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Monday, 4 June 2001
Page: 27126

Mr MURPHY (1:54 PM) —Homebush Boys High School in my electorate of Lowe is a shining example of our public education system. At the invitation of the school's very respected principal, Mr Ian Patterson, I was delighted on Friday, 4 May 2001 to speak to the student assembly about Federation and to present to the school the biography of Australia's first Prime Minister, Edmund Barton, written by the noted historian Geoffrey Bolton. In addition to his notable political achievements, I was delighted to let the young students know that Edmund Barton was born in nearby Glebe on 18 January 1848 and that in the early 1840s the Barton family lived not far from Homebush on the family's 104-acre estate in Five Dock, which is in my electorate of Lowe.

Following the school assembly, I was invited to open the school's Centenary Garden in the presence of Year 7A geography class and Mr Neil Francis, student representative council members and deputy principals Mr Bill Hilliard and Mr Tim Jurd. The garden comprises six bottlebrush trees and grevillea trees representing Australia's six states and two territories. The creation of this garden is a wonderful environmental initiative by the school to mark Australia's Centenary of Federation. As the garden grows into something even more beautiful, it will provide a permanent place for historical and personal reflection for the students. It will also stand as a poignant environmental symbol, reminding the students to take care of our mother earth. Well done, Homebush Boys High School.