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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 2 Hansard (18 March) . . Page.. 461..

Australian citizenship ceremony for their inspired choice of Telopea Park School, Lycee Franco-Australien de Canberra.

Telopea Park School was a very fitting venue given the diverse range of cultural backgrounds. Students come from 73 countries, and a fifth of them speak a language other than English at home. In addition, the spirit of harmony is further highlighted with the mission of the school to educate students "to be caring global citizens in a changing world where they will have the skills to excel and to look after each other and the environment".

I also had the pleasure of catching up once again with Mrs Kerrie Blain, Principal of Telopea Park School, as well as her deputy principals, Mrs Kate Sutherland and Mr Tom Kobal. I expressed my congratulations and thanks to them for the wonderful work that they and their school community contribute to education in the ACT.

This event took place during the week of harmony celebrations that promote cultural respect for everyone who calls Australia home and included 130 candidates from 31 countries. As we are all aware, citizenship marks the final step in the migration journey. It is at this ceremony that conferees make their commitment to Australia and all that is great about our country. A wonderful highlight of this morning's ceremony was that one of our new citizens in this morning's ceremony was Mr Baba Alhadji, a Telopea Park School teacher of French in the secondary school—a special occasion for a special teacher.

I would also like to pay compliments to the Catholic Education Office for their wonderful ceremony last week at St Christopher's Cathedral in Manuka. The celebrant was Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the apostolic nuncio. Music and choir from the staff and students of St Mary MacKillop College, Tuggeranong provided a fantastic background to the ceremony. My compliments to Mrs Moira Najdecki, the head of the Catholic Education Office, and all her staff for a very moving ceremony that took place both during the course of the mass that we all attended and, at the conclusion, during the recognition of excellence of teachers.

Individual excellence awards were awarded to Nicola Barkley, Kelly Boyton, Dominic Braybon, Philippa Brearley, Joanne Chilver, John Cole, Brad Cooney, Anne Corcoran, Tessa Daffern, Kay Daniel, Nina De Rosa, Mary Dietz Mullamphy, Julie Doolan, Denise Duck, Clare Fletcher, Gemma Francis, Helen Garrity, Anne Glover, Libby Goodsell, Catherine Guthrie, Sally Hendrie, Kathy Kinnane, Eugene Lehmensich, Anthony Maas, Angela McDonald, Nicky Merriman, Luke Mooney, Nicole Morton, Maria Nangle, Rita O'Connor, Maria O'Donnell, Teressa Patterson, Laura Pearce, Brendon Pye, Angela Ryan, Maureen Scott, Peter Webster and Karen Western.

There were also a number of recognition of excellence group awards and recognition of excellence whole school awards, as well as recognition of an outstanding contribution to Catholic education, by Mary-Jane Caroll-Fajarda; Brad Gaynor; Leonie Kelly; Julie Harton; Clare Addinell; Luke Donnelly; Patrick Ellis; Kathleen Morwitch; Bernadette Scott; Julian Laffan; Phillip Nielsen; Orla Duggan; Monsignor John Woods, the vicar-general; and Sister Bernadette Mary Walsh RSJ.

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