STEM learning experience
  • Professional Development — providing high-quality PD experiences for our members

And finally, CEP would like to congratulate the Victorian Government on its re-election late last year. We look forward to continuing our work with them to achieve positive outcomes within country education, especially through their recently announced initiatives: 

  • the establishment of mental health support personnel for each secondary education setting;
  • the establishment of  Greater VCE Subject Choice for Regional and Rural Students – an idea that has been strongly advocated by CEP’s Rural Youth Ambassadors for many years.