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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 5 May 2010) . . Page.. 1830 ..


the schools in the ACT. At the end of the AEU branch meeting, I was approached by a councillor, Michael Denmead, inviting and challenging me to prove my commitment to learning about schools by spending an entire day with him at his school, Lyneham high. I accepted his challenge and, after some negotiations, I did receive permission to go the school as per Michael’s invitation.

I turned up at Lyneham high on 1 April to get a firsthand look at what goes on in the life of a maths coordinator on a typical school day. After a brief introduction to school principal Ms Colleen Matheson, I followed Michael about as he started his daily activities.

The preschool social networking by the students was in full swing as we made our way up the stairs to the maths teachers’ common room, I met Michael’s maths colleagues, Ross MacDonald, Glenn Currie, Julie White, Lily Harada, Ben Solly, Mark Drummond and Premila Chand. They made me welcome and went about their preparations for the day’s teaching—class lists were checked, rosters compared. Then we went on a tour of the school before Michael’s first teaching duties.

We met Sandra Parker, deputy principal of students, and Kay Allen, administration and student attendance. We also passed acting deputy, staff, Graeme Budd, as he was carrying stuff to the bin. I found this typical in the school, as everyone was very hands on. We also met John Barker, building services officer.

I learned about the school in short bursts from various people we met. Lyneham high school is a multicultural school with students from a wide range of countries with different cultural backgrounds. This was quite evident as we made our way through the busy corridors. I also found I was almost in breach of school policy, as mobile phones are not to be seen or heard during school hours. My mobile was quickly confiscated by Michael.

We next visited Brad Lynch, PE teacher, doing health lessons in the computer lab, where I learned from some of the students about the school motto—vera semper solere: always tell the truth. I had a momentary thought of suggesting that we introduce this in the Assembly.

Principal Colleen Matheson hosted a visit to a rehearsal of the year 10 band conducted by Debbie Masling. I found out from various students that they came from all over Canberra especially, because of Lyneham’s high reputation in music, even winning a number of CAT award nominations. We met Margie McMahon, the drama teacher who was involved in the school production of Aida. We also met Beth Way, music teacher, and Pinky Munshi, science teacher.

I was keen to visit the school LSU, and met Viktor Halas, acting science SLC, and from special needs I met Tina Williams, Tracie Smith, Sue Dyer and Chris de Witte. We also met learning centre staff, Josephine Deo and Georg Cygan.

Then it was lunch time and we adjourned to the staffroom where, in between the constant stream of students coming in for advice, the maths staff managed to get a few moments to have some lunch, I also learned that Ben Solly was not related to


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