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Thursday, 13 October 2011
Page: 11895

Mr BYRNE (Holt) (09:39): I rise today to pay tribute to Lyndhurst Secondary College. Recently they were named Victorian secondary school winner in the Australian government's 2011 Anzac Day school awards. Lyndhurst Secondary College is one of only 18 schools around the country to be awarded. I congratulate Lyndhurst College on its excellent achievement. These annual awards are a great way for schools to showcase initiatives and honour the service and sacrifice of our veterans and current serving members each Anzac Day. Recently the school celebrated this achievement with a whole-of-school assembly, which I attended. I presented the school with a commemorative plaque and an award which included $1,000 in prize money. The awards are funded under the Australian government's Saluting Their Service commemorations program. Receiving the award on behalf of the school was Nicole Scott. Dandenong-Cranbourne RSL representatives John Richardson and Barry Rodgers were in attendance, as was Phil White from the Vietnam Veterans Association of Victoria.

The outstanding entry featured a wide variety of learning activities that included writing letters to ex-students currently serving in the Australian Defence Force, a visit to the Shrine of Remembrance and a talk from a member of the Vietnam Veterans Association of Victoria.

The year 11 students also organised a respectful and traditional Anzac Day service, with guests from the Cranbourne RSL. It should be noted that Lyndhurst College sends students to remembrance ceremonies at the Cranbourne cenotaph on Anzac Day and Remembrance Day; they are always noticed.

The event was particularly significant for year 12 house captain Jayden Lynch-Cooper. Jayden presented the Ode for the ANZAC ceremony and helped the year 7s write letters of support to active members of the Defence Force. According to Jayden, 'it was great to see people from all walks of life at the ceremony, including veterans who have demonstrated the colourful aspects of service life'. Jayden plans on joining the Australian Defence Force Academy next year, and I wish him and all graduates who are joining the defence forces the very best with their endeavours.

Manmeet Kaur, another school captain, said that the ceremony was a very patriotic one: 'Learning about the significance of Anzac Day is important. This award is great for Lyndhurst Secondary'.

I would encourage all local schools in my electorate of Holt to consider sharing how they honour our past and present service men and women and to enter next year's Anzac Day Schools Awards. In closing, again I would like to again congratulate Lyndhurst Secondary College for their efforts in this year's Anzac Day School Awards.

I have said repeatedly in this place and elsewhere, particularly in my electorate, that young people in my area are often criticised in the local papers. If something incorrect is done, they are front and centre, but very often the service that students like those at Lyndhurst Secondary College do and give to the community is never appropriately acknowledged. I hope that this statement in this place goes in some way to rectifying that imbalance.