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Tuesday, 18 September 2012
Page: 11125


Mr RIPOLL (OxleyParliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer) (16:27): I am very proud to stand up today to talk about my electorate of Oxley, which represents parts of Brisbane and Ipswich, particularly because I want to make some references to some fantastic schools that have fantastic principals, great staff, great teachers, fabulous parents and citizens committees, P&Cs, that work so hard, and obviously parents and students as well. They are achieving absolutely remarkable things. Believe it not just because I say so but because the Prime Minister says so and because they have been awarded prizes that say that is the case.

Today I pay tribute to just a few of those principals and schools, particularly Margaret Gurney, from Goodna State School. I have visited Margaret and her school many times, including with the Prime Minister when she came to my electorate after the recent Queensland floods. Half of the children in her primary school come from some of the most disadvantaged of Australian homes. Many are Indigenous, are from non-English-speaking backgrounds or are new arrivals to Australia. Margaret is focused on lifting achievement in that school, particularly Indigenous achievement, through regular health checks, oral language development, greater awareness of these kids and their specific needs by the school as a whole. She has created adult education classes so that parents—not just the kids—can learn through the school with their children and lift their own confidence as well. Margaret is a great principal with great staff in a great school that knows all too well the value of education and of the government's education reforms and how they will make a difference to Goodna and the local community.

Corrine McMillan is another great principal, at Glenala State High School in Durack in my electorate. Glenala has had a pretty tough history, and principals—all of them good principals—have faced many challenges over many years. Corrine's school is working with the local Vietnamese community and the Pacifica community, bringing on a Pacific Island liaison officer, offering breakfast at school events and getting parents to get involved: creating a community out of a school that makes all the difference to the education of the children she provides for. She also is doing a great job with Indigenous students. She is building a school where kids want to come to school—they want to turn up—and they want to have their homework done. She is building a school where more and more kids are staying on to year 12, more kids are going on to TAFE and lots more to university—a first for that school. They are getting incredible outcomes and results through Corrine's great leadership. Corrine and her school richly deserved the recognition they got last week, following the publication of the NAPLAN results. Well done to all of them!

The government has placed record investment in our schools, but we could not do it without the school community helping us to get those results. Our better schools package will make such a fantastic difference to schools like Goodna and Glenala and, indeed, all schools in my electorate.

Finally I want to pay tribute to the 'Gonski mums', who are so passionate about the government's education reforms and remind me regularly of how important these reforms are to them and their kids. Go the Gonski mums! I am with you all the way.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mrs D'Ath ): Order! In accordance with standing order 193, the time for members' constituency statements has concluded.