Page 4120 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 23 October 2018

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Again, this is not the results of bucket loads of money being thrown at the school; it is through the dedication and belief of the staff and starts at the top with the dedication, determination and leadership of the principal, Lana Read. This school is on the move. Their web site says:

Kaleen is a professional learning community, committed to doing whatever it takes to ensure all students achieve success.

And that is demonstrated throughout the school.

Both schools demonstrate the importance of a strong community, parental involvement and a focused teaching team. The ACT Education Directorate has focused obviously on getting some less-than-average schools up to scratch. Let us hope that it does not mean that we take our eyes off the ball regarding our high-achieving schools. However, recent research would suggest that we might be at risk of doing so.

Girls takeover parliament

MR PARTON (Brindabella) (4.22): Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. I rise to speak about the Jasiri girls takeover parliament program, because I think it is genuinely important. I think it is so important for us to inspire young women to consider becoming involved in the political process.

I would love to see more women involved in politics in this country. I am so genuinely proud to be a part of a parliamentary team which is majority female. We have six of the best elected women in the country on this parliamentary team. It is my great pleasure to work with them every day in representing the people of Canberra. And of course we have done so without quotas.

Congrats to Caitlin and Ashleigh for their work in constructing the girls takeover parliament program. My office took on one of the program participants for a week. I am convinced that we got the pick of the bunch. Mariam Abouelnasr joined us last week and we put her to work. She was involved heavily in pretty much everything that the Parton office did in that week. She was insightful, thorough and wonderfully positive in everything that she did. She did say to me late in the week that, for her, the pivotal moment was being a part of a very small and intimate discussion with former Chief Minister Kate Carnell, who is such a motivational and inspirational speaker. Special thanks also to the former President of the Senate, Margaret Reid, for also speaking to participants and everyone who played a role in that week.

I would like to read some of what Mariam wrote for us, in view of it being rolled out in adjournment debate. This is what she wrote. I quote directly:

As part of the Girls Takeover Parliament program I have been fortunate to join Mark Parton’s office for a week. It has been an amazing experience to see the inner workings and a day in the life of an MLA. I have learned so much about the legislative assembly and politics in general and have truly enjoyed doing so.

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