THE AGE: VCA Music Theatre & Puppetry May Return from 2012

Posted by savevca1 on October 23rd, 2010

VCA Music Theatre Students sing "Fame" at SAVE VCA Week Rally

It must be election time. Yesterday State & Federal Labor politicans descended on VCA to re-announce the VCA policy they announced back in August during the Federal election campaign.

Serenaded by VCA’s Music Theatre students, new Federal Tertiary Education Minister Chris Evans and soon-to-be-retiring State Arts Minister Peter Batchelor affirmed that VCA will receive $5.1m (indexed) in recurring Federal funding from 2012 and that the State & Feds are jointly setting up a VCA Foundation Trust of $4m to try to secure philanthropic support for the VCA. Read the Labor media release here.

The surprise of the day however was a suggestion by Minister Peter Batchelor that Music Theatre and Puppetry will be back from 2012. In today’s The Age, the University of Melbourne confirmed the Curriculum Review has recommended Music Theatre and Puppetry be reinstated, but it has not yet been approved by the University Academic Board. There has also been no mention of what form the courses will take (e.g. will Music Theatre return to being a full 3-year degree program?).

So, with Labor’s financial support confirmed, is the VCA saved? Not yet.

The $13m+ big elephant in the room, which none of the politicians addressed yesterday, is the University’s requirement that VCA pay massive rental and additional administration costs simply to be part of the University. For no increase in services to staff or students, the University was last quoted in The Age to be chasing an additional $13-16m per year above the $5.1m affirmed yesterday.

By comparison, VCA’s pre-merger average entire budget was approx $27m p/a (see page 2 of Walker submission to VCAM Review).

The combined push by the University and the Ministers yesterday for successful alumni and arts partrons to contribute to the new VCA Foundation ignores the fact the arts community’s level of trust in the University of Melbourne is zilch. What confidence can donors have their gifts will go to VCA’s students? Why is the Government ignoring the University’s outlandish cash grab which leaves VCA at risk of more cost-cutting (up to $16m a year!)?

SAVE VCA on November 27

The Victorian State election is November 27, 2010 and will be very important to the VCA.

We’ll be giving you a full comparision on all major parties VCA policies shortly based on (1) will they provide recurring State-based funding for VCA? (2) will they return VCA’s independence? and (3) what plans do they have to help VCA excel in the future?

In the meantime, make sure you have your correct Victorian address enrolled so you can vote for VCA. You can do it in 5 minutes via the Victorian Electoral Commission website.


What do you think SAVE VCA should focus on in the lead up to the election? Fighting to get VCA out of the University altogether or pressuring the Government to regulate the University/VCA relationship more closely (especially in terms of finances)? Post below or on Facebook.

The Age 23 Oct 2010

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3 Responses to “THE AGE: VCA Music Theatre & Puppetry May Return from 2012”

  1. Trust Glyn Davis? One would have to say that on his current record the only reasonable answer to that question is, never! What a farce it is that he continues at the head of UoM despite all the disaster and mayhem he has created. You wonder what more damage he would need to do before action is taken to remove him? Perhaps if he is blocked by the AUQA from giving out ‘doctorates’ for essentially basic degrees, something will be done, but given the apparently sycophantic university Council, I don’t have much hope even then.
    And while VCA is being hammered for relatively small sums over its existing infrastructure, purely for some whimsical accounting policy, the UoM admin is at the same time sinking huge sums of money into building unnecessary but shiny new buildings elsewhere, such as the planned new institute on Grattan St. That hit the headlines this week because of its appalling planning, and my guess is the admin must be shoveling even more millions into pasting over yet another PR disaster. Another reason they need to suck in more money from existing faculties – like the VCA.

  2. Fiona Gross

    Fingers crossed everyone dots their i’s and crosses their t’s and it all happens.

  3. Once again, Labor has fallen short after dragging their feet. They could have fixed this situation years ago but have failed to recognise the importance of the VCA until the beginning of the election campaign. Labor CANNOT be trusted, it’s that simple. Vote for whoever you like, but put Labor last, they’ve had their chance. It’s time to try someone else.

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