TAFE sniffs success at Parramasala Festival

Sharryn Usher
TAFE Organiser

Fire-eaters at Parramasala festival.

Federation’s stall, managed by TAFE activists, held prime position at one of Western Sydney's most popular multicultural festivals, Parramasala, delivering the Stop TAFE Cuts message against a backdrop of fabulous national costumes, dance, music and tantalising aromas.

On Day 1, October 17, of the three-day colourful show the main parade passed right by Federation’s stall, with the crowds out in force.

Although the sights were many and varied, people were keen to engage in conversations around how vital TAFE was to our communities. Activists staffing the stall were kept busy blowing up balloons which were a great hit all day with the children passing by. Parents were encouraged to join the campaign by signing up or taking away a brochure to read later.

Day 2 began at 10am and again the crowds rolled in. Sign-up sheets once again began to fill as the stall again operated from two sides. With community painting happening on one side of the stall and with the other side facing a major walkway, not many people passed by without being lured in by children wanting a balloon, the sight of our large Stop TAFE Cuts banners or the spruiking of our activists.

Many TAFE stories were shared and exchanged. People spoke highly of the quality of education they received from TAFE and the wonderful teachers they had met.

Students shared stories of the rising cost of courses predicted for next year with one person, Jen, saying her course was set to rise from $600 this year to $9000 next year.

By the time Day 3 concluded, more than 300 new supporters had signed up to the Stop TAFE Cuts campaign, hundreds more had taken brochures, more than 250 balloons had been blown up and distributed, many Facebook posts had been uploaded and countless tweets had spread the word that TAFE is “too good to lose”.