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Thursday, 31 March 2022
Page: 1520


Mr THISTLETHWAITE (Kingsford Smith) (10:37): Last Monday I was delighted to attend the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of Mascot Public School. Over the century, Mascot Public has been a vital part of the fabric of our local community. The centenary celebrations were a real tribute to the enduring multicultural character of both the school and the wider community.

Mascot Public School was officially opened on 19 February 1922 by local Labor member Tom Mutch. Reports at the time described the school as a 'fine, two-storied edifice' costing approximately 13,000 pounds to build and representing the 'last word' in modern building and facilities. Since that time the school has been providing quality public education for children and giving them an opportunity to chart a course on a lifetime of learning. Mascot Public School's motto is 'Strive to achieve', and this is indeed a special achievement for the school. I want to thank Principal Helen Te Rata and the teachers, staff and all the students over the last century who have made Mascot Public School such a wonderful public education institution in our community.

Samantha Carmont walked 60 kilometres a day in our community for 31 days straight. She did this to raise awareness about coercive control. That's 1,800 kilometres of walking in a month—an amazing act of endurance. Sam was raising awareness about the scourge of coercive control, and her efforts have seen over $12,000 go to support women's community shelters and Domestic Violence NSW. I joined her for part of the walk on the last day, and Sam told me of her many friends who'd been victims of different forms of coercive control over the last few years.

Coercive control involves patterns of abuse within partner relationships that see the victim-survivors denied their autonomy and independence. It can include physical, sexual, psychological or financial abuse. Coercive control is also a major red flag for intimate-partner homicide. To help draw people's attention to the issue, Sam challenged herself to walk those 60 kilometres a day around the streets of eastern Sydney. Because it could be happening anyway, we must continue to highlight this great danger in our community. No-one deserves to live in fear. Coercive control of any form is simply unacceptable. I want to congratulate and commend Sam Carmont for taking this difficult conversation on coercive control to the streets in her work and to thank everyone that donated to her campaign and her wonderful walk.