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Wednesday, 2 June 2010
Page: 5055

Mr SIMPKINS (9:48 AM) —On 14 May I attended a performance by the Woodvale Senior High School symphonic wind orchestra and senior guitars. The performance demonstrated the full range of the students’ orchestral musical capabilities and it was simply outstanding. There was not just music but also dancing and singing. This was part of the full range of performing arts which typifies Woodvale Senior High School’s position in the local community. The school’s senior musicians undertake a tour each year. This year, between terms 1 and 2, the students went to Tasmania. Their tour started in Hobart and included a performance at the Hobart Town Hall. They also performed at the Gaiety Concert Hall in Zeehan and then in Launceston.

At a time when teenagers are often looked upon with concern and society so often judges them based upon the actions of a few, it is these sorts of events, the performing arts in particular, that highlight the very best in our young people. Although I am very much a fan of competitive team sports, the performing arts also demonstrate the dedication it takes to be truly successful in this country. But the success that can be achieved by technical ability, training and overall commitment is not a five-minute job. It cannot be achieved on a whim or by luck or by waiting for it to be delivered by someone else. It is only through one’s own hard work, facilitated by teachers and supported by parents, that it can be achieved.

I have listened to the musicians from Woodvale Senior High School on many occasions. I have seen them at Waneroo Show each year, as well as at other venues. On every occasion, they have done well. At the Observation City Ballroom on 14 May they were spectacular. Having just returned from their Tasmanian performance, morale was high—and it showed. With the MC work of head girl Aimee Chappell and the solo efforts and the group efforts, it was an excellent performance and highly entertaining. As I listened to the musicians of Woodvale Senior High School I thought for a moment that the northern suburbs of Perth are known more for their strong sporting clubs than for these great musical performances. Then I remembered that three of the musicians in the Australian Youth Orchestra here in Canberra last year were from Cowan—more than any other electorate could claim. The reality, therefore, is that there is a great tradition of music in Cowan and the northern suburbs of Perth. Certainly, from what I have seen, Woodvale’s music program and its musicians are very much at the forefront of that tradition. I congratulate Phil Mullane, of the music department, Principal Paul Leech and all those who have been part of the very strong music culture at Woodvale.

I know that the young musicians of Woodvale Senior High School will not all continue with their music to the extent of one day making it into the Australian Youth Orchestra and beyond, but I am certain that the skills, dedication and commitment they have shown so far are the building blocks that will ensure them future success in whatever fields they pursue. I congratulate the staff and students for the Tasmanian tour and the encore performance on 14 May. I wish the students all the best for their futures, whether it is in music or another endeavour. I look forward to the next time I hear Woodvale’s musicians perform.