House debates

Wednesday, 24 July 2019


Forde Electorate: Schools

7:37 pm

Photo of Bert Van ManenBert Van Manen (Forde, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

It's always a pleasure to rise in this place and speak about the wonderful job that our local schools are doing. Our local schools are at the forefront of educating future generations, and it is a pleasure for me to rise today and recognise the outstanding achievements of the students, the teachers, and the P&Cs across my electorate of Forde.

The school community at Parklands Christian College in Park Ridge has been very busy fundraising for their annual Cambodia mission trip. It was an honour for me to support them and attend their recent fundraising dinner. This trip is a rewarding experience for the students and teachers and is a unique opportunity for the senior students to help those less fortunate than themselves. I'm looking forward to seeing them immerse themselves in the local culture and enjoy the humbling experience of being able to serve and care for others.

I also had the opportunity to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Highland Reserve State School in Upper Coomera at their recent fete. The school community has well and truly grown and flourished since their humble beginnings in 2009 with 150 students. Now, only 10 years later, it has an enrolment of over 900. It was also an opportunity to raise money towards the P&C's efforts to air-condition every classroom. I'm pleased to inform the House that 22 out of 38 classrooms are now air-conditioned and it's hoped more will be installed by the end of the year. I do hope they put in an application for our recently announced school funding program.

At Kimberley Park State School, students are getting behind Sidnee J's Winter Warmers campaign to provide used blankets and towels and non-perishable pet foods to the Animal Welfare League of Queensland. The greatest part about this winter hart warmer is that the students, teachers and parents got behind Sidnee J and united as a school community to support her project. The unity, compassion and community spirit displayed by the students is a tremendous source of pride and gives me hope for the future. From Parklands Christian College in the west to Highland Reserve State School in the south and to Kimberley Park State School in the north, the schools across Forde are educating and inspiring the next generation.

At Norfolk Village State School in Ormeau, Principal Sam Donovan has well and truly inspired her students by participating in the gruelling Kokoda Challenge. Sam is a member of the 'Being a principal—easier said than run' team, and I commend her and her fellow principals on their achievement. Together they've inspired thousands of students throughout their school communities and raised over $10,000 for the Kokoda Youth Foundation.

Students at Windaroo Valley State High School also completed the Kokoda Challenge this year. All participants finished the course, and I'm pleased to report that the team stuck together for the entire event. I'd also like to congratulate Keala Muxlow, Aria-Rose Townshend, Ava Beales and Jackson Lawrence from Edens Landing State School, who were the youngest participants ever to complete the challenge. These brave students finished the course in just under 14 hours and 50 minutes, and I commend them on their achievement. But it is also important to recognise the support offered by their families and teachers, namely Mr Hopkinson and Mr Alterator, for their leadership and commitment to supporting these champions.

I'd now like to draw to attention the amazing LOTE programs in schools across my electorate. At Waterford West and Eagleby South state schools, students have the opportunity to learn Yugambeh, the local Indigenous Aboriginal language. Jarjum, or children, and their Indigenous languages are helping to close the gap in education, and it encourages our Indigenous students and their families to engage with our schools, resulting in increased attendance and participation.

At Mount Warren Park and Edens Landing state schools, students can learn Auslan, the language of the Deaf community in Australia. This is a welcome addition to the regular curriculum and in our schools, because teaching Auslan provides benefits for both deaf and hearing students and rightfully acknowledges the place of Auslan and the culture of the Deaf community across Australia. These teachers are helping to bridge the gap, closing the language barriers, by teaching our youth languages other than English. I look forward to continuing to work with the many principals, teachers, parents and students across my electorate of Forde over the coming years.