Skip to content

Public Funding of Private Education is Unconscionable


Event Status

The parents of students attending private schools pay taxes. So, why should their children be denied a share of the education dollar? Yet every dollar provided to a private school is a dollar not available to invest in public schools. Where should we invest public funds and according to what set of principles might we decide without prompting envy and division?

Speakers arguing for the proposition will be Chris Bonnor, retired secondary school principal and author; Beatrice Duong, one of Victoria’s top high school debaters; and well-known novelist Shane Maloney.

Speakers arguing against the proposition will be Dr Kevin Donnelly, one of Australia’s leading education commentators; Andrew Elder, Year 12 student at Scotch College; and Amanda Vanstone, former federal education minister.


Chris Bonnor

Chris Bonnor AM is a retired secondary school principal and author. Chris was co-author with Jane Caro of The Stupid Country: How Australia is dismantling public education, (UNSW Press, 2007). He is a contributing author to the Centre for Policy Development’s More Than Luck: Ideas Australia Needs ... Read more

Kevin Donnelly

Dr Kevin Donnelly is one of Australia’s leading education commentators and author of Why Our Schools are Failing (2004), Dumbing Down (2007) and Australia’s Education Revolution (2009). Kevin has written over 400 articles in the daily media and professional journals and appears regularly on radi... Read more

Amanda Vanstone

Amanda Vanstone is a former senior Australian politician. Amanda was also Australia’s ambassador to Italy from June 2007 to May 2010. She was a Liberal Senator for South Australia from 1984 to 2007, and held several ministerial portfolios in the Howard Government, including Minister for Immigratio... Read more

Shane Maloney

Born in Hamilton in western Victoria in 1953, Shane Maloney is one of Australia’s most popular novelists. His award-winning and much-loved Murray Whelan series – Stiff, The Brush-Off, Nice Try, The Big Ask, Something Fishy and Sucked In – has been published around the world.  In 1996, The B... Read more

Beatrice Duong

Beatrice Duong is a year 11 student at the John Monash Science School in Clayton. Beatrice wishes to further a career in biomedical research. Apart from the sciences, she has a strong interest in public speaking, music, drama and soccer. Beatrice has debated since year eight, and has since gone on t... Read more

Andrew Elder

Andrew Elder is a Year 12 student at Scotch College. Andrew has a broad range of interests, including rugby, rowing, drama, music and debating. He’s debated all through his school career, culminating in 2010, when he helped lead his school team to win the Victorian B Grade championships, and was s... Read more


Melbourne Town Hall

90-120 Swanston Street Melbourne Victoria 3000

More details

Stay up to date with our upcoming events and special announcements by subscribing to The Wheeler Centre's mailing list.

Privacy Policy

The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Centre stands. We acknowledge and pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their Elders, past and present, as the custodians of the world’s oldest continuous living culture.