Page 1238 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 24 March 2009

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Catholic schools seek to contribute to the creation of an Australian community that is highly educated, skilled and cultured with an ability to promote and embrace a critical analysis of social issues, the expansion of knowledge and the pursuit of truth. Such a community will be marked by vigorous intellectual and cultural life accessible to all. Education has individual and private benefits, but it is also very much a public good whose benefits enhance the whole community. Catholic schools emphasise the contribution of education to the common good of the Australian community.

I was also impressed with the information that Ms Nadjecki, the Director of the Catholic Education Office, presented in her speech this morning. She said:

This week provides an opportunity for Catholic schools to showcase what is done every day in their classrooms and playgrounds and to invite the community in to experience teaching and learning at its best.

On our website I found listed the following events for the week

Amaroo, ACT—Good Shepherd Primary School

We are staging a challenge between representatives of the Brumbies, Raiders and Capitals and students from Good Shepherd and Holy Spirit. The challenge will involve some physical tasks … Holy Trinity—CURTIN Literacy Rotations … St Benedict’s—NARRABUNDAH Religious Education in action … St Jude’s—HOLDER Movie making

Rosary—WATSON Teaching for sustainability—energy efficient schooling—grassroots projects.

I must say that, for all of the information that we received about Catholic education and about education in particular, it was a shame that the Minister for Education and Training, Mr Andrew Barr, was not amongst those who attended the breakfast. I am sure his presence would have been gratefully welcomed by this vibrant Kaleen school community. I look forward to broad ranging discussions with public, independent and Catholic schools alike. I remain keen to build my knowledge of all aspects of the education and training sector in the ACT.

Mr Barr, in his inimitable sarcastic style, has developed a monologue that is becoming boring and sadly mischievous, with assertions that I am there for the afternoon tea when I seek briefings and visit public schools. I would like to reiterate for Mr Barr’s benefit that there will be plenty of scones and cakes left for him, as I do not share his passion for confectionery. The only thing I would like to share with him is the opportunity to learn my trade as shadow minister for all of ACT education and my genuine desire to have a better firsthand knowledge of the challenges faced and the needs of the whole of the ACT education sector within my portfolio responsibilities. Hopefully my visit to the Kingsford Smith school on 9 April will be the first of many such visits to public schools across the ACT.

Charnwood carnival

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (4.33): On the weekend I attended the “charny carny”. I know Mr Coe was there. I am not quite sure if any other of my Assembly colleagues

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