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Thursday, 20 September 2001
Page: 31181


Mr RUDD (9:52 AM) —On Friday, 31 August, Coorparoo State School, in Brisbane, celebrated its 125th anniversary. This is a school with a particularly proud history in Queensland public education.

In 1875, Samuel Stevens donated two acres of his property near the junction of Pine Mountain Road—now Cavendish Road—and Old Cleveland Road as a school site. On 22 March 1875, a public meeting was held to discuss the name for the proposed town and school site. `Stevens' Town School' was suggested, after Samuel Stevens, who had donated the land. Mr Stevens did not agree with this, and ultimately it was decided to use the Aboriginal name `Cooraparoo' and to anglicise it by dropping the first `a'. This name was proposed to the Board of Education and subsequently accepted. In 1876, approval was granted and contracts drawn up for a school building and a head teacher's residence, and on 31 January 1876 the Coorparoo State School opened, with 37 students being enrolled. By 1884, enrolments had risen to 130; by 1887, to 270; and by 1930, a record attendance of 1,331 was reached.

For the 125th anniversary celebrations I would particularly like to acknowledge principal Greg Kretschmann, a first-class principal of Queensland state schools and a member of the curriculum committee of the Queensland School Curriculum Council. I would also acknowledge Jeanette Morris, president of the P&C, who organised all the celebrations with a community focus, and vice-principal Leontine Bolam, who arranged all of the school based activities. Peg Bolam prepared the 125-page A Coorparoo Chronicle: History of Education at Coorparoo. I would also acknowledge the P&C Association—president, Jeanette Morris; vice-presidents Gary Fenlon, Paul Murray and Jane Boardman; secretary, Karen Tobin; treasurer, Gary Gill; assistant treasurer, Rasty Rasmussen; and parent liaison officer, Debra Hamilton—and also Ann Landsberg, past P&C president and guest speaker at the 125th anniversary celebrations.

The school now has 546 students. Its school captains in this anniversary year are Kirri Webb and Lachlan Ryan. Famous past students have included Dorothy Hill, Sir David Langland, Reg Francis—current president of the Coorparoo Heritage Group—Simon Gallagher and Diana Doherty, who is principal oboist in the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra.

The celebrations themselves, on 31 August, were an outstanding success, and I commend the participation of all students and parents in those events. Years 1 to 3 participated in a carnival of past sports such as `drop the hanky', `hopscotch' and `what's the time, Mr Wolf?' Year 4 participated in poetry reading and put together a traditional classroom setting from the school's earliest years. Year 5 put on a performance focusing on the past and present roles of government; year 6, rock-and-roll dancing and excerpts from Grease; year 7, historical concert items from 1870 to the year 2000. There was also a rollcall of past students. I congratulate Coorparoo State School on its 125th anniversary, its record of past achievements and its future mission. (Time expired)