Wednesday, 2 December 2015
Reid Electorate: Schools
Deputy Speaker, you know, as a local member yourself, that half your time is spent down here in Canberra and half back in your electorate, and the contribution you can make to your electorate in both places differs greatly. As I am heading out of this place in a couple of days, thank goodness, back to the electorate for a substantial period of time, it turns my mind to my two favourite parts of being a local member in my great electorate of Reid. The first is citizenship ceremonies, when you get to share with people the momentous decision that they have taken to make this great country a better place, listen to their trials and tribulations and the journeys that they have undergone to get here and look at the joy in their faces. The second is attending schools and spending time with our next generation of great Australians, the future of this country. It always strikes me—without missing, every time—that we are only temporary custodians of this country. We have a great role and responsibility to look after it in safe hands, in stable hands, to pass it to our next generation. I always get enthused at this time of year, being asked to attend—as I know all members do—so many end-of-year ceremonies to listen to the successes of the great children in my electorate of Reid.
I just want today to pay attention to and thank the principals of some of the schools in my electorate. Unfortunately I cannot get to all of the ceremonies, as some of them are on this week, and we are down here. To Jacqueline Attard from Marie Bashir Public School, Elizabeth Bransgrove from Mortlake Public School, Paul Burgis from PLC, Mark Harris from Auburn North Public School, Catherine Young from Homebush Public School, Carmel Seeto from Chalmers Road School, Jacqueline Koob from Concord High School, Matt Lewis from Lidcombe Public School, Cathy Lucantonio from Croydon Public School, Dr Julie Greenhalgh from Meriden, John Kennedy from Homebush Boys High School, Deborah Bestulic from Holy Innocents' Catholic Primary School Croydon, Helen Elliott from All Hallows Catholic Primary School, and Gail Charlier from Drummoyne Public School; to these principals and, more importantly, to all principals in my electorate: I want to take an opportunity to thank you and, through you, your staff. You shape and mould our next generation of Australian leaders. It never ceases to amaze me that you not only look after their minds but instil in their hearts a great sense of social justice. It never ceases to amaze me that the questions I get asked in these schools are dominated by social justice. I think that stands us in great stead as a country moving forward.
To all the recipients of awards over the next three weeks: congratulations. To those who did not receive awards: work harder next year, and I am sure you will. To all the families through Reid, the teachers and their families: a heartfelt, happy, safe and merry Christmas.