House debates

Tuesday, 25 August 2020

Statements by Members

Halifax, Grace

1:53 pm

Photo of Katie AllenKatie Allen (Higgins, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise in this place to congratulate a very special young woman in my electorate of Higgins: Grace Halifax. She is an eight-year-old student who is passionate about coding and wants other students to learn too. Grace and I met via Zoom and, with the help of her mum, Liz, who is a data engineer, she showed me a very impressive presentation of a coding class she wanted to run for other students, in the electorate of Higgins, during lockdown.

Grace asked for my help, and together we launched the 'ABC of Coding' in lockdown Zoom Club. Amazingly, over 250 students across Higgins are now taking part in a six-week course, learning how to code, using the program Scratch. They will also move on to micro.bit and machine learning. Grace runs the class efficiently and competently. She's clearly passionate about teaching her peers the importance of coding and the place that it has in our future. The kids of Higgins love it.

Maths is the ABC of coding. Space exploration, health and medical research, international trade, telecommunications and technology development will all need a workforce who know how to code. Investment in STEM will prepare our workforce and give them the skills needed to help our economy grow. Having a workforce proficient in STEM is key. I congratulate Grace on the success of the ABC coding club. I'm sure we haven't heard the last of her.