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Monday, 29 May 2000
Page: 16396

Mr DANBY (NaN:00:00) —On Friday I had the honour of attending St Kilda Park Primary School for its Sorry Day. I was very proud of the principal, the teachers, the staff and the students of the school who had made a special effort to see that, while 250,000 Australians walked across the Sydney Harbour Bridge, in a little school in Brighton Road in my electorate they were remembering that we should all be saying sorry to the Aboriginal people of this country. In particular, I want to pay tribute to the assistant principal, Peter Martin, to the teachers who were responsible for having all the kids, their parents and their grandparents there—Jan Phillips and Irene Olchowik—to the parents from the Aboriginal reconciliation group and to the six kids who read out messages that tore at the heartstrings: Sarah Haines, Ryan Souter, Rowena Mortimer, Bonnie Newton and Olivier Carpathiou. Paul Kelly had all the children sing an Aboriginal song. He is one of the parents of children at school. The Aboriginal land rights flag was presented by me in recognition of Reconciliation Week and is now flying over the school.

I think it is a shame that by contrast—and it was very disappointing—the Prime Minister was here in Canberra, having only one appointment. I am also very alarmed to read the comments of Professor Robert Manne in the Age as to why the Treasurer was not in Sydney. (Time expired)