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Wednesday, 14 September 2011
Page: 10165

Mr FRYDENBERG (Kooyong) (09:57): It was Thomas Jefferson, a founding father of the United States and its third president, who said that 'education is the defence of the nation'. Nowhere do we see this more graphically than in my electorate of Kooyong, for Kooyong is an educational metropolis. There are over 35,000 school students in the electorate and over 50 schools. It has a very strong government school sector, Catholic school sector and independent school sector, with co-ed schools and single-sex schools, secondary schools and primary schools.

I find it one of the most rewarding aspects of my role in the parliament to visit my local schools and spend time with teachers and students. More recently I visited Kew East Primary School where I addressed a whole school assembly and celebrated Australian National Flag Day. At Auburn Primary School I joined students and their families for Grandparents Day. At Xavier College I chatted with year 10 students who undertook research at the Australian War Memorial and the National Archives as part of their advanced writing project. At Bialik College, my old school, I attended the launch of the National Year of Reading 2012. At St Bridget's Primary School I joined students and parents for a Father's Day breakfast, as I also did at All Hallows Primary School. I was at Camberwell High School for its 70th birthday celebrations where I listened to their fantastic orchestra and I joined the students and the principal for a healthy lunch at Erasmus College.

These schools are all a hub of activity, but today it is my great pleasure to congratulate the winners of the Australian Student Prize who live in my electorate. The Australian Student Prize is a national prize awarded to senior secondary students for academic excellence in English, mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and informatics. It was first awarded in 1991 and it is a $1 million government program where there are 500 recipients. Prize winners receive a cheque for $2,000. There are 11 winners from 10 schools who live in my electorate: Miranda Gaze and Isabelle Xavier from Methodist Ladies College; Marisa Lai from Carey Baptist Grammar School; Joshua Monester from Bialik College; Ashley Sorrenti from Xavier College; Jackson Sweeney from Balwyn High School; Laura Toscano from Genazzano FCJ College; Ian Wang from Scotch College; and Magnus Zethoven from Trinity Grammar School. Stuart Ferrie from Melbourne High School lives in my electorate, although the school is outside it, and so too with Sam Scott who is at Melbourne Grammar School but lives in my electorate.

I congratulate each of these students for their commitment to their studies and for this incredible achievement. I also congratulate their parents and their teachers for giving them support and encouraging academic excellence. It is a worthy prize for a worthy achievement and I congratulate all those involved.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Hon. Peter Slipper ): In accordance with standing order 193 the time for members' constituency statements has concluded.