Wednesday, 22 August 2018
Next Tuesday Coolaroo South Primary School, in my electorate, will hold its annual writers festival. This year's writers festival marks a significant milestone for the school, as it celebrates 10 wonderful years of this creative literary festival. At the same time—and it saddens me to say this—it will also be the last writers festival. It's been an absolute joy to attend the school's writers festivals over the years and to see how each and every student within the school and kindergarten community involve themselves in this very special event.
This year's festival, like the others before it, will showcase a bit of writing from every student, around the theme of fantasy. As it is the last writers festival for the school, each student will be asked to write under the title 'The Last Tale'. I look forward to reading the stories our imaginative young children create and I'm very much looking forward to being part of the festival next week, when I will get the opportunity to visit the exhibition and see for myself the 'final tales' come to life, as the stories do each time. Writers festivals in schools are an important tool to allow students to develop and nurture their literacy skills. Importantly, they encourage our students to read and to become more involved in their community and with their families by engaging and writing about what they see, who they talk to and what they learn.
While I'm on my feet, I'd also like to give a bit of a shout-out to another great school in my electorate, Gladstone Park Secondary College, who have nominated their Gladstone Park agricultural centre in the Victorian government's Pick My Project initiative.
A division having been called in the House of Representatives—
Sitting suspended from 10:32 to 10:46
The Gladstone Park Agricultural Centre will be a learning hub where students and the wider community will be given practical, hands-on experience in horticulture, agriculture and sustainability. This is a wonderful holistic learning experience that will not only educate the students but teach the wider Calwell community, as it will also involve them. As well, the LifeHouse Church in West Meadows is in the running for a $175,000 grant as part of the Andrews Labor government's Pick My Project fund for its multisensory and learning room for children with special needs. The organisation will build Victoria's first community based multisensory room to support children with cognitive and physical disabilities, which will make our local community a much better place to live for children with special needs and their families. I'm very, very pleased to be supporting both the Gladstone Park Agricultural Centre project and the LifeHouse Church in West Meadows. Because these are 'vote for me' projects, I urge all my constituents to vote for these wonderful projects in our electorate, as they will benefit our community.