The Guardian September 12, 2001


Dulwich Hill teachers strike

As The Guardian goes to press teachers at Dulwich Hill High 
School, in Sydney's inner west, were on strike with the backing of parents 
and students, to save their school. The students and staff are fuming over 
the decision by the Dulwich/Marrickville High Working Party to amalgamate 
their school with Marrickville High.

"This decision is no more than a money grab for a valuable piece of real 
estate", said Dulwich High spokesperson, Rae Jones.

The closure of the school, which overlooks the scenic Cooks River, is also 
opposed by the Marrickville Heritage Society, which points out that its 
historic 19th century buildings were built specifically for secondary 
education and could not readily be adapted for other purposes.

If closed it will either be demolished for commercial development or 
purchased by a private school.

"The Minister appointed this working party with a clear understanding of 
the job that they were hired to do", said Rae Jones. "That job involves the 
dismantling of public education in the Marrickville and Dulwich Hill area. 
Students and staff alike are angry and bitter at the way the decision has 
been made."

The working party has also refused to seriously consider the value of the 
school as an essential resource for local business and the community.

As part of their protest Dulwich Hill staff marched to the office of the 
Member for Marrickville, Deputy Premier Andrew Refshauge, and called for a 
by-election in the seat for which they have dug up Sir Henry Parkes to 
stand as a candidate for public education.

"The late Sir Henry Parkes is turning in his grave. As a genuine education 
Premier who actually did something for schools he intends to return to 
announce his candidature for the seat of Marrickville", Ms Rae announced.

"Although Sir Henry is out of practice because he died 100 years ago he 
feels that his experience and feeling for ordinary people will far outweigh 
the party advantages of Dr Refshauge."

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