Wednesday, December 4, 2013


A Sydney middle aged male then student of Ultimo TAFE complained on 30 March 2012 about their discrimination and victimisation in a 2012 Diploma course. In March 2012 he was being harrassed through emails by some young students who were only just joining a group work class well into the first semester. The female teacher "Felicity" had asked him to try and "get things going" through email exchanges with the supposed new "group" - as the first assignment was due soon. She got two of them to supply emails details in a class on 9 March. He had already been complaining to her by emails - about how the three all young female groups (already formed in late Feburary), had not included him. "Felicity" repeatedly promised to see him about the issue - but never did, claiming ot was too late to change the makeup of the original three student groups in her class.

On 29 March he come in ready to start classes again for the week - only to be greeted by an inidentified stranger dressed like a cowboy, saying he was going to escort him from TAFE (for no reason given). Though he soon quickly left by himself - not knowing why this was happening, he was later pursued on public streets outside Ultimo TAFE by their "security" goons - and forced to run across a busy street to get away from them threatening and abusing him. This was a great risk to his long time lower back disc problem. He had then just wanted to go to the shopping centre, but had avoided going back through TAFE campus. In 2013 he complained to the NSW Antiddiscrimination Board (ADB), after getting no identifable mailed or email response from Ultimo TAFE to his original complaint on 30 March - (which continued even after a year).

A recording was made during his "interview" on 23 March 2012 (by acting head teacher "Peter" and head teacher "Catherine"), with their knowledge - after they got him out of the start of a Friday afternoon "Felicity" class, for no reason. This recording and earlier ones at "group" meetings, show he was being unfairly treated by the new young students, late attenders to the class (in the fourth and last class group being formed around him). As in past SydneyTAFE courses, he was being unfairly austracised from class group formation, due to him being a middle aged male with disability - among mostly much younger students. The emails between them, permitted by "Felicity (as a communications strategy) are gradually being released elsewhere on this network of UPE blogs.

They show that he was following instructions in class by "Felicity", to be a "peer" leader until the young members of the new "group" started to take responsibility (eg turn up to all classes and excursion on time, read the first assignment and meet outside class to agree on group decision methods). By the time an out-of-class meeting of the "group" was held on 15 March, to try and set up a proper Team decision making structure - email exchanges had finished. This was after these younger students had been using them to intimidate the middle aged male student,(eg to do ALL of the demographics research for the assignment - though they agreed at the 15 March meeting that they should have been sharing in that "group" assignment work). They had been grossly misrepresenting what he had been trying to do with the permitted email exchanges - ie get the new "group" going, as instructed by teacher "Felicity". Redfern Legal Centre recently affirmed again that his teacher permitted emails to the other sstudents were proper.

Other recordings, made in self defence on 15 and 16 March - show how he was unfairly being set up with false claims by the young other members of this late forming "group" (they admitted was being co-ordinated behind the scenes by the teacher "Felicity"). On 16 March, in a "Felicity" class, a recording shows he is pleading to be allowed to leave the classroom - due to fear of another Panic Attack, that he'd just had two days before (where an ambulance was called). This was after the "group" members on 16 March, made untrue statements to the class about him, (ie they unfairly excluded from the in-class meeting),. The teacher, "Felicity" refused to let him leave - though both she and the new student group had been intimidating him with these false claims (easily refuted by reading the emails exchanges - which were virtually their only means of communication).

Once excluded by the new later-comer "group" on 16 March from their in-class meeting, he sought to join the Internationals group of young women from overseas - which they accepted (knowing him from the Ultimo TAFE class of the previous year). However, "Felicity" ignored the fact that he could transfer to their Inbterenationals group - which favoured his arts oriented activities ideas (for working with young people at a local youth service). He told her about his proposed transfer to their group - prior to her 23 March meeting, where he also lodged an application for dropping her class (based on a Prior Learning application she claimed to supportr).

He had had earlier experiences, such as at Randwick TAFE - of intimidation by younger students, which teachers refuse to discipline - even after written complaints about it. That put him on sleeping pills all of 2007, when he had his first severe Panic Attack (going to RPA Hospital suspecting a heart attack). In 2005, in a part time course there - a female teacher told him (and an other middle aged male student) to leave the course because they were supposely "holding back the younger students". Though he soon complained about that blatant gender and ageism discrimination to the then Head Teachers - no verbal apology resulted, let alone a written one from Sydney Institute TAFE. The younger students in that course had eariler raised a petition to the Head teachers to get rud of the middle aged students from trhe course.

Ultimo TAFE also showed that they have no real Discipline practices for young students - who gang up on middle aged students (especially male ones). Nor do they have any real Complaints practices, for acting on complaints about such young bullies (or their teacher accomplices).His formal discrimination complaint to St George TAFE in 2011, received a letter in reply admitting that the Workplace Learning teacher had said "they usually get a female" for placements. Ultimo TAFE, however, didn't even bother to post a letter in reply to his 30 March 2012 complaint of discrimination. Sydney Institute of TAFE finally admitted late in 2013 to the ADB, that he had been making previous complaints of discrimination - but added unspecified preposterous false defamatory claims about him

The complaint made in 2011, about being denied a placement in 2009 to complete a Diploma at St George TAFE (because they "usually get a female") - resulted in them falsely telling Centrelink he was only doing 5 nominal hours study a week in 2010. No such notice was ever sent to him, but instead they sent a form saying he was doing 20 nominal hours a week. He, in fact, did a full time placement in 2010 and a cert 4 full time course in 2011. It took him till 2013 to defeat that false Centrelink $18,000 Austudy "debt" through the Social Security Appeals Tribunal. The whole experience now has him going to a "disability" employment services agency for his back condition and anxiety. He warns other middle aged males to avoid doing full time TAFE courses dominated by young students.

This is though he generally found the much younger students got to like him after getting used to him being just a human being - and not just the Media stereotype of the middle aged male (see Snickers TV ad). "The danger zone is in the first semester, when they haven't got used to a middle age guy being there. The teachers have to ensure you are included in class group work subjects - not let the majority younger students form their usual schoolyard gangs" he says. He has lodged a number of in-class anonymous notes from other all-younger students, from 2011 (very complimentary of him) with AAT as well as with the ADB.He added that university courses also ganged up on middle aged males, even in part time courses - given most have female tutors in BA courses. He is writing a Docu-book on his experiences at UTS (where he got a BA degree and Diploma, and Sydney Institute TAFE - where he got a Diploma and severat cert 4's).

The irony of his situation in the 2012 Diploma,that he negotiated moving to one of the three original class groups during the 16 March "Felicity" class - and told her about it before the 23 March class - was ignored by head teacher "Catherine", who had been ignoring his weeks of complaints by email to "Felicity" The interrogation by "Peter" and "Catherine", out of the beginning of the 23 Mach class (illegally detaining him without drinking water) - ignored his complaint that the others in the fourth "group" were ganging up on him. "Peter" kept claiming that he was still in the fourth group - that since their last exersion on 16 Match, wanted to do basketball as an activity (which he couldn't do with his diagnosed lower back condition that TAFE was supplying Kneweling Chairs for in classes).

Why are middle aged males and males with disabilities being forced by Centrelink to do these VOCATIONAL courses, if they aren't given decent "placements" (if any) to complete them - and the mainly female teachers allow some of those younger students to bully and intimidate them? Are older male students REALLY "holding back younger students' (eveb when they out grade them) or is Sydney TAFE ruled by the majority of its "customers" - who are mostly school leavers (some early leavers) who still think they are at high school. Sydney TAFE should admit NO MIDDLE AGED MALES AND MALES WITH DISABILITIES need apply for their high-school level "tertiary" courses. They should at least add a WARNING: BEWARE YOUR HEALTH IS AT RISK - AND YOU WON'T GET A DECENT PLACEMENT FROM TAFE (ie you have no real chance of getting a JOB through a TAFE course - just bullying from younger students and teachers, and false attacks on your good reputation.

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