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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012 Week 2 Hansard (21 February) . . Page.. 547..


Mary MacKillop school-trade training centre

MS BURCH (Brindabella-Minister for Community Services, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Ageing, Minister for Women and Minister for Gaming and Racing) (4.54): I rise to make comment on a wonderful opening of the trade training centre at the Mary MacKillop school down in Isabella Plains. I can see from the school's website that they are very pleased with their trade training centre. The website says:

Prime Minister Julia Gillard opened the St Joseph the Worker Campus of the Canberra Regional Pathways Trade Training Centre, located at MacKillop's Isabella Campus, today.

Ms Gillard commended MacKillop on its role as lead school in the joint initiative with St Clare's College, Merici College, and St Francis Xavier College, and spoke of the importance of presenting students with a wide range of opportunities-much like the opportunities offered at MacKillop.

Principal Michael Lee thanked the Government for sticking to its promise to make education a priority, despite dealing with a tough economic climate, and congratulated the many parties involved in making the Trade Centre possible.

After the Official Ceremony, Prime Minister Gillard inspected the facilities, mingled with students and guests, and shared a brief afternoon tea in Cafe Bella, which had been upgraded in 2011 as part of the construction of the Trade Training Centre.

I encourage people to go to the Mary MacKillop website to have a look at the trade training centre.

There were many guests who celebrated this wonderful addition to the college in my electorate of Brindabella. Other people who were there to celebrate at the official opening included the member for Canberra, Gai Brodtmann, along with the minister for school education, Peter Garrett, who joined Prime Minister Julia Gillard to officially open the trade training centre.

The Gillard government has provided $5.7 million for the trade training centre, which is a facility for secondary students not only from MacKillop but also from other colleges, such as Merici, St Clare's and Francis Xavier. The students will now be able to gain qualifications in construction, hospitality and manufacturing while they complete year 12 and prepare to enter the workforce. The centre will help address skill shortages in Canberra, boost national productivity and give our young people rewarding career options as they advance through school. That was a comment by the member from Canberra, Ms Brodtmann.

I was there at that opening. Indeed, the auditorium at the college was full. It was fantastic. All the children were looking with great excitement at the opportunities that this trade training centre facility will provide them with. It just goes to show the investment that the federal Labor government and this government, individually and collectively, make within the education system, through the BER and through our


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