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Thursday, 18 March 2010
Page: 3068


Ms JACKSON (12:46 PM) —I rise today to talk about the launch of Dave the Kangaroo at Maddington Primary School in my electorate. I was very fortunate to be invited to participate in a school assembly at Maddington Primary School on Monday, 15 February. Maddington Primary School is composed of a primary school as well as an education support unit. It is a very small school located on the very busy Albany Highway. It has about 160 students in the primary school, with 20 at the education support unit. According to the My School website it has about 16 per cent Indigenous students and a further 10 per cent from non-English-speaking backgrounds, such as refugees and recently arrived migrants, as well as the children of people on 457 visas. On the index of community socioeducational advantage, where most schools range from 900 to 1,100, it rates at 902.

When the kids returned to school this year, in each classroom they encountered a half-metre-high stuffed kangaroo. This created much mystery and suspense around the school, and that was added to by mysterious posters put up around the school saying, ‘Dave is coming.’ So the kids were in suspense, wondering who on earth this Dave might be. It culminated in a school assembly with the wonderful involvement of the staff of the Maddington fire station. With sirens wailing and horns blaring, the Maddington fire station fire-engine arrived at the school assembly and out jumped Dave the Kangaroo. Dave was introduced to the kids. He handed out key rings and bookmarks, all reinforcing the values which the school is attempting to promote from the national framework for values education.

Of course, Dave stands for ‘developing Australian values education’, and Dave will be appearing every week or so at Maddington Primary School, participating in school assemblies and taking other actions to promote greater understanding of those values. The school is very much hoping that families will become involved. There is going to be a focus on a particular one of the nine values each week, and families will be asked to identify where the children who attend the school have actually demonstrated or promoted that value at home.

Maddington Primary School is unique for a number of different reasons. One of the things that I really found enjoyable about the program is that Dave’s message is being administered day to day in the school by the BEEP boys. They are a bunch of black-T-shirt-wearing boys in years 4 to 7 who are taking leadership roles in the school as part of the Boys Effective Education Program, or BEEP. The black T-shirts with gold logos were provided by the local city council, the City of Gosnells, which is actively supporting BEEP. The BEEP boys are responsible for organising lessons for the teachers around Dave’s value for the fortnight or week. They help with photocopying, collating class sheets and presenting the lessons to teachers.

The BEEP boys have also been responsible for putting on sausage sizzles for the kids at the end of school term, and since the school established its kitchen garden I am pleased to say that this has evolved into healthy burgers that the BEEP boys prepare and hand out to students. There are currently 16 BEEP boys at the school and I commend them for their work.

Maddington Primary School is being funded for this program from multiple sources—local, state and federal governments, as well as the Maddington Kenwick Community Leadership Network, the Real Life Church and YouthCare as well as a number of local businesses. I thank them very much for their support. I pay my respects and give credit to the staff at Maddington school for their imaginative and committed approach to instilling pride and leadership skills in the students as well as reinforcing these important values. I especially acknowledge the deputy principal, Peter Jakimowiez, and I thank him very much for the invitation to be involved in the launch of Dave the Kangaroo at Maddington Primary School.