House debates

Monday, 22 February 2021


Sydney Technical High School

7:30 pm

Photo of Linda BurneyLinda Burney (Barton, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Families and Social Services) Share this | | Hansard source

Tonight, I wish to speak about a visit I made to a school in my electorate: Sydney Technical High. It's a boys school. I was honoured to be invited to attend, on Friday 12 February, the annual presentation day for Sydney Technical High School in Hurstville. Fortunately, New South Wales Health eased restrictions, permitting the annual presentation to proceed, but, in accordance with current COVID-19 restrictions, no parents could attend the presentation, nor were there any of the celebratory refreshments that usually follow the event. Steven So, the principal, who is an outstanding man, rose to the challenge of the COVID-19 restrictions and arranged for the proud parents to join in the annual presentation live online, and also provided a complimentary CD of the presentation for the students' families in the graduation bag. The school ought to be congratulated for ensuring that families did not miss out on these key milestones.

The Sydney Technical High School is one of the few public schools with a hall of fame celebrating ex-students so that current students can realise the diversity of talent of those who have gone before them. The idea was from the past deputy principal, Sam Dando. He named the Hall of Fame recipients for this year. As you walk along the corridor and read the stories, you will notice inventors, surgeons, medical specialists, musicians, artists, dancers, architects, academic administrators, economists, businessmen, educators, media broadcasters, sportsmen, and military, Navy and Air Force commanders. They are all leaders in their field. They are gentlemen who have made a difference, many of whom have been awarded decorations in the Order of Australia. These men in the Hall of Fame at Sydney Technical High had vision, drive and passion, like the vast majority of Sydney Technical High students today. They were quiet achievers who did not seek glory or fame, fanfare or recognition.

I'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the student award recipients for the year 2020. I give a special mention to Daniel Nemani, the school captain, and Ambrose Konstanidis, the school vice-captain, both of whom did an outstanding job at being master of ceremonies of the presentation day program. I'd also like to recognise the multicultural school band conducted by Shane Gamage and the talented Wesley Yiu, alumnus of 2020, who gave a beautiful piano performance of a Chopin piece. I had the pleasure of awarding the Barton Award for High Achievers for year 12 for the year 2020 to Shaun Thach. The highlight was presenting the award to the school Dux of the Year for 2020, Sagar Pathania. I felt so proud to be there. I'd like to read into the Hansard the names of the other people who achieved the dux award. There was Ghassan Adra from year 9; Dean Tripathi from year 10; Huy Nguyen from year 11; and, as I said, Sagar Pathania from year 12. I'd also like to thank the school for taking the time to make an acknowledgement of country. I thought this was very good, given the very important points that have been made around that. The vice-captain, Ambrose Konstanidis, made the acknowledgement of country.

I really am very proud to be the member for Barton, and I'm very proud of the excellence shown by Sydney Technical High School. It is an outstanding school, and I'm very glad that they were able to go ahead and hold their presentation day despite the COVID restrictions.