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The rural population transformation and education in Australia

  • Year: 2003
  • Author: McSwan, David
  • Journal Name: Education in Rural Australia
  • Journal Number: Vol.13, No.2
  • Country: Australia

This paper aims to relate the Australia data on rural-urban migration and economic change to education. It illustrates that there has been scant policy attention to the fundamental role of education in the changing nature of Australia's rural areas. Australia's rural policy has been firmly driven by the massive political power of the rural industries and mining lobbies; the voice of rural communities being lost to the winds. Governments should be alert to the needs or rural Australia. Issues of social justice and equity are being raised and heard as never before and ordinary Australians are increasingly aware of, and cherish, our rural communities, our rural image, and or sense of ourselves as sharing a rural heritage. Recent data show that regional Australia, in favoured areas, is prospering. A number of policy considerations are canvassed with the conclusion that leading-edge information and communications technologies are an essential prerequisite if regional Australia is to prosper and metropolitan areas and the south-east are to avoid undesirable crowding. Isolated rural areas are more problematic and a policy approach to a sustainable future for them is not immediately apparent to the author.

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