Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull would be an organised man, with everything planned down to the finest details on his election campaign. But while in Melbourne today visiting small businesses, a single mother caught him off-guard.
As Mr Turnbull was leaving an engineering company he was confronted by an unexpected meet and greet, single mum Melinda.
During an eight minute conversation the mother took the most powerful man in the country to task on his school spending.
“The cost of schooling is going up and up and up and we’re not getting any more money,” she said.
“It’s not just single mums you’re hurting, you’re hurting all of the parents trying to get their kids to school.”
She told him changes to family tax benefits and the Schoolkids Bonus was hitting families hard.
“My son went into Year 10 this year, we were told over and over again, be careful about subjects we chose, and only go for what we could afford.
“My son.. What career is he going to get? I’m ruining his chances to become something… he’s going to get a bad job, because I can’t afford to pay for the fancy schmancy courses.”
Heartbreakingly, the mother admits she “didn’t get much” of an education and she “hasn’t got much to show for it.”
“I can understand the pressure”
The Prime Minister sympathised and explained that his childhood, mostly with a single dad, showed him the pressures of being a single parent.
“Melinda, it’s tough bringing up kids, and particularly as a single mum. I can understand the pressure that you’re under,” he says.
Turnbull insisted the Government was about to commit a record amount of education funding – $20 billion up from $16 billion – over the next three to four years.
“We want to give your boys a chance to do whatever you want. I can feel what’s in your heart, you want those boys you brought up to fly,” he says.
Melinda questioned the spending increase and how much would be given to every child.
She begged him, “give (my sons) the opportunity to make something of themselves, please.”
Melinda said she just wanted to tell the Prime Minister what the mums at the coffee shop and the school gate were talking about.
Bravo to Melinda for speaking her mind and telling Mr Turnbull exactly what a lot of other parents are thinking.