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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 6 June 2018) . . Page.. 2135 ..

Our school principals also play an integral role in enabling both our students and our teachers to achieve in their roles within schools. Shane Gorman won the Australian Education Union ACT branch public education award, having been nominated by two of his colleagues who were impressed by the calm, dignified and matter-of-fact way that he advocates for public education. A long-serving member of the union, he fought for union rights, Gonski reforms, and freedom for refugees.

He has also championed the need for principal wellbeing at a national level. Despite being dedicated to their schools, principals often find themselves in a difficult position balancing the needs of their teachers. Shane demonstrates a commitment to finding the balance between workload, administrative support, and coaching and mentoring, to ensure teachers can focus on their core responsibilities as educators. His nominators state that even strong unionists may sometimes question whether they should have taken the easier, less selfless road. However, Shane’s dedication to public education has had a significant impact on those who have not even worked with him, and he has had a significant positive impact on the ACT school system as a whole.

The benefit teachers provide society through the assistance they offer our children as they grow into adults can never be underestimated, and this government will never underestimate their value.

The 2018-19 budget is a budget that is focused on delivering quality education for Canberrans. It will deliver new and expanded schools for Gungahlin and across Canberra, as well as hiring more teachers who will help provide a world-class education to each and every Canberra student. This budget is focused on delivering more and better local schools for our kids. I commend Mr Steel’s motion to the Assembly.

MR STEEL (Murrumbidgee) (5.33): I would like to thank members for their contributions in the debate on this motion today, recognising the real importance of our education investments in the 2018-19 budget. I would like to respond to a few comments that were made during the debate.

I firstly recognise the comments made by Mrs Kikkert, and the importance of recognising and celebrating diversity in our education system. I was involved in working with the Australian Human Rights Commission in reviewing some resources that were being developed around building children’s belonging, particularly resources for early childhood services, looking to do that in the education system, something that we need to continue to make sure occurs throughout our education system from early childhood right through our school education system.

In relation to Ms Lee’s comments, Ms Lee seemed to suggest at the end of her speech that extra investment in education was not important. Actually, it is very important. She may want to come in here and outline what measures, particularly infrastructure measures, she does not support in the ACT budget. I believe all of the infrastructure measures that we announced in the budget yesterday are critically important, particularly in planning.

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