Keeping the flame alive

Brett Bertalli
Country Organiser

The Gonski relay torch made its debut as an Australian Education Union Gonski road trip van passed from Victoria to NSW on February 26.

The torch represents the opportunity all governments have to address the widening gap between our gifted and talented and most disadvantaged students.

The torch is fuelled by citronella oil, a cool to warm flame that keeps at bay those annoying insects who aim to undermine the signed Gonski agreements and deny our children a quality education.

It’s a copper torch surrounded by six Gonski hands moulded from different materials representing various levels of disadvantage. Materials include hot dipped galvanised iron, aluminium, zinc anneal, sign white anneal, brass and the ‘Guarantee Gonski Mr Abbott’ cardboard hand to carry the message.

The zinc anneal hand is painted using an Aboriginal dot painting design to represent the culture of our Nation’s First People. The torch stem is wrapped in red, yellow and black rope representing the sunburnt land the torch was to travel, the sun itself and our Aboriginal heritage.

The torch is finished with quandong seed tassels. Quandong is traditionally used as a food source but also for medicinal purposes. Quandong seeds represent the eager young minds of our students hanging by a thread in the hope that all governments of our nation will guarantee the Gonski agreements and provide a truly world class, quality education for all children.

The Gonski torch has travelled on the Gonski van through 14 rural and isolated communities in the far-west of NSW and is due in Canberra tomorrow (March 18) with three other vans travelling from other states.