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Vocational Education and Training


This account of vocational education and training would not have been possible to produce without the assistance of four very important institutions and their staff. The Northern Territory Library, the Northern Territory Archives Service, the National Archives of Australia (Darwin) and the Charles Darwin University Library. Each holds a remarkable repository of materials that have provided much of the content upon which this book is based. Their staff members have been unfailingly helpful and genuinely sought to understand my intentions and assist with my every request, regardless of how odd.

There are literally dozens upon dozens of former work colleagues, business people, industry representatives, government employees, ministerial staffers and the ministers themselves who have been exceedingly generous with their time, receptive to questions and who have provided frank recollections about the continued development of the Northern Territory’s vocational education and training system.

In addition, I have been encouraged and supported by Professor Rolf Gerritsen’s dry wit and rigorous attention to detail. His personal experience of Northern Territory Government operations and of broader national socioeconomic policy were highly useful in testing the application of a theory of philanthropic behaviour as an explanatory factor in determining ministerial actions. I would also like to acknowledge the ongoing support of my colleagues at Charles Darwin University’s Northern Institute and in particular the encouragement of the Director, Professor Ruth Wallace.

Finally, it is also important to recognise the many tens of thousands of Northern Territory residents and their teachers who have been targeted for improvement and made subject to ministerial philanthropy—even if it happened unknowingly! Without their participation and continued patronage, none of the events described here would have taken place.

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