House debates

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Constituency Statements

Sydney Electorate: Schools

9:45 am

Photo of Tanya PlibersekTanya Plibersek (Sydney, Australian Labor Party, Minister for Housing) Share this | | Hansard source

I want to draw the attention of the parliament to some very important local events in my electorate. Four of my local schools are celebrating quite exceptional milestones. North Newtown Public School and Forest Lodge Public School are celebrating their 125th anniversaries, and Glebe Public School and Our Lady of Mount Carmel school in Waterloo are celebrating their 150th anniversaries. Reaching these milestones is a terrific achievement of course, but the day-to-day care and education that these schools give are an even greater achievement. These schools, along with others—Ultimo Public School, Darlington Public School and even my own daughter’s school, Darlinghurst—were all built at a time when there was a great push to provide education to inner city children, who were in those days often very poor children. The history of these schools servicing some of the most disadvantaged communities, as well as, these days, some of the wealthier communities, is quite interesting.

This Saturday I will be launching the sesquicentenary celebrations for North Newtown Public School. Parents and teachers have been heavily involved in the preparation for this weekend’s event, and it is a terrific example of a school community that comes together for a common purpose. As part of the celebrations I have been asked to open a new school playground that has been made possible through federal government funding. Glebe Public School will celebrate their 150th anniversary in the first week of November. I am also very pleased to have been invited along to help them celebrate and I look forward to catching up with their local school community. Glebe has a particularly first-rate before and after school care program called Centipede, which has expanded the kids’ horizons by introducing a number of new sports that perhaps they would not otherwise have had access to. As I said, Forest Lodge Public School is celebrating its sesquicentenary and Our Lady of Mount Carmel is turning 150 this year, and I am going to join them next week for their 150th anniversary.

Obviously the inner city has changed and the school communities that these schools serve have changed enormously over the years, but each of them continues to meet and exceed the expectations of their school communities and parents, and they provide wonderful care and education for our young people. I wish all of those schools and all of their students, their parents, their teachers and their school leaders all the very best for these important celebrations over this weekend and coming weeks.