House debates

Wednesday, 9 December 2020

Constituency Statements

Goldstein Electorate: Schools

10:36 am

Photo of Tim WilsonTim Wilson (Goldstein, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

A good education is what empowers the next generation to realise the fullness of their lives. In the wonderful electorate of Goldstein, our schools continue to excel. In 2021, the Tombolo Academy will open as the first school for twice-exceptional students in Australia—another first. Tombolo was born in response to local demand for a school that could accommodate students who are high-achieving but also have disabilities. It is a great development for the lives and futures of twice-exceptional students, who have long struggled in traditional education environments due to their unique combination of abilities and disabilities. Education empowers and transforms people into their best selves. It benefits our whole society when every child can realise and maximise their talents through education. Part of the difficulty for twice-exceptional education is that identifying those students who are suited to it is not something that has been done in Australia before, and it requires the involvement of specialists. That's why it is so impressive that Tombolo is expecting 30 enrolments in its first intake next year and is planning for the cohort to increase to 70 students by its second year. I would hope that all members in this place congratulate the Tombolo Academy and wish it well on its endeavours. Congratulations also to Catherine Kirby and Anne Jackson for their success in spearheading the project.

While new schools rise, existing schools in Goldstein are continuing to make their own mark. The Melbourne Montessori School, in Caulfield and Brighton, has won this year's Innovative Schools award from The Educator. The school's careers program has championed a new type of learning that empowers year 10 to year 12 students unsuited to traditional learning to gain other skills for a successful vocational career. It is very important after the COVID-19 recession that schools are adapting to the realities of a new job market and preparing students for real and sustainable careers and full success in their lives. The innovation award recognises Montessori's leadership in this important space in providing flexible education that empowers students to pursue the career path that best suits their individual potential—and that's what we want: individuals realising their full individual potential. Congratulations to principal Gay Wales, Brendan Magee and your team at Melbourne Montessori for being recognised for your hard work and success this year. At the end of 2020, I know all members will recognise all of the schools in their electorates for their hard work and perseverance in a difficult year. To the students and families, the teachers, the principals and everyone involved: well done on your efforts in 2020.