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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 7 Hansard (2 August) . . Page.. 2677 ..


Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Adjournment

Motion (by Mr Gentleman) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Schools—visits

MS LEE (Kurrajong) (5.06): I take this opportunity to highlight to the Assembly two school visits that I made what now seems long time ago, in the life known as pre-estimates. The first was an invitation I had to join in the Reconciliation Day celebrations at St Benedict's school at Narrabundah in June.

St Benedict's is a small Catholic system co-educational primary school catering for students from kindergarten to year 6. At the time of the August 2017 census the student population totalled 151 students. That included 63 boys and 88 girls, 10 students identifying as Indigenous, four students with a disability, and 10 students with English as an additional language or dialect.

The staff of 21 are led by principal Mrs Rachel Smith, another wonderful, committed, enthusiastic school leader, passionate about her school, her students and the parents. Mrs Smith speaks with great pride about the school's warm, vibrant and friendly learning community, especially its dedicated staff, welcoming parents and the growth and development of its students.

At the morning tea before we ventured outside for the launch of the new reconciliation garden, I spoke with a number of parents. They confirmed how dedicated the staff are and how welcoming and supportive all students are of each other. One parent was particularly appreciative of the school, outlining how important it was for her child to be at the school, even though it was not the closest to where they lived, because of the school's education program for students with special needs.

It was not a particularly warm day, and when we all ventured outside to launch the school's reconciliation garden the students were exceptionally well behaved given the weather. The official program started with a smoking ceremony—at first a little difficult to get going in the windy conditions—and a welcome to country delivered by "Mr Ngunnawal", the first time we have had a chance to meet off the Twitter-sphere.

Various students outlined the importance of reconciliation, of the contribution our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Canberrans make to our community, and of the


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