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The education journey

The learning and education journey is not the same for everybody. People from disadvantaged backgrounds and vulnerable communities can face many barriers to commencing and succeeding in their education journey. Many children commence their education journey in early learning programs in child care or in preschool. While all children are expected to participate in primary and secondary schooling, an individual child might transition more than once between public and private providers, or experience education and training systems in several different states and territories.

Some students go straight from school into tertiary education, while others go first to jobs or other activities, but may re-engage with education later in life. Most people participate in education or training at various stages throughout their lives, including re-engaging in formal education or retraining themselves, or engaging as parents and families in the formal care, early learning or schooling of their children. New migrants and international students may commence their Australian education journey in schooling, skills and training, or in higher education. Learning settings can vary from small to large; child care providers, schools, public and private training providers or universities; and rural, regional or metropolitan locations.

Australia’s geographic and demographic challenges require national policies directed at building lifelong learning opportunities that support workforce participation and prosperity through all stages of life, including in regional and remote Australia. Overall Australia’s population is ageing; the proportion of the population aged between 15 and 64 is declining relative to the proportion aged 65 and over.1

At the same time, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a much younger age profile, with more than half aged under 25 years. Around 65 per cent of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population live outside capital city areas. People living in regional and remote areas are more likely to encounter difficulties in accessing educational opportunities.

Acknowledging these diverse circumstances, which mirror the diversity of modern Australia, the department is building a national education evidence base to better understand the education journey, and to better support transition pathways and success for all.


  1. COAG’s Closing the Gap target is for 95 per cent of all Indigenous four-year-olds enrolled in early childhood education by 2025.