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Tuesday, 19 June 2012
Page: 7098

Mrs D'ATH (Petrie) (16:04): I rise to speak about an important activity that has been initiated by the BBC leading up to the London Olympics. The BBC is following 26 young athletes from across the world and connecting the schools they attended. Emily Seebohm is the young Australian they are following, and as part of the project they have linked St John Fisher College at Bracken Ridge in my electorate with Highfield School in the Peak District in England. For the past two years, St John Fisher College has been a twin school with Highfield School in Matlock, Devonshire, in the UK as part of the BBC British Council project World Olympic Dreams, World Class. St John Fisher College was invited to take part because former student Emily Seebohm was the Australian athlete chosen as part of their world class project. Emily won a gold medal in 2008 while a year 10 student at the college.

There are 25 British schools and 25 other schools from different countries around the world participating in the project. St John Fisher College, Bracken Ridge, is the only Australian school. Last year, St John Fisher College hosted a staff member from Highfield, and their students have been involved in a number of joint projects. The St John Fisher College has provided footage and commentary for the BBC world class website. They have invited a staff member from St John Fisher, the deputy principal, Sharee Lane, to go to Highfield from 23 to 27 June 2012, coinciding with the arrival of the Olympic torch at their school. The purpose of the trip to its promote relations between the schools and to encourage global dialogue of the students.

A week of activities is planned at the school, and Sharee will be representing St John Fisher College. This visit is funded by the BBC and will be a wonderful experience for Sharee as she takes with her messages from the St John Fisher community to the Highfield community. The BBC also hosted the world's biggest assembly on 8 May this year, with schools from around the world participating. St John Fisher College was one of three schools in Australia to participate in the world's biggest assembly.

I want to take this opportunity to congratulate St John Fisher College, their principal, Maree Messer and, of course, Sharee Lane, whom I wish well on her trip to the UK to be there for the arrival of the Olympic torch at Highfield School. I also want to acknowledge the amazing work that the teachers and staff do at St John Fisher in mentoring the young women at the school not just in the sport and academic areas but also in providing a holistic approach to their welfare. So many of them go on to experience and to achieve the goals they have set for themselves, and they make their families and their school proud.