Chair's Message

By Mrs Vicki Williams, Chair

I want to update the Radford community about the significant challenges facing the College as a result of the ongoing and increased reduction in government funding.

As our Principal Fiona Godfrey outlined in an article in the Week 1 Bulletin, the Australian Government introduced a new funding model in 2018 that it felt was simpler, more transparent and based on need. Under this new scheme, Radford was deemed to be funded above its target share and was informed that it would need to transition to the new (and significantly lower) target by 2029. Then in 2020, the Government made another change to calculating a school’s ‘capacity to contribute’ (CTC), and we were advised of further reductions in late November.

Between 2019 and 2023, the College’s government funding has reduced by a cumulative $3.5 million. By 2029, the College will have had its funding reduced by a cumulative $4.5 million. The accelerated reduction in the past four years was not originally anticipated.

The faster pace of reductions in government funding are being considered by the Board during 2023, in the context of the College budget and how we plan our investments over the coming years.

It won’t surprise you to know that the College’s biggest ongoing expense is wages and, like many employers nationally and internationally, the College is dealing with a dynamic and changing labour market as a result of the pandemic and fluctuating economic conditions.

In recognition of this, late last year the Board endorsed and funded an Employee Value Proposition to assist with recruiting and retaining the best staff in order to continue delivering the high-quality education and operations for which Radford is renowned. We remain committed to this proposition.

The Board also seeks to provide and maintain world-class facilities for the 2100 students who walk through the gate every day, which is why it embarked on the Sports Precinct Project. The six new outdoor courts have given much more space for our HPE classes and Co-curricular Sports Program.

Once completed, the expansion of the ovals, the G. Wigg Sports Centre Refurbishment, Multi-Function Hall, and Cricket Centre will provide badly needed spaces for students to learn and play in, especially on those days when the weather is inclement, and as a place for our community to gather as one group.

As the Board considers the College budget for 2024 and beyond, we want our families to be assured that every effort will be made to minimise the effects of the College’s funding reductions on you, whilst maintaining our students’ access to high-quality facilities.

As we approach the end of Term 1, as always, I want to thank you for choosing Radford and for being a part of our community. I look forward to updating you later in the year.