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Monday, 27 February 2012
Page: 1880

Mr GEORGANAS (Hindmarsh) (12:00): I had the great pleasure last Thursday, together with the member for Kingston, Amanda Rishworth, of welcoming the Prime Minister to our area. We welcomed the PM to the local area for an education forum titled 'Your School Our Future'. The forum was held at Brighton Secondary School, an outstanding school in South Australia, in the beachside suburb of Brighton. Even though it is not in my electorate, it is just outside it—on the border—and a lot of the students who attend Brighton are from the Hindmarsh electorate.

So it was a great pleasure to have the Prime Minister there, to have a discussion with the principals from Amanda Rishworth's area and from my own area to discuss education and the future of our schools. The Brighton school jazz choir was fantastic—they had a young Buble in the making there! There were principals and parent reps from all over. This was the first of a series of forums that the Prime Minister will be holding around the country on the government education agenda. We know how important education is. We know that the foundation of prosperity and of the future of this nation is the education that we provide for our children. Being a father of two boys myself, I know how important it was for my kids to get an education, because I knew it was tied to their prosperity in life. It is important to be able to provide the types of education that children require.

Of course, not all students will go on to university. So I am very pleased about the trade training centres that have been announced in and around my electorate. For example, we have a magnificent engineering trade training centre at Thebarton Senior College and a catering trade training centre at St George College on South Road in Kate Ellis's electorate, which is the border of our two electorates. Again, it is a big feeder for my area.

It is so important for those children who perhaps do not want to go on to university to have the ability to learn the trades whilst they are still at school so that when they do decide to take on a trade they already have some of those skills at hand. As a father myself, one of my two boys went on to university and finished his degree. The other one was never going to go to university—you could tell from a very young age. How wonderful it would have been if he had had a trade training centre to enable him to learn some of the skills he learnt while he was doing his apprenticeship. He would have finished his apprenticeship a couple of years earlier, and it would have been very beneficial. I am sure there are hundreds and hundreds of students around the country in the same situation.

As I said, I was pleased that we could discuss these things with the Prime Minister and the principals in my electorate. I am sure education will be a big part of our future policies. (Time expired)