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Thursday, 1 March 2018
Page: 2537


Ms BANKS (Chisholm) (16:44): I rise today to talk about the leaders of any organisation. The leaders are integral in defining the culture and sense of community of any organisation: any school, business or community group. Young leaders and primary school children learn leadership skills through the role models that they observe in daily life—invariably, their parents, grandparents, relatives, older siblings, teachers and school principals. That is why, for me, it is always a joy to attend the leadership ceremony at Pinewood Primary School in Mount Waverley. The ceremony is organised by principal Karen Jenkin. Undoubtedly, in my mind, the leadership skills of Karen Jenkin and the teachers and staff members at the school are what define such a wonderful culture and sense of community, which was on display at the leadership ceremony that I attended.

At this magnificent ceremony, it was clear that the students had been empowered by their teachers to participate in the actual ceremony and, indeed, in its organisation. This, in and of itself, clearly had given the students a sense of ownership and responsibility, which is clearly what underpinned the success of the ceremony. Thirty of Pinewood's students received their badges, read an oath and signed a pledge to conduct themselves with integrity and humility throughout the school year. I'm delighted to congratulate the following students on their achievement: library captains Roksana Sedighi Sarvestani, Christopher Gourlias, Renee Bablis and Georgia Bishop; music captains Helya Saeedian, Shantel Crosher and Emily Lee; technology captains Anish Thakur, Karar Al-Zubaidy and Dhasindu Gunathilake; environment captains Jasmine Janiksela, Lucas Anthonisz, Senuli Palpita and Rachel Huang; art captains Sally Meng and Tara Mannapperuma; sport captains Thomas Jurberg and Gemma Leung; Sturt Yellow house captains Justin Yan and Sethumi Fernando; Dampier Green house captains Charlie Jurberg and Maddie David; Flinders Blue house captains Lachlan Snart and Emily Day; Cook Red house captains Brendan Joss and Teashun Sonnenberg; school vice-captains Brad Fraser and Molly Lowe; and, last but certainly not least, school captains James Valiontis and Taya Fraser.

Schools such as Pinewood Primary School are a wonderful representation of the best of our local community in Chisholm. As Chisholm is one of Australia's most multicultural electorates, it was fantastic to see how many young Australians of migrant heritage are engaged with the school communities and have been chosen for their leadership in their respective areas of responsibility, such as music, art, technology and sport. The ceremony, with outstanding music, proud singing of our national anthem and house flags on display, set the tone for this very special event. Parents and friends with iPhones and cameras in tow took photos of what undoubtedly will endure as an extremely proud moment in their education journey. The students themselves were full of excitement and anticipation, and were obviously proudly supported by equally proud teachers and staff. The event was harnessed further by the presence of the proud parents, grandparents and special people who made the effort to attend and support the students. After the assembly the students hosted their parents, families and friends in the school staffroom. It was a lovely opportunity, which was full of ambience, for the school leaders to show their gratitude to their supportive teachers, parents, families and friends who attended to celebrate this achievement with them.

Congratulations to Pinewood Primary School principal, Karen Jenkin. She leads a staff of dedicated teachers who, through the power of education and passion, are building a learning community that empowers Pinewood students in the Mount Waverley area, such as the 30 exemplary students named as captains last week, to strive to reach their full potential. Assemblies such as this are, of course, echoed across Chisholm and Australia as schools celebrate and acknowledge new leaders.

As the federal member for Chisholm, it is a great joy to visit the many wonderful schools and universities in my electorate and to witness and then participate in the spirit of joy and passion for learning that underpins our community. Attending school assemblies such as these is truly enjoyable and heartwarming. It is inspiring to watch young students accept leadership responsibilities with excitement, passion and energy. These children are learning leadership by observing their parents, family members and teachers, and are being empowered to take responsibilities at such a young age. By teaching them the values of respect, honesty and fairness, their families and teachers are ensuring that these children will emerge as the future leaders of our businesses, schools and communities as they progress in their life journeys.