Page 901 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 21 March 2018

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Flynn community hub. I could not agree more with the comments shared at the launch. The gym has breathed new life into the community hub. The space is full of life and is warm and welcoming to participants. There is no doubt that this special place will encourage participants to give their rehabilitation their best efforts. I look forward to visiting the gym again in the future and hearing more from participants and their loved ones about its success.

St Bede’s Primary School

MS LEE (Kurrajong) (6.40): Earlier this week, my staff and I had the pleasure of attending St Bede’s Primary School at Red Hill. It was St Bede’s open week, and I took up the invitation to tour the school and see firsthand the inspiring learning that is happening there.

St Bede’s is a Catholic systemic school in the Canberra and Goulburn diocese. I met with the principal, Mrs Julie Douglas, who introduced us to two senior girls, Amelia, a house captain, and Georgia, leader of the school’s media group, who had been tasked with escorting us around the school. They were excellent guides, well prepared and very knowledgeable about and proud of their school. We were taken to every classroom; the music room; the library, including the quiet area; the languages room—they teach French at that school—the star room, where students who require it receive one-on-one help; the playgrounds; the climbing and sporting equipment area; the hall; the canteen; a boutique where you can buy second-hand school uniforms; and the buddy bench. In fact, I am pretty sure we visited every room, met with almost every teacher and smiled at every student.

The community within the school is further enriched by the plethora of groups and societies they have established, including media, social justice and environment groups, which allow students to turn their skills and attention to causes and activities they are passionate about.

For those of you who are not familiar with St Bede’s, it is a small school in my electorate of Kurrajong, tucked away near the shops at Red Hill, on a back street, set in lovely grounds with lots of shade trees and space. It was established in 1963 by the Sisters of the Good Samaritan and run by them until 1985. It was named after St Bede, a Benedictine monk born in England in the year 673, who devoted his whole life to learning, teaching and writing about his faith. St Bede’s school currently has an enrolment of 130 students from K to 6, with a small but passionate and very committed staff.

The walls of every hall and classroom are covered with projects, themes and craft work from the very proud students. Unfailingly, every pupil that I met was beautifully mannered with a big smiling face. But I must say that my absolute favourite moment had to be being greeted by the year 3 class with a “Good afternoon, Ms Lee, and peace be with you.” It brought back some memories of my own Catholic school education. It was a very happy place, and I can well understand why parents would want their children to go there.

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