*** CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY ***
Delegates and friends.
I believe that no child born into any form of disadvantage should have to carry that disadvantage through their life.
Opening the doors of opportunity is about inclusion and about fairness, delivering a fair playing field for all Australians and their families.
And that, my friends, is the power of education.
I know this to be true from my own story – education allowed me to rise out of poverty, to develop my own career in advocacy, policy, academia, and now here in politics.
It's why we as a party value education and why we invest in education.
We know the transformational power it can have from early childhood education, right through to tertiary.
Now under the previous government, early childhood education fees increased by around 49 per cent – that is simply unacceptable.
Making early childhood education and care more affordable, was one of our key election commitments, and the Labor Government delivered it, for around 1.2 million families. Ensuring that children can access the benefits of early childhood education and care, no matter what their background, no matter what the circumstances.
Now in Australia, with Labor, we have a unique opportunity to build a world leading early childhood development system. One that gives our children the very best possible start in life.
We know, that to chart the course to universal early childhood education and care – in the great Labor traditions of Medicare and superannuation – we need to value we need to recognise the early childhood education workforce.
As a Party and a Government, we understand the importance of getting wages moving, particularly in low paid female dominated sector.
Now this chapter highlights Labor's continuing work with the union movement in advocating for better working conditions, safer workplaces and to ensure that workers are protected from exploiting and practices in a fast-changing working environment.
We support high quality early childhood education and care and we value educators and teachers as professionals.
And we know that the best way to do this is by providing wages and conditions that reflect that professionalism.
That's why hard working Labor Governments are important.
Collectively – between the Labor Government, our union movement and the and the great Labor Party – we have the power to change a child’s life, to change a family’s life to change a community’s life to change Australia for the better.
I commend this chapter to you.