Page 1484 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 6 April 2005

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The resource centre was completed in October 2004. On three levels, it incorporates an outstanding library, a staff common room, a commercial kitchen for hospitality students and a covered space at ground level. In conjunction with innovative state-of-the-art technology, it provides a space for investigation, exploration and the opportunity for self-learning in pleasant, comfortable surroundings. An extensive report published in the Canberra Times today says:

To an economic rationalist, a school is just a production line that takes in young people, works on them for a while and then turns them back out into society in the hope that they will be useful and productive economic units. To a social theorist, a school is a living organism in which all parts work together to produce a thriving entity

Clearly, this is the case with Marist College. It has many elements of both, but I would like to focus on the excellent education and Christian culture of the school. I personally enjoyed and observed the excellent standard of these through the enrolment and inclusion in primary and secondary education of my two sons, James and Luke, at the college.

It has a strong commitment towards contributing to the community. The boys there are encouraged to support worthy causes. It has an outstanding sporting profile and it is certainly a leader amongst educators in the ACT. It was recently chosen as one of nine schools in Australia that participated in a Microsoft lighthouse program to provide leadership and guidance to other schools in their locality and is deserving of recognition.

Marist not only provides excellent educational opportunities for students but it also has a duty of care and ensures that it instils in all students the values of Christian teaching. And these days, Christian values are not so readily available to members of the younger generation. I commend the role that that school has played in encouraging and supporting these traditional values. These values are embedded in students’ lives. I think that the Canberra community, as a whole, is a beneficiary.

I would like, therefore, Mr Deputy Speaker, to place on record my personal congratulations and, I know, those of many members of the opposition on the school’s new facilities and the important work it does on behalf of the Canberra community.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: It being 6.30 pm, in accordance with standing order 34, the Assembly stands adjourned until tomorrow at 10.30 am.

The Assembly adjourned at 6.30 pm.

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