Kevin Rudd Promotes Education Policy on Australia Day

Kevin Rudd, leader of the Australian Labor Party, released a 90 second TV ad on Australia’s commercial channels this last week, time to connect with Australia Day.

Kevin Rudd in front of Eumundi School

Rudd shot the video in the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast, where he grew up. He stands in front of Eumundi State School, inviting members of the public to connect with his passion for education as an expression of a country’s economic future. The ad shows photographs of Rudd as a young boy. As he speaks about his plan for Australia’s future we see shots of bathers, cattle, ports, laboratory technician, students, car manufacturing, vineyards, restaurants. We see Rudd walking with his 20-year-old son Nicholas.

The television advertisement is the first in what promises to be strong challenge to John Howard for the office of Prime Minister this year. Rudd wrote the basic script himself over Christmas but has hired extra staff to polish his advertising campaign. Rudd’s policy advisor is Pradeep Phillip, executive director of the Queensland Government’s implementation unit and a former adviser to one-time Labor leader Simon Crean. Social policy director is Michael Lye, formerly social policy director for Queensland Premier Peter Beattie and advisor to Labor’s federal shadow treasurer Wayne Swann.

Kevin Rudd on beach with his son

The 90 second ad can be viewed on or downloaded at the Labor Party’s Web site:

Kevin Rudd 15 mb mpeg video

Kevin Rudd 3.5 mb mpeg video

Click on the image below to play the video.

Rudd’s Transcript

This is the part of country Australia where my parents raised me.

Like many of their generation, Mum and Dad didn’t get much past primary school, but they worked hard on the land and raised a family.

We all went to this local school and by the standards of that time, we got a good education, but when I look to the future our kids will face challenges greater than ever before.

As we prepare to celebrate Australia Day, I’d like to talk about my plans to secure Australia’s long term prosperity.

Some call us the lucky country, but I believe you make your own luck. We can’t just hope that the resources boom lasts forever.

Education is the pathway to the future, our country’s future, and our kids future. It’s the key to being globally competitive.

I have a goal for us to be the best educated country with the best trained workforce in the world, but Australia is the only modern economy in the world where government funding for our universities has been cut.

Australia must now plan for an education revolution boosting early childhood, schools, tech colleges, universities – and insisting on higher standards so that Australia can take on the world through the best trained people, not by cutting wages and conditions.

The Australia I want for the future has a strong economy but one where we don’t throw the fair go out the backdoor. That’s the balance that made our country great in the past – let’s not lose it for the future.