24 November 2016

Speech: Incredible work by our schools in Corangamite

It is my great pleasure to rise and celebrate the many wonderful schools in the Corangamite electorate and the incredible work that they are doing in the community. I visit, of course, like all members of parliament, many schools during the year. It is one of the great joys of my job. Just a few weeks ago I was very proud to officially open a new building at the Sacred Heart Primary School in Colac. The Turnbull government has provided $1.06 million under its capital grants program towards a $1.2 million project. I congratulate the principal, Jack Lenaghan, his staff and of course the wonderful students at the school.

We had a great day—it was a great opening—and a great credit to Sacred Heart. They are now working on a master plan because they are growing at a rapid rate of knots, as so many schools are, and it is wonderful to see their aspirations for their school students, right now and into the future.

I was also absolutely delighted that the Anglesea Primary School has received a 2016 Resilient Australia National School Award. They received this award for their Anglesea fire education partnership Survive and Thrive program, helping the local community prepare for natural disasters. We all know how much this issue resonates along the Great Ocean Road, including in Anglesea, which was devastated by the Ash Wednesday bushfires well back—a long time ago now—in 1983. But, of course, it still sits very deeply in the hearts of many people who live in Anglesea and right along the Great Ocean Road—none more so than for the people of Wye River and Separation Creek in the wake of the Christmas Day bushfires last year. This project was a partnership between Anglesea’s CFA and Anglesea Primary School. It involved students in years 4, 5 and 6, so it was celebrations galore when they won that very significant national award.

I also want to reference the Winchelsea Primary School and its wonderful principal, Karen Turner. They have been battling the issue of the speed of vehicles through the middle of Winchelsea. It has been my great pleasure to have made some representations on behalf of the school, along with another local business. There is a lot of concern that with the upgrade of the highway—which is absolutely magnificent; we are so proud to have co-funded the duplication of the Princes Highway and the transformation of the Winchelsea township—that there is now the issue of speed. I am very hopeful that the Victorian roads minister will take on those concerns and address them very seriously.

Once again, it has been my great pride to start to hand out our Corangamite Medals. The Corangamite Medal is a medal which recognises leadership in primary and secondary schools throughout the Corangamite electorate. We have around 40 schools participating in the Corangamite Medal program this year. It is a great opportunity to recognise one outstanding student who has given so much to their local school community and who has been a great leader, a great mentor and someone who is very caring and compassionate. I want to thank all the schools which are participating this year. I have already made a number of presentations to Trinity and also to areas in that primary school.

We also run a Christmas card competition. Last year, the winner of our Christmas card competition was Chloe Nevitt, who is in grade 3/4 at Grovedale Primary School. This year, we have Torquay College competing for the Christmas card competition. I am looking forward to announcing very shortly the winner of the 2016 Christmas in Corangamite card competition.

The other way in which schools have played a very important role is in the wonderful Cotton On-sponsored Run Geelong event, which occurred last weekend. It was my great pleasure to stumble around that six-kilometre track—I did not run the whole way, I have to confess! But so many schoolchildren from so many different schools participated—more than 13,000 people. It is a wonderful credit to Cotton On, who are raising money this year for the Barwon Health university hospital for an upgraded maternity ward, which is so important for our community. Some $300,000 was raised. Congratulations to Barwon Health, to Cotton On and to a wonderful event, Run Geelong.

24 November 2016