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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 3 Hansard (17 March) . .

Page.. 771..


Interestingly, less than 30 per cent of the funding for Communities@Work comes from government. Since becoming CEO, Ms Harwood has overseen an amalgamation of Communities@Work and Galilee and a merger with Gungahlin community service. Her team provides specialist but fully integrated services to more than 20,000 clients each year.

Communities@Work is a leader in Canberra's community sector. They provide a vital service through a wide range of innovative programs and fill many of the cracks through which people in our community might otherwise fall. I congratulate them on their work and wish them every success in the future.

Catholic Schools Week

MR DOSZPOT (Molonglo) (5.38): Last Thursday morning my Assembly colleagues Speaker Vicki Dunne, Alistair Coe, Meegan Fitzharris, myself, Mary Porter and Chris Bourke, along with Monsignor John Woods, the Vicar General of Catholic Education, had the pleasure of attending a breakfast celebration of Catholic Schools Week at St Michael's Primary School in Kaleen.

As in past years since 2009, as shadow minister for education I have joined with the students, parents, teachers and many other members of the school and parish community, and many colleagues from the ACT Assembly, to attend this annual event. Madam Deputy Speaker, you may well ask why we keep coming back. Speaking for myself, I always accept the invitation because this is a special event, an inspirational event at a special school.

Started over nine years ago by David Austin, the then principal, this event has grown into one that has come to be a special symbol of Catholic Schools Week each year. Mrs Judy Walsh, the principal for the past five years, her enthusiastic teaching and admin staff, and the students and parents have carried on building and enhancing that legacy.

St Michael's Primary School Kaleen is a Catholic systemic school catering for 215 students and their families. Currently, they have nine classes from kindergarten to year 6. Over the years Judy Walsh has told us that at St Michael's the staff, the students and the parish strive to provide an integrated approach to education. The community integrates their faith with contemporary life, and gospel values are reflected in their policies, structures and relationships.

While parish administrator Father Warwick Tonkin and parish pastoral assistant Sister Kate McMahon provide support and assistance to the parish, staff, students and families, they also assist in building a strong relationship between the parish and the school by supporting the delivery of religious education through involvement in the sacramental and class programs. The school acknowledges parents as prime educators in their child's education. The school community council and the parent representative network, the PRN, form a link between the classroom and the students' parents.


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