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Monday, 14 March 2005
Page: 24

Mr RICHARDSON (1:55 PM) —On Thursday, 3 March I accompanied the Hon. Dr Brendan Nelson, Minister for Education, Science and Training, on a visit to Reynella East Primary School in my electorate of Kingston. The main purpose of this visit was to present an award, as part of the National Awards for Quality Schooling, to the principal of Reynella East Primary, Karen Cornelius. Karen had received an award entitled ‘Highly Commended National Achievement by a Principal’. It is an award won against and in competition with an unbelievable number of her highly recommended peers throughout Australia, which makes the award of even greater significance and recognition.

I rise today to congratulate Karen on her receipt of the award, but that is not my only reason for bringing this matter to the attention of the House. I rise to speak about the achievements of Karen Cornelius because of the amazing results the minister and I witnessed while visiting her school. It is evident from the actions and reactions of her colleagues and students that Karen is an exceptionally highly respected principal. She has introduced and reinforced a culture of mutual respect and responsibility amongst students and teachers alike and the results are self-evident simply by visiting her school.

During her acceptance speech, Karen spoke of a teacher who had taught her in primary school and who had changed her life by inspiring her to take up her current vocation. After witnessing Karen in action, I have no doubt that many of her students will one day refer to her in the same context. (Time expired)