News Parliament

PRIVATE MEMBERS BUSINESS - SCHOOLS

It is a pleasure to make a contribution to this debate recognising the important work that teachers carry out in our community. They work tirelessly to ensure that our children are supported and encouraged and grow up to be active and engaged citizens in our local communities. Teachers nurture the promise of tomorrow and it is very fitting that they are recognised in this House. They invest hours in our children's education—they organise excursions, community gardens and all manner of programs.

I would like to draw the attention of the House to just a few of the wonderful programs and some of the great work our teachers are doing in the Calare electorate—just a small sample. Nashdale Public School is one of the schools I will highlight tonight. It is located just nine kilometres from Orange. Its teaching staff include Principal Kylie Toberty, Lisa Miller, Samantha Perfect, Elise Dennis, Carly Sutherland, Matt Campbell, Mel Winters and Michelle Wood. Four years ago a small vegetable garden was built for the school, thanks to a generous donation of land from the neighbouring White family. Parents and grandparents come to school and spend time showing the children how to tend the garden and teaching them of the value of seasonal produce. Sandra Shepard is one of the many wonderful grandparents who spend their time helping out with the garden and teaching the students about the importance of recycling. The senior students of Nashdale Public School sell the produce from the vegetable garden at their stall, called 'Nashie-Nosh'. I highly commend it to you, Deputy Speaker. I know that if you were ever in Nashdale you would stop in at 'Nashie-Nosh'. The money raised then goes back into the garden and into local causes.

Cullen Bullen Public School should be commended for their efforts in fundraising, with the help of teachers Jacinta King, Nereash Nicholson and Sarah Thorncraft. In the last week of term one they held their very first colour run. I am told the students had a lot of fun, with activities and a barbecue, put on by the P&C. Cullen Bullen Public School raised more than $700, which is more than any amount raised by previous fundraisers. I congratulate them on their wonderful efforts.

Technology is also a big part of Wollar Public School. Every Tuesday the four students at Wollar Public video conference with a teacher in Beijing to improve their Mandarin language skills. That is quite impressive when you consider the reasonably remote location of Wollar. They started learning how to speak Mandarin in term 2 last year and the video conferencing has allowed Wollar Public School to take part in virtual excursions, through a program called Dart Connections. These virtual excursions started two weeks ago and will soon include a deep dive into the Great Barrier Reef. What a wonderful experience for the students there. They have another excursion organised for later this year, where they will travel to Camp Toukley with Hargraves Public School, Hill End Public school, Lue Public School, and Glen Alice Public School. I would like to give special mention to the teachers at Wollar Public School, including Julie Gale, Kay Bushnell and Kate Field.

Ulan Public School is testament to the many benefits of being a small school. They are great things there. I would like to make mention of Kellie Endacott, Annette Riley and Amanda MacLean. The teaching staff at Ulan have recently welcomed a lending hand and enormous support from the local Wilpinjong Mine. Workers from the mine sought a contractor to build a new chook pen for the school and funded the project. The students at Ulan Public School are now responsible for looking after six chooks. They collect the eggs every day—I am told that this morning collected 11, which was a record!

I would also like to make mention of Anson Street School in Orange. They have adopted a number of very positive strategies and programs with the help of the local community. This term the 133 students at Anson Street School are taking part in the Ripple Kindness Project. As part of this project, the students are provided with a checklist of activities to do at home and school. After reading last week's newsletter, it is evident that the students are carrying out a wide variety of kind acts right across the community.

I would like to make mention of the principal, Melanie Meers, the deputy principal, Rebecca Halls, and the assistant principals, Cathy Dawson, Julie Hudson and Christine Kovac. I would also like to make mention of two special students who represented me at the mid-morning service on Anzac Day this year. They were Ashley Wilson and Olivia Cavalli. They laid the wreath at the cenotaph, and I was very grateful for their assistance. I congratulate all our hardworking teachers right across the Calare electorate and thank them for the wonderful work they are doing.