Page 916 - Week 03 - Thursday, 30 March 2006

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the hurdles of learning an instrument. Over the years, John touched the lives of over 28,000 children and their families in the ACT.

John’s commitment to the professional development of our teachers greatly enriched the music programs being offered across the system. He ensured that his staff worked closely with school-based teachers to increase their skills and gave them recognition for their work and the opportunity and encouragement to conduct a massed band on stage at the annual Bandstravaganza.

John regularly invited world-renowned conductors to present workshops to ACT teachers and continually sought to develop his own professional knowledge and skills. ACT bands have been showcased internationally through John’s willingness to tour the senior concert band and to host bands from other countries. In doing so, he developed close relationships with people and organisations in our sister city, Nara, in Japan and established a regular exchange with the school there. John was appointed to the Canberra-Nara sister city committee last year. News of John’s passing has already travelled to Nara and I have seen a couple of emails as to the sadness and loss being felt over there.

John’s other achievements include the establishment of the annual ACT School Bands Festival, the convening of last year’s inaugural Australian Music Educators National Conference, and the development of curriculum and reporting documents.

John was recognised by his colleagues and has received national and international awards for his many contributions to the music education of our young people. He was awarded a Churchill Fellowship, the Paul Harris Fellow Award, two grants from the Australian American Education Foundation and, in 2000, the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to music, education and youth. In 2005, he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. In 2005, John was successfully nominated by his colleagues for a departmental award for outstanding contribution to supporting quality education and training.

ACT government education has been greatly enriched by the instrumental music program and John’s passion, vision, direction and enthusiasm. His absolute belief in its importance to our students ensured that it built and maintained its status as a nationally renowned program.

I extend my deepest sympathy to John’s wife, Naida, and his family at this time, on behalf of the ACT government and, I think, the ACT Assembly, and assure them that the ACT education community highly values the many quality contributions John has made to our children and that he will be greatly missed.

Policing—Erindale centre

MR PRATT (Brindabella) (6.13): Mr Speaker, I get up today to follow up on a loose end coming out of the MPI that I ran this afternoon on shopping centre security. I was initially perplexed, a little puzzled and somewhat amused to hear Mr Gentleman say that he was at Erindale shops on Saturday morning, after I had already spoken about the situation at Erindale’s Gartside Street shops. He said that he was there on Saturday morning and he did not see any people coming up and complaining about shop security.

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