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Monday, 9 February 2015
Page: 59

Mr RAMSEY (Grey) (13:40): Last week, I had the opportunity to join the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator Nigel Scullion, on a run through the APY Lands in the north of my electorate. We had a number of meetings while we were up there, including with the chairman of the APY council. There are a number of issues surrounding that body at the moment that the state government needs to deal with. In particular, we were there to see 12 months on just how the school attendance program was working. We went to two communities, one right in the corner of South Australia, Northern Territory and Western Australia called Pitjantjara. Pitjantjara has 57 students. On the day we were there 51 were in attendance. The school attendance officers got out early. They go round the town and they blow on the horn of the bus and, if you do not come out then, at the next visit they will knock on your door and if the children do not come out after that they will go in.

Fifty-one out of 57 is pretty good and a very good tick for the program, especially considering that the six children that were not there were not in community. Three were off partaking in cultural practices and the other three belonged to families that had not yet returned to community from wherever they had chosen to go for the summer. We had a similar experience in Indulkana. Pretty much, we are getting 100 per cent of the students that are in community to attend on the day. The program is a success. We need to attack the other side of the equation now.