Page 6038 - Week 14 - Wednesday, 8 December 2010

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MR DOSZPOT (Brindabella) (9.24): Over the past few weeks, in my capacity as shadow education minister, I had the pleasure to attend a number of education-related events.

The first was last Thursday evening, 2 December, when I attended Blended Learning International’s 2010 student graduation at the Great Hall at the Australian National University. They had around 120 students—these were vocational education students—graduating in the areas of business, project management and information technology, including diploma of business, diploma of project management and diploma of IT networking. There were a lot of mature-age students involved in this graduation ceremony.

I would also like to reiterate tonight my congratulations to Lisa Materano, director of Blended Learning International, and her company, for their commitment to providing education and training pathways from school to certificates and diplomas to university and for the provision of capstone programs to assist graduates with additional skills to enter the workforce and to assist organisations like Blended Learning International.

I would also like to congratulate Frank Sette and his organisation, the Australian Council for Private Education and Training, ACPET, which is the national peak member association for private institutions delivering education to Australian and overseas students. As I understand it, its membership includes 1,200 colleges Australia wide that deliver courses in higher education, vocational education and training and English language. Its stated mission is to enhance quality and choice in education and training and to ensure that Australian students enrolled in private colleges receive the highest quality education to meet Australia’s skills and needs into the future.

On that same night, I was also a guest of Brindabella Christian College for their awards night. The principal, Mrs Elizabeth Hutton, spoke about the choice parents have to make in choosing the right school for children. She said that it is one of the most important decisions parents ever make and that to survive in today’s society children need an education that teaches flexible and innovative thinking, emphasises initiative, embraces technology and promotes leadership in our community. Mrs Hutton spoke about the Brindabella Christian College education system that successfully integrates these components and also teaches children to be engaged as positive citizens. From the 600-odd people who attended the college’s awards night, I was very impressed with the level of interaction between the community and the education community as well as the parents and children involved with Brindabella Christian College.

Just this morning I had the pleasure of attending St John Vianney’s primary school’s official blessing and opening of their refurbished facilities in Waramanga. The principal, Vicky van der Sanden, organised a very touching range of ceremonies associated with this opening. We had a welcome by Violet Sheridon, a Ngunnawal elder, and Caleb Juda, a year 5 student from St John Vianney’s who played the

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