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Thursday, 21 August 2003
Page: 19293

Mr JOHNSON (12:36 PM) —I am pleased to speak today about two local schools that I visited in my electorate of Ryan. They are Centenary State High School in Jindalee and Our Lady of the Rosary School in Kenmore. These two schools in the Ryan electorate are very progressive and dynamic and they are dedicated to providing education of the highest quality to the students who attend them.

Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of officially opening a new administration and classroom facility at Our Lady of the Rosary School in Kenmore, on behalf of the federal Minister for Education, Science and Training, Dr Brendan Nelson. The construction of this new administration block, as well as the refurbishment of two classroom areas, was made possible through the federal government's capital grants program. The project was funded by both the Commonwealth government, with a grant of over $300,000, and the school community which also contributed over $300,000 to the project. These outstanding facilities will help to ensure that all students at Our Lady of the Rosary perform to the best of their abilities and skills and will encourage them to realise their potential and achieve lifelong goals.

The official opening also came at a time when the school was celebrating its 40th anniversary. I congratulate the school on that outstanding accomplishment. I acknowledge the principal of the school, Helen Royan, and the chair of the OLR School Board, Beth Mathews, who very warmly extended hospitality to me. I also acknowledge Bishop Brian Finnigan, who officiated at the gathering, and David Hutton, the director of the Brisbane Catholic education system.

I also had the opportunity to take the education minister to the Centenary State High School in Jindalee when he visited my electorate a couple of months ago. It is a very sophisticated school in terms of the quality of the education services that it provides to its students. It also received a capital grant of some $1.4 million to assist in the construction of a new classroom block. The minister toured the school, addressed the school assembly and awarded 40 students with special academic awards for their fine academic performance in the first semester. I acknowledge the great stewardship and administration of the principal of the school, Mr Mick Mickelburgh.

I also want to acknowledge some of the students who play a part in student leadership at the school: the president of the student parliament of Centenary State High School, Seerone Anandarajah; his vice president, Felicity Hayward; the secretary of the student parliament of the school, Chrissy Jones; and the treasurer of the student parliament, Tom Knox. These young Australians are active in their school and in the community. They are wonderful young Australians who, I am sure, will grow up to be Australian citizens who make a fantastic contribution to our country.

I also had the opportunity to take the Minister for Education, Science and Training to The Gap State High School where we had an education roundtable with many of the principals in the Ryan electorate. This was a very successful occasion and an opportunity for school principals to meet the Howard government's education minister face to face. It was initiated to provide local school principals in the electorate with an opportunity to express some of their issues and concerns to the minister. There were a significant number of principals, teachers and students at the roundtable discussion and I want to thank everyone who came along. I know that the minister also very much appreciated the feedback. I pay tribute to the hospitality of the Principal of The Gap State High School, Regan Neumann, and Deputy Principal Paul Brennan, and the school captains Liz Read and Tim Snartt assisted the roundtable very generously with their time.

I would like to mention some of the principals who attended the roundtable. They included Hilary Backus, Principal of Indooroopilly State Primary School. All the principals from the local Gap suburbs were there and they were fantastic. They included Josephine Bottrell from Hilder Road and Graham Anderson from Jamboree Heights Primary School. Incidentally, I previously had the opportunity of hosting a citizenship ceremony at Graham's fine school. (Time expired)