The Great Divide – the ‘Haves’ and ‘Have-Nots’

When I was a lad I could not wait to leave school and start work, earn money, buy clothes, buy smokes and start going out to clubs and pubs.

It was a time of almost full employment. At fifteen years old, I could start a job on Monday – and if I didn’t like it, would leave and start some where else.

Apprenticeships for the trades were fairly easy to obtain through chances in mining, engineering and motor fitters. And you also had office and retail jobs.


What is different today – education defines your future.

After your exams at the end of year twelve you can go to University based on your results. Instead of a job at fifteen, you are most certain to stay in education until your twenties.

A good education and a university degree will give you a bright future.

Trades are also achieved after courses at Tafe.

It is only with results from further education and training that you can look forward to a successful career.

There is a question I have to ask – is education important?

The answer is – without an education you will join the great divide between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’.

Becoming solvent or living from hand to mouth.


Eduction is important but have politicians decide the fate of future generations.

We need the best universities to train our scientists and medical technicians, cure diseases, and to lead the world in new inventions.

Yes, we need the best but we also need to look after those who will never go to University or Tafe. The majority who have talents but not necessarily brains.

We need labourers, gardeners, hospital porters, cleaners and soldiers.

We need workers who will keep the country safe and secure and a future for all Australians not just the educated.

Are we a nanny state, overlooking the majority for the sake of a class system that rewards the educated and ignores the rest? – I sometimes think we cause problems because of our aspirations for the future.

When I left school at fifteen the only drugs I used were cigarettes. These did not stop me from finding a job or improving my standards. Soon I was driving a car, got married and started to raise a family. There wasn’t time for drugs.

Today, leaving school at eighteen waiting for acceptance for further education, left me with extra time on my hands…time for drug taking and indolence.

How many school leavers today aged eighteen will be left in limbo waiting to start work?

I think the system needs to be changed.

The answer may lie in the recently divided USA – where a vote for Trump was a vote for the worker against the elite…live and learn.

by Professor P.T. Brown


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