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Wednesday, 15 February 2012
Page: 1390

Ms OWENS (Parramatta) (13:55): Last week, I had the pleasure of attending of Our Lady of Lebanon College in Harris Park to open a new hall and eight new learning centres that were funded by the federal government—through funding of just over $3 million. The college was founded by the Maronite Sisters of the Holy Family back in 1973 and since then it has been instilling in its students the values of education and hard work, which the sisters brought with them to Australia. The college is more than an educational institution; it is a community which promotes a sense of family among the sisters, staff, students, parents and friends. Under the guidance of principal Marlene Chedid, it emphasises the values of treating all with dignity, service, forgiveness and justice.

The college has traditionally served the Maronite Catholic Lebanese Community; however its 1,200-strong student body also reflects the diversity of the broader Lebanese Australian community. It was a great launch and included a blessing from His Excellency Bishop Ad Abikaram of the Sydney Maronite diocese. It was very well MC-ed by the college captain, Daniel Azzi. There were also representatives from the architecture firm ThomsonAdsett and the building company Dyldam. The college is making a real difference by improving the learning environment of many students in my electorate. I wish them the best for the future.