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Commending Local Schools - Parliamentary Speech

I mentioned that other things are going on at other schools, and I am very lucky to have a number of schools in my electorate. As I said, Seaview is the only high school, but I did run a very successful Christmas card competition. It was great to have so many schools involved with that. We put a call out to all the schools to submit their artwork and have hence gone forth and made our Christmas cards for our office from some of the winning designs. Darlington Primary School, Reynella South Primary School and Stella Maris Parish School all got involved, and the theme was, 'What does Christmas mean to me?' There were some wonderful pieces of work. In fact, my office is covered in all the entries. 

It was very hard to pick out a couple of winners, but we did manage to select the following: from Darlington Primary School, Sam (age 10), who put a wonderful piece together of a family holding hands around a Christmas tree in a nice bright picture with a lot of Christmas colours; from Reynella South Primary School, Aaliyah (age 10) who had cookies, a hot chocolate and presents—all great parts of Christmas Eve celebrations—and the words, 'Christmas is coming'; and from Stella Maris Parish School, Fiona (age 7), a very cheerful 'Merry Christmas' and a family opening presents together beneath a brightly decorated Christmas tree. They were wonderful entries. Again, all the entries were fantastic, and we will be getting certificates to all those people who entered that competition.

Across the board, I am sure many people in this place have a lot of graduations coming up. In the first week of December, I have a number of school graduations to go to. I always really look forward to this. I have a daughter in year 7 as well, so I will be going to her graduation too. I will be looking forward to getting along to some of the primary schools. On some nights, I have three on one night, so it is very difficult to try and juggle them all, but I do try to get to all of them to see the kids graduate. I think it is fantastic as they leave year 7 and go into high school. The shadow minister for education would probably like to see them leaving at the end of year 6 and going into high school, but that is another story.

The schools that I have in my electorate include Darlington Primary School. The principal there, Ms Kathryn Entwhistle, does an absolutely marvellous job; this is a wonderful school. It has learners from numerous countries, some great kids there. They specialise in performing arts, sport, literacy and numeracy. I have been to a number of functions at their school throughout the year. They have some really engaged teachers, and engaged students as well. They have come through here and had a couple of school tours as well, and I really enjoy those times. To Kathryn, the principal, and all the staff and students at that school, a marvellous job. I look forward to coming to your graduation.

 

 

Seaview Downs has a new principal this year, Mr Des Hurst, who does a marvellous job. Their motto is, 'Together inquire, inspire'. They have a wonderful learning program, and Des has done a really great job in reinvigorating the school this year. I was at their sports day and they had one of the best, healthiest canteens in South Australia. If any South Australian school is having trouble with its canteen, I can highly recommend they get to Seaview Downs Primary School and have a look at their operation; it is absolutely exquisite. Their sports day was first class. Again, they have been through Parliament House with me as well and it has been great having them in here. I look forward to working with them and getting to their graduation too.

Sheidow Park Primary School is another school in my electorate. They have the Steiner education stream. I was there for their moon lantern festival back in September, and it was outstanding. It was a great festival that brought all the community together. In past years, they have had to battle the elements, but thankfully the rain stayed away this year. It finished with a wonderful fireworks display. The way they go about putting this together is a real positive for the community, and the school must be commended for the great work that it does. A big thank you to Jenny Englehardt, who is the principal there. I know she is off this term as she is not well, but we wish her all the very best. She is a very engaging principal and you can see the respect with which she is held in the community.

Woodend is another primary school, just up the road from Sheidow Park, in my electorate. It is a very big, busy school. Last month they had a wonderful fair at the Woodend school, and it was great to get along to that. They had a number of pieces of artwork for sale. I went in there to have a look at some and there were red stickers on the ones that had already been sold. I went to purchase some of the ones that had not been sold and very quickly realised that the school had done very well. The kids were coming in and getting mum and dad to buy their artwork for 50¢, $1 or $2.

I was going to buy some artwork, but I was very concerned that I might purchase some before a child had got there with their parents to buy their artwork. I am going back to the school this week to see if there was any stuff left over, and I will purchase some of that artwork and put it up in my office. Again, the fair was fantastic and this school is very engaged with the community. I have mentioned them a number of times in this place; they do a fantastic job. Brian Marshall is the principal there.

There is Reynella Primary School as well. It is the second oldest primary school in the state that is still operating. It was established on 3 May 1858, if you can believe it. All the people there do marvellous job, led by Steve Freeman. He does a fantastic job. Again it is a really active, engaged community, with creative and broad learning experiences on offer there. I know they have their end of year concert coming up on 26 November. I was part of their concert last year; it was outstanding. I was cooking the barbecue, and I cooked more yiros than I care to count, but they were fantastic. Again, a real active, engaged community took part in this.

The other primary school that is in my electorate is Reynella South, a wonderful nurturing school with great people. It has really grown over the years that I have been involved with the school. It was great to see them just the other day have a big open cinema, a successful outdoor event for their community. Again, it was embraced wholeheartedly by the community. There were dinner activities and games, and of course the big movie night. People brought along their sleeping bags, beanbags and pillows, and they piled on the oval, set up a big screen and it was wonderful. A big thank you to the Vines church as well, which helped cook the barbecue. Leon and the team there did a marvellous job.

 

 

The other two schools are smaller, Catholic schools. At the Stella Maris Parish Primary School, Sean Hill is the principal, an outstanding person who does a marvellous job. This is a real community school too. The Catholic schools in my electorate do a great job. Saint Martin de Porres, with Mr John Ward as the principal, is again highly engaging. These schools are just very family friendly and family focused. Any time you call in to see them, they are incredibly inviting; and they are really brilliant close-knit communities.

I am very lucky to have those wonderful schools and their great teachers in my electorate and I do thank them very much. I wish everyone all the very best for their graduations and celebrations and look forward to getting along to celebrating with them in the coming weeks. I wish them all the best for their future endeavours and for next year as well. 

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