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Thursday, 19 June 2003
Page: 17087

Ms LIVERMORE (9:46 AM) —I would like to take this opportunity today to congratulate the staff, students and parents of Lakes Creek State School in Rockhampton for their success in being selected to take part in the Boys Education Lighthouse Schools Program. As a participating school, Lakes Creek will document and showcase how they develop and implement educational practices which address the needs of boys.

The Lighthouse grant is well deserved recognition of the school's LINKS program, developed by learning difficulties support teacher Mrs Mandy Norton-McNeill and strongly supported by Principal Peter Black and the entire school community. The LINKS program encourages parents, boys and staff to become partners in creating a pathway that builds resilience and makes a difference to boys in education. It cultivates learning opportunities and purpose, which help students grow in confidence and self-understanding. The lessons give strong foundations in basic literacy and numeracy and strengthen communication skills.

I had the pleasure of visiting Lakes Creek State School last week to meet with some of the students who are part of the LINKS program and to learn from them more about its goals and outcomes. In all, there are 16 students involved in the LINKS program from grades 3 through to 7. I met with four of the boys: James Gough, David McIndoe, Royce Bullock and Mark Bottomley, who delivered a presentation describing the activities that are making such a difference to their experiences of school and their attitude to learning. For example, the boys are learning woodwork from a group of teachers and parents, which gives them new skills and improves their self-esteem, concentration and communication skills. They also enjoy being part of the Buddying Boys Reading Program. David McIndoe, one of the boys, explained to me that he goes through book catalogues with the learning support teacher to choose reading books that the whole school can use for quiet reading or home reading. One of their proudest achievements is the newspaper they produced entitled Lads and Learning at Lakes Creek School. I will be presenting a copy of the newspaper on behalf of the students to the minister for education later today.

James, David, Royce and Mark put a great deal of effort into preparing the presentation that they gave to me last week so I will use their words to tell the House what they are getting out of this great program. They are happy, they are doing things with their friends, they are working with others, they are believing in themselves and they are learning to read and write. I was very impressed with what I saw at Lakes Creek State School last week and I was particularly impressed with the achievements of those four boys who represented the learning support program, the LINKS program. The school is to be congratulated for the effort it is putting in to making a difference for these boys. The boys are to be congratulated for the way they are working together and making the most of this opportunity at their primary school. I also need to thank the federal government for helping the LINKS program, which is achieving so much for students at Lakes Creek State School and backing them up through the Boys Education Lighthouse Schools Program. I wish the Lakes Creek boys all the best in their future education.