Murdoch University has honoured one of Western Australia’s strongest champions for education reform, former State Education Minister Dr Elizabeth Constable.
Dr Constable will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Murdoch University on September 12.
“Through her enthusiasm for education and her belief that every citizen has an important contribution to make to society, Dr Constable has changed the face of education in Western Australia for the better,” said Murdoch University Vice Chancellor, Professor Richard Higgott.
Dr Constable entered the Parliament of Western Australia as the Independent Member for Floreat in 1991 and was subsequently re-elected five times.
She was appointed as the Minister for Education, Tourism and Women’s Interests in 2008 where she championed the improvement of education services to regional and remote areas and programs to raise literacy and numeracy standards across the State.
Under her Ministry, revolutionary changes were made in schools to change the face of education in Western Australia. Dr Constable oversaw the introduction of independent public schools, the creation of compulsory pre-primary education and the planned move of year 7 students to secondary school. Western Australian teachers are now the highest paid in the country and the State has the highest proportion of psychologists in place in schools.
There has been a steady increase in the number of Aboriginal students attending school and Western Australia has had a higher improvement in student performance than anywhere else in the country.