House debates

Monday, 22 February 2010


Cowan Electorate: Education

9:50 pm

Photo of Luke SimpkinsLuke Simpkins (Cowan, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I like going to schools in Cowan because that is where I get to see so much potential in one place. I get to see the boys and girls in Cowan who could one day achieve great things for our nation, our state of Western Australia and our local community. In this land of opportunity, if young people want to work hard they can achieve great success. It may be international success, it could be national success or it may be realising their potential that sees them become good citizens and good family members. They can achieve maximum success if they are encouraged by their parents through good attitudes and examples, because that will ensure that the child has a good and receptive approach to their own education. Our teachers can then provide the children with formal education, the building block upon which life-long success is based.

I know how seriously teachers take their responsibilities, and the level of dedication is always clear. Today I would like to speak about Alinjarra Primary School in Alexander Heights, about how this school is already the biggest influence for a great future in the suburb and about what it is doing to make it even better. The school opened in 1988, and in 2010 it has more than 350 students from kindergarten to year 6. The school is led by Principal Lesley Meyers, and Lesley is assisted by deputies Andrew Schmidt and Janese McDougall. The leadership team has informed me that in 2010 they are focused on taking the school into the community and also bringing the community into the school.

Firstly, I understand that after forming a school choir in 2009, with their choir master at the school for just one day a week, they are planning some big events for later this year, with performances at the Burswood entertainment precinct and at the very big Karrinyup Shopping Centre. Having heard the choir in 2009, I look forward to them making their mark in 2010, and further afield than Alexander Heights, although I know a lot of local residents are looking forward to the forthcoming and highly regarded ANZAC assembly at the school as well as the community carols event at the school at Christmas time.


I would also say that the year 3 and year 5 NAPLAN results are consistently above the state average. I think this reflects favourably not only on staff but also on the greater school community, including parents and the children of course. I met a number of students towards the end of last year and they struck me as highly motivated, creative and, not surprisingly, well behaved young people. My contact with the students concerned how elections are run and my visit took place during their school leaders’ election campaign. I understand that 24 of the year 6 students have now taken up leadership roles in 2010, as a result of the elections that took place late in 2009.

It is worth stating that Alexander Heights is a good suburb. In my view, it is overwhelmingly a suburb where parents and children are motivated to achieve their potentials and make the most of what they have got. This is a place of authenticity, a place where the people are keeping it real. It is therefore a good foundation upon which a school can build a positive educational culture. In the case of Alinjarra Primary School, they are building successful outcomes, beginning with their early childhood area. I understand that the school’s outstanding teachers have achieved a strong reputation for excellence with Edith Cowan University, who are now seeking to come to the school and observe their teachers at work. This school celebrates its diversity. Alinjarra is highly active in their Harmony Day Celebrations, as well as NAIDOC and Education Week. Their efforts have seen Alinjarra Primary School featured on several occasions in the local newspapers and also on Channel 9’s Weather Watch program.

Pushing the work of the students beyond Alexander Heights, I would also refer to the art specialist Val Brooks, who is capitalising on her quality program by holding an art exhibition at Kingsway shopping centre later in the year. Beyond the academic achievements and the success in art and the performing arts, I would also mention pastoral care, another strength that is so much part of Alinjarra Primary School’s success. In particular, for the last two years the school’s chaplain has been Diane Norris. A highly positive influence in the school, Diane complements the school’s emphasis on educating and supporting the whole child.

It is easy to be positive about Alinjarra Primary School. Happy and positive children are a sign of a school heading in the right direction. It is also important to realise that when the staff and the parents start this next generation off on the right path, those children will be better able to achieve their great potential. For their success and the work they are doing, I congratulate Principal Lesley Meyers, her staff, the students and the parents of Alinjarra Primary School.