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Monday, 7 November 2016
Page: 3055


Mr VASTA (Bonner) (16:39): I would like to speak today about Gundala Kindergarten, an outstanding local institution in Wynnum. Gundala is the only Indigenous kindergarten in the local area, and they have been meeting the early educational needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children since 1978. Gundala services Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander families in Wynnum as well as from all over Brisbane southside. Principal Deb Meates tells me that parents travel up to half an hour to 45 minutes to bring their children to Gundala.

I recently had the pleasure of visiting Gundala with the Hon. Arthur Sinodinos, the cabinet secretary. We saw firsthand the outstanding services that they provide. Gundala offers a deeply embedded cultural program based on the Quandamooka culture that teaches Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander culture to its students. This is a great example of the importance of government funding for early childhood learning.

Over the last year, Gundala has been raising funds for a school bus. They decided on the school bus after looking at studies and recognising the barriers for some Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander families in getting their children to school. I am pleased to report that they now have a new bus. Deb has also told me about their side project to have a local Indigenous artist design a mural that will go up on the bus as well as on the Gundala building. I commend Gundala for their great work in closing the gap for Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander families.