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Wednesday, 2 November 2011
Page: 12486

Mr SIMPKINS (Cowan) (13:51): I take this opportunity to speak of an outstanding school in Cowan, the Waddington Primary School in the suburb of Koondoola. Challenged by lower than average socioeconomic circumstances and with a great deal of diversity, Waddington is particularly defined by its dedicated and highly professional staff, many of whom are long serving. With 126 students it is the smallest school in Cowan and, even with those numbers, it has the highest proportion of Aboriginal children, of one in five. We all know that education is the critical foundation on which a successful future is built. It is of great importance in more challenged areas like Koondoola that every opportunity is available for children to become part of an education culture. The staff at Waddington recognise this fact and are highly dedicated to their students and working with the parents. I particularly pay tribute to those with whom I have had long-term contact, such as teacher James Cunningham, who has the senior class. James is highly respected. I also acknowledge Deputy Principal Sarah Murphy, Registrar Roma Brooks and the entire staff team for their dedication to the children and the local area.

Principal Gary Bryant has led the way in improved literacy and numeracy efforts at Waddington Primary School, which are yielding great results. Although the school has had many principals in the time of my association over the last six years, what the school needs now is consistency in leadership. I believe that Gary Bryant should continue as principal for many years to come.