Plibersek holds onto education portfolio in Albanese’s first shadow cabinet

Tanya Plibersek has retained her role as shadow education minister in Anthony Albanese’s newly announced shadow cabinet.

Plibersek’s role has been expanded to include the skills, TAFE and apprenticeships portfolio, previously held by retiring senator Doug Cameron.

Plibersek lost her role as shadow minister for women to Julie Collins, who handled the portfolio during the last two years of the Gillard and Rudd governments.

On Twitter, Plibersek wrote that she was “delighted” to stay on as Labor’s education spokesperson.

Ged Kearney and Graham Perrett will serve as assistant shadow ministers for skills and education, respectively.

The Independent Schools Council of Australia (ISCA) congratulated Plibersek on her reappointment.

“We look forward to continuing a positive working relationship with Ms Plibersek and her office,” ISCA executive director Barry Wallett said

“In her time in the portfolio Ms Plibersek has shown great willingness to engage with all school sectors and has made many positive contributions to the national schooling debate.”

Plibersek stepped down as Labor’s deputy leader to make way for Victorian MP Richard Marles, from the state’s right faction.

Leading into the election, Plibersek told EducationHQ about her passion for education.

“I think education is a terrific portfolio for two reasons,” she said.

“It’s a really great way to make a difference in the life of an individual person; it’s really given so many people the key out of generational poverty. It can mean you realise gifts that you never knew you had.

“It really is literally life changing to get a great education, but it’s also a really important driver of prosperity; our economic success as a nation depends on having a highly skilled, inventive, productive workforce.

“So I really like that combination in a portfolio. The social justice elements and the economic elements brought together make it interesting, challenging and inspiring.”

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