Disengaged children stripped of cultural and sporting areas

Ballerrt Mooroop College Blockade

The Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (VDEECD) gave the impression that they were happy with a compromised solution through a mediation process. However, during the mediation proceedings they have struck without warning to fence off land at the Ballarrt Mooroop College (BMC) and commence building the new 18 million dollar Glenroy Specialist School (GSS).

The new GSS school will take away the Indigenous school's adjacent parklands, their important cultural heritage precinct and their duel purpose Gymnasium/Community building. With at least two other vacant spaces large enough for the new specialist school in the same region which are owned by the department it beggers belief that they are enforcing BMC to surrender this important school's land. Ballerrt Mooroop College is currently Melbourne's only Indigenous school with the important function of supporting Indigenous students who are disengaged with education.

Mr Gary Murray, spokesperson for BMC said that the mediation process didn't break down, but the process and outcomes were completely ignored by the Department. Their representatives sat in on the mediation which was led by the City of Moreland and it was agreed that the next step was a meeting with the Minister of Education, Martin Dixon. The Indigenous college had withdrawn their heritage applications in good faith of the process.

The entire adjoining parklands and oval were fenced off on Wednesday in a snap action by the contractors under the authority of VDEECD. Police and security guards arrived early in the morning to provide protection for the construction workers. VDEECD have employed security to patrol the area for 24 hours a day and a truck carrying a generator and lighting equipment arrived at the school on Wednesday afternoon.

Protesters have been warned that if they enter the park they will be charged with unlawful trespassing and were told that the contractors will be bringing construction equipment onto the site within the next few days.

People Power Wanted
The BMC community protest is still holding strong, despite extremely difficult conditions and uncertainty and they are calling for more community support to stop the outrageous injustice. To need to keep the momentum going BMC needs the support from a larger number of supporters at the daily blockade/sit-ins - starting at 6.00am.

For people unable to attend Blockade/Sit-in
For all supporters who cannot attend personally to support the college, donations of food, firewood or money would be greatly appreciated.

Emails and postal letter writing to the Minister would help greatly - even a brief strongly worded email would add to the weight of the protest. For more detailed letters you can find details for content by reading BMC letters and other content on the Save Ballerrt Mooroop website.

Email letters to: Hon Martin Dixon, Victorian Minister for Education - martin.dixon@parliament.vic.gov.au