Dear Charles L B, Thank you for your encouraging post. Having
been our guest at the Design Centre, you know what a great set of
workshops we have for both fine arts-oriented training and the
more practical trade training for our apprentices.
The apprentices still talk about your fold-forming
demonstrations and you will be doubly delighted to know that the
apprentice who took out the top award for over-all performance
during the three years of the trade course for 1998 was Grace
Zhao. Her master-work was a stunning brooch pendant which
combined elements of your fold-forming techniques, kum boo, and
enamel in silver and fine gold. You would have been proud of
I suspect that, like everything else these days, the real motive
behind this attempt to dismantle a successful and viable course
is to secure still more cutbacks and financial savings by
so-called rationalisation. It is clear that Ms Hanley has not
thought through all the ramifications of her decision - if she
has thought at all.
For a start the Jewellery Trade course is the only accredited
course of its kind in NSW. Kill it off and you have hundreds of
furious jewellers and lots of disadvantaged apprentices.
What I can’t get over, is the way it’s being done. No
consultation with industry or teachers. Just a directive couched
in “do it - or else” terms. No consideration for the issues of a
national curriculum. No consideration for the fact that the
Jewellery Trade Course in Sydney, Australia, has never been as
successful in its 85 year history as it is right now.
Charles, I came into teaching to give something back to the
industry. I dropped a lot of money to teach, because I believed
that knowledge was more valuable. Besides my forty three years of
industry experience and my international awards, I have two
degrees and will be starting a Masters in education next
semester. I did not become a teacher in Jewellery Trades to
preside over the demise of trade training or any lessening of
the standards we have built. We are prepared to fight hard, and
your moral support is gratefully received.
If anyone out there wishes to write, here is a list of some of
the people who would be influenced by your opinion. (TAFE is an
acronym for Technical And Further Education)
Mr. John Aquilina, Mr. Ken Boston,
Minister for Education Director of Education.
GPO Box 33, GPO Box 33,
Sydney 2001 Sydney. 2001
Mr. Bob Puffett, Ms Marie Persson,
Director of TAFE, NSW. Director, S.I.T.
GPO Box 33 Building A,
Sydney 2001 Maryann Street
Australia Ultimo. 2007
Ms Sue Hanley,
Director, Business Studies,
Sydney Institute of Technology
Some international letters supporting the notion of “hands off
of the independent Jewellery Trades Course” would be wonderful.
Thanks, mate, Rex Merten