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Thursday, 7 February 2013
Page: 501


Mrs ANDREWS (McPherson) (09:54): Last week many students across the country went back to school. It was also the start of the school year for many of our new prep students. Last Friday, I had the opportunity to visit one of the schools in my electorate that I think is unique: the Currumbin Valley State School. As you may already have concluded, the Currumbin Valley State School is in the Currumbin Valley on the Gold Coast. It is in a very beautiful part of the Gold Coast—it is about 15 minutes from the beach—but it is a part of the Gold Coast that many of our northern Gold Coasters and often our tourists do not tend to get to, which is very unfortunate. I do encourage everyone to get into that part of the Gold Coast. The school is close to the end of Currumbin Creek Road; it is not far from the Mount Cougal section of Springbrook National Park and it is situated right next to the Currumbin Creek. It is in a truly beautiful location.

When I arrived at the school last week, I was greeted by the new prep students. They were wearing their new uniforms and they had their name badges on, because Friday was their first day at school. Their school had been affected by the poor weather that we had had on the Gold Coast over the Australia Day long weekend and it had lost a number of its services, including its telephone, so it was unable to open for the school year as was scheduled.

Currumbin Valley State School now has 127 students from prep to year 7. That is its largest enrolment since it first opened on 21 September 1908, when the best records that I can find indicate that there were 15 students aged between eight and 14 years. The school principal, Heidi Mackenzie, has confirmed that not all of the students that are there now come from the local area. There are quite a number of students who travel some distance to get to the school. It is clearly a school of choice for parents and students and, quite frankly, a visit to the school would make it very clear as to why that is. The school prides itself on working closely with students, parents, carers and the school community. It certainly engages very actively with them.

The school website gives an insight into its culture, where it states:

We pride ourselves on working with students, parents, carers and the school community to deliver quality education, allowing our children to experience a unique education within a safe and environmentally friendly surrounding.

If I were to give three key factors for the success of the school, I would say that they are (1) the 'students come first' culture, where the students are certainly paramount in the school decision making process; (2) the involvement of parents, carers and the school community; and (3) the leadership of the principal, Heidi Mackenzie, and her staff. I congratulate them on all their efforts and wish them all the very best.