House debates

Wednesday, 9 December 2020

Constituency Statements

Isaacs Electorate

10:27 am

Photo of Mark DreyfusMark Dreyfus (Isaacs, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Attorney General) Share this | | Hansard source

As one of the most difficult years in recent memory draws to a close, I want to pay tribute today to the fantastic community spirit of the people in my electorate of Isaacs. I mean everyone, including the businesses who found themselves shut down overnight but, in many cases, survived and still managed to look after their community and their staff. Families dug deep during lockdown as they faced the challenges of insecure or no work, home learning and managing the kids together with working from home. Healthcare workers showed extraordinary courage and commitment to our community by risking their own health and safety to bring us through this crisis in a way that has been the envy of the world. I cannot thank you enough for your dedication and your community spirit. They and many others deserve our gratitude and admiration for the way that they came together to defend and protect our community. Because of them, we have achieved extraordinary results in stopping the spread of COVID, which means we can come together with friends, family and loved ones this summer.

But today, I would like to pay special tribute to the students, teachers and principals of the schools in my electorate of Isaacs. At this time of year I would normally be spending all of my time fulfilling one of my favourite tasks as a local MP—attending school graduations and presentation events. Sadly, of course, that has not been possible this year. I just want to say thank you to all our remarkable teachers and their support staff for keeping their schools going under such difficult conditions. The imagination, resourcefulness and commitment you've demonstrated, moving classes online in such a short time, was extraordinary. The remarkable care and compassion you've provided to students and each other at this time shows the extraordinary dedication you have to your profession, your students and their families.

I'm sorry I can't be there with you this year to celebrate your work and the achievements of students and staff. I'll especially miss being there to hand out awards to the wonderful students—one of the absolute highlights of my year, and something I've been doing now for over 10 years. I look forward to being with you next year to say this personally, but, for now, I would just like to express to all of you my immense appreciation and thanks for your dedication, your commitment and the wonderful job you do caring for and teaching our children.