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Monday, 29 October 2012
Page: 12338

Ms KING (BallaratParliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure and Transport and Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing) (22:17): I commend the member for Fisher for his words. I cannot imagine the incredible strength and courage of the Morcombe family. Having seen them many times on television talking about that course, I think they are extraordinary, and more power to them and to you for raising it here in this place. I hope that many of us wear red tomorrow and think about the issues behind child safety.

On an entirely different matter I want to take the opportunity to wish all the best to all of the VCE students across the whole of Victoria, but in my electorate in particular, who are about to embark on their final exams. The English exam starts on Thursday, I think, and I know that it is the start of a very busy and intense fortnight for up to three weeks for these fantastic students.

I wish them all the best. I know that this is the culmination of their secondary schooling. Many of them have had a very busy year and I know they are under a lot of pressure, as are their families. It is not the easiest of times during that period. I want to encourage them to look after themselves and take care. Those of us who have been through it—a long time ago—know that this is just the start. It is a fantastic and wonderful start to an adventure of learning that these young people are about to embark on.

Regardless of what results they get, whether they come out at the top, or somewhere in the middle or somewhere they were not expecting to be, this is just the start for these fantastic young people and for some older people who are going back to school. A lifelong journey of learning will happen as will the many opportunities that their secondary schooling will open up for them.

I have had the privilege of meeting lots of those VCE students over the course of the past couple of weeks, having attended their year 12 assemblies, most recently at Ballarat Christian College, where there is a fantastic group of young people who have been here at Parliament House and who did a wonderful job representing their school. I have been at Loreto's art design and fashion show and again, they are an amazing group of VCE students. They are very talented, but I do not know how they managed to walk in the fashion show in those heels and some of the amazing creations they had done. The artwork was just beautiful. I have also seen Ballarat Christian College's art work. At Mount Clear Secondary College the entire school recently put on a multicultural festival. The year 12 VCE students across that college played a very important role.

I acknowledge all of the schools: Ballarat Christian College, Loreto College, Ballarat And Queens Anglican Grammar School, Ballarat Clarendon College, Damascus College, the boys at St Patrick's, Mount Clear College and Ballarat Secondary College. I also particularly want to acknowledge Ballarat Secondary College Principal, Mr Paul Rose, who has been a fantastic advocate and champion for the students of that school for many years. He is retiring. I will be attending his retirement on Friday, but I want to say thank you to him. You have been an amazing principal and I know your advocacy for education will not stop there. The VCE students I know have really appreciated your leadership. I also acknowledge Ballarat High School, which is an amazing and growing school. They do a wonderful job in my district. I also acknowledge Daylesford Secondary College students, Bacchus Marsh Secondary College students and those of the Phoenix P12, which is a fairly new school that has amalgamated with a primary school in my area. I know that they are seeing amazing results from the VCE students, and they are about to embark on some even greater partnerships, perhaps with the university sector around that college.

I say to those VCE students that this is a challenging couple of week for you and for your families. It is a big week, but we really want all the best for you. In my electorate of Ballarat we want you to enjoy the experience—although I know it probably does not feel like that now—of what is the culmination of many years of hard work. I know that the exams are not the greatest period of time, but it will be the start of an amazing journey for all of you. I wish you all the best and I look forward to seeing many of you at your school assemblies, you graduations and your year 12 final graduations over the course of the next week. More than that I look forward to seeing what amazing young people you are going to continue to develop into and the contribution you are going to make to my electorate of Ballarat following your secondary schooling.

House adjo u rned at 22:23