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Tuesday, 11 November 2008
Page: 10583

Mr DREYFUS (4:16 PM) —I want to speak about the recent 100th anniversary of the Carrum Downs Primary School in my electorate and the fantastic work that principal Cecilia Stone is doing to best prepare the school for its second century. I was fortunate to be invited to speak last week at the 100th anniversary assembly in front of teachers, parents, nearly 600 of the school’s current students and a number of former students, some of whom still live in the area. It was wonderful to see the school’s hall packed to mark this significant milestone, and it was a great touch that many of the students and teachers were dressed up in period clothing to recall how the very first students of Carrum Downs Primary School would have dressed. The school’s leaders, Adam Calvert, Jacob Dalton and Rathina Srinivasaragavan, spoke about the school’s history, and there was a beautifully prepared display of old photos and news clippings from throughout the school’s existence. One of them dated all the way back to 1914. There is one student who I would particularly like to mention, Amber Simson, who is in grade 6. At the special assembly I presented her with the 2008 Community Spirit and Leadership Award for her leadership qualities, which see her held in high esteem by fellow students, staff and the wider community.

After the assembly I was taken on a tour of the school by Cecilia Stone, who showed me the little building that housed the school on the Frankston-Dandenong Road before the building was moved to the present site of the school and carefully restored. It is still in use today as a literacy centre for the students. I was also shown more modern school facilities at the school; how the school has remodelled its playground; how they have laid cement paths instead of the dirt they used to have; and the new computers, which the students love learning on. At the foot of the school there is a new wetland environment that is being created, which is going to provide a terrific learning environment for the students.

There are not many schools in Victoria which are celebrating their centenary. It is even more unusual to see a centenary for a school in an area of new housing developments like Carrum Downs. It is fantastic to see a school in a growth area of my electorate able not only to celebrate its long history but also to look ahead and plan for the future. I congratulate the Carrum Downs Primary School on its 100th anniversary. I congratulate the school community of Carrum Downs, and indeed the whole community of Carrum Downs, which has worked to make the school the great school that it is today, and I look forward to working with the staff, the students, the parents and, in particular, the principal, Cecilia Stone, to make this great school even better in the future.