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Wednesday, 23 May 2018
Page: 4332


Mrs ELLIOT (Richmond) (13:51): I rise today to acknowledge an inspirational person in my electorate: Janeen Silcock, Principal of Ballina Coast High School. She was recently awarded a $45,000 fellowship as part of the Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards. Held in partnership with Schools Plus, the awards recognise the many amazing teachers who are transforming learning outcomes at their schools. Janeen was chosen as one of only 12 remarkable teachers from across Australia. I believe she'll use the fellowship to further fund one of the excellent and innovative in-school programs which provide new learning methods for the school community.

Janeen's been teaching for 36 years. One of the biggest challenges she faced was the amalgamation of two very different high schools: Ballina High and Southern Cross. Janeen successfully managed this transition with the involvement of teachers, students and community members and ended up designing a completely new high school that truly values innovation. I'm told that, as a result of the positive culture at the school, attendance, behaviour and engagement with learning have all improved. Janeen is quoted saying:

I've worked to ensure the design of the new school is about students and learning and not about a building. I want a school where students can colour inside and outside the lines.

Janeen understands what a pivotal role teachers play in the lives of our children, and Janeen herself has expressed a wish that we aim towards a recognition of teachers as honourable people. I truly agree.

I certainly would like to commend and congratulate Janeen on her honourable and excellent leadership in the Ballina community and wish her and the new Ballina Coast High School every success in all of their endeavours.