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Tuesday, 8 August 2006
Page: 144

Mr Murphy asked the Minister for Education, Science and Training, in writing, on 7 February 2006:

(1)   Did the former Minister, Dr Nelson, send a letter to the Principal of any High School in the Electoral Division of Lowe which:

(a)   advised them that one of their students will be receiving an Australian Vocational Student Prize;

(b)   encouraged them to arrange an award presentation ceremony and invite Senator the Hon Helen Coonan;

(c)   described Senator Coonan as “your local Federal Member of Parliament”; and

(d)   advised the alternative would be for the prize to be sent directly to the student; if so, which schools received this letter and when were the letters sent.

(2)   Did the former Minister advise each Member of the House of Representatives of the names of Australian Vocational Student Prize winners in their electoral divisions and the schools they attended; if so, when; if not, why not.

Ms Julie Bishop (Minister for Education, Science and Training and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women’s Issues) —The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:


(a)   Yes.

(b)   Yes.

(c)   Yes, the letter incorrectly referred to Senator Coonan as “your local Federal Member of Parliament” rather than as “Senator for New South Wales”.

(d)   Yes. The following schools in the electorate of Lowe received this letter:

  • Burwood Girls High School
  • Homebush Boys’ High School
  • Rosebank College
  • Santa Sabina College
  • St Patrick’s College
  • Strathfield Girls High School

   The letters were mailed on 25 November 2005.

   (2)   On 18 November 2005 the former Minister, the Hon Dr Brendan Nelson MP, wrote to all Australian Government Members of the House of Representatives with names of prize winners in their electorates and the schools attended.