Thursday, 18 October 2018
Forde Electorate: Beenleigh State High School
I rise to congratulate a fabulous school in my electorate of Forde for the terrific work they're doing both in education and vocational training. Beenleigh State High School, led by Principal Matt O'Hanlon, has, amongst its many subject departments, a hospitality and agricultural department. Not too far from the classrooms you'll see the school's farm with chooks, hens, pasture raised pigs, sheep, around 40 Droughtmaster cattle, goats, beehives that provide honey, a strawberry patch and a vegetable garden.
The highlight of the school year for the hospitality and agriculture students has become the paddock to plate luncheon. In 2015, Beenleigh State High hosted its first paddock to plate luncheon with around 80 guests, who dined in the PCYC gym. Since then, things have taken off. On 31 August this year the school hosted its fourth paddock to plate to a sellout crowd of 250 people. Just in case you're not sure, when they say 'paddock to plate', that's exactly what they mean. The school supplied its own beef, pork, lamb, honey, strawberries and kransky sausage for this year's menu. The kransky, with products supplied by the school, was made by Gotzinger Smallgoods down at Ormeau.
Paddock to plate is an outstanding team effort led by the head of both hospitality and agriculture, Peta Lenane, with teachers Chelsea Davis and Sarah Te Iwimate working with teacher aide Annette Duffield and agricultural assistant Tim Rowlands, who takes care of the farm and its livestock. Together they provide a level of education and training that's been described as unrivalled in the Queensland system.
Internationally-known celebrity chef Matt Golinski also works side by side with his students, sharing his vast experience and standards of excellence in planning and preparing dishes for the event. The paddock to plate luncheon is a major fundraising event for the school's P&C committee, currently ably led by Steve Haase. It provides funds towards student participation in an annual international study tour of Changzhou in China, where they gain invaluable work experience at the internationally recognised Marco Polo hotel. It deserves mention that Dr Jennifer Cronin, the president of Wharf Hotels, which is the owner-operator of the Marco Polo hotels, is herself a 1976 Beenleigh State High School captain. This work done by the school in a whole range of areas is a tremendous testament to everybody involved.