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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 10 Hansard (24 September) . .

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Macgregor Primary School

MS BERRY (Ginninderra) (6.34): Tonight I rise to recognise the fantastic work and community of Macgregor primary and to wish the school a very happy 40th birthday. Macgregor primary is a diverse school in an area of Canberra that is lucky to have community members from all over the world. The school itself has students of 70 different nationalities and many students who are from non-English-speaking backgrounds.

Early last year the school leadership noticed that parents of students from non-English-speaking backgrounds were having trouble getting involved in the school community. To combat this they started a small multicultural morning tea where parents were invited to bring a dish that reflects their culture and share with other parents. The first morning tea was attended by around five families. There have now been seven morning teas which always draw a crowd of at least 20 to 30 parents who are keen to share their cultures and have a chat about the school.

It is important to involve all parents in the lives of our schools. When schools, families and community groups work together to support learning, children tend to do better in school, stay in school longer and like school more. At the most recent morning tea I spoke to parents about important issues like NAPLAN; learning support and after-school care. I know the teachers and leadership at the school also enjoy the opportunity to have a cuppa and an informal chat with parents who are often unfamiliar with the system.

The morning tea also supports parental empowerment in schools by strengthening the relationship between parents. As every parent in the chamber knows, even when you have the newsletter on the fridge, the children often come home with a different story about what day events are on. Having a strong network of other parents can sometimes be what saves you from the midnight runs to Kmart to pick up costumes for book week or from failing to sign yet another permission slip. And on top of that, the food that the parents prepare for these morning teas is delicious.

It is this kind of proactive collaboration between parents and teachers and school leadership that makes Macgregor the great school it is. I look forward to many more multicultural morning teas and celebrating more milestones for the school in Macgregor in the years to come.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

The Assembly adjourned at 6.37 pm.

24 September 2014 Legislative Assembly for the ACT

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