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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 7 Hansard (1 July) . . Page.. 3237..


MR PRATT (continuing):

the government has provided, or will provide, some monetary assistance. He requires $6,500 to travel, and they are about a third of the way to getting that. I wish Reece and Wanniassa School the greatest luck. It is a good high school, and it is trialling the middle schooling concept. It will be very interesting to see how that comes about.

Mr Speaker, I would like to also talk about values-based education. I am pleased to see that we are having a pretty strong debate at the moment around the country and here in the ACT. I picked up an article by Samantha Maiden in the Australian, dated 3 May, which I think is quite a head article. It really goes to the crux of this issue. She writes:

Promoting values-based education is winning back disillusioned parents and students from independent and Catholic schools to the public education system, according to a new report.

The Values Education Study, which presents the findings of 12 case studies in Australian schools, found literacy and retention rates have improved after the introduction of value-based classes and programs.

This clearly underpins the message that a properly organised, effective value system in a school will significantly improve academic outcomes as well as improve behaviour and harmony. We have come a long way and we have had to lament now for far too many years the absence of values in education. I put it to you, Mr Speaker, that the community is struggling to get this back. I will quote an article by John Hirst, a historian at La Trobe University. He writes:

Of course, in the libertarian age of the 1960s and '70s, in which too many of today's educational spokespeople formed their views, ritual and ceremony were at a discount...

There are now elaborate assemblies to reward and honour students as they leave school and the students dress up for their formal.

The libertarian age in Australia coincided with the collapse of Britishness in Australia, which produced uncertainty about Australian identity. Since it no longer made sense for schoolchildren to promise to obey the Queen, they were not asked to promise anyone anything.

That includes, as we have seen so often in recent years, not even promising to behave properly or to respect-and, of course, respect is a two-way street. I thought those comments were very interesting, and I would love to see members take note of those comments and the importance of ensuring that values-based education is in place for all ACT schools.

Sexual Servitude

Croatian National Day

MRS DUNNE (10.26): In the press release put out on Tuesday in relation to the two-day Asian and Pacific Parliamentarians and Ministers' Conference, the Minister for Women, Ms Gallagher, said:

Since establishing the Office for Women in the Chief Minister's Department, we've been developing and implementing policies that aim to address issues relating to


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