Territory Stories

Debates Day 5 - Wednesday 17 October 2007



Debates Day 5 - Wednesday 17 October 2007

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Parliamentary Record 17


Debates for 10th Assembly 2005 - 2008; 10th Assembly 2005 - 2008; Parliamentary Record; ParliamentNT




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES Wednesday 17 October 2007 4903 At the Welcome to Country festival, each of the classes ran food and drink stalls, and an array of performances were put on by students and Aboriginal dancers. There was a link-up on the night with a big screen - and it was a beautiful night on Wanguri oval - between Wanguri school and Dalinybuy Homelands School in East Arnhem Land, where both communities could watch what was happening. It was a fabulous evening. A couple of the traditional owners from Dhalinybuy visited us in Wanguri. It was great to see the excitement of our students about essentially the 21st century version of having a pen pal. Through the Interactive Distance Learning link, a videoconferencing link, the students at Wanguri Primary School are going to be able to have video pals, for want of a better phrase, with students in East Arnhem Land. The Welcome to Country night kicked that off. The night was the culmination of an enormous amount of work through the school over many months. I congratulate the school, especially Michael Duffy, who chairs the school council and has progressed this effort through the council over the last 12 months; the Assistant Principal at Wanguri Primary School, Leah Crockford, who worked very hard through the department in establishing the sister relationship between the two schools; and our Principal Jenny Robinson, who showed real leadership by making this connection happen. As Education minister, I think it is probably a first in the Territorys history, certainly utilising the technology so our students at Wanguri Primary can talk to the kids out at Dhalinbuy Homelands in English. The two traditional owners who came from Dhalinbuy were really excited about young students at the homelands being able to have a little pal in Darwin with whom they could talk in English over the Internet. What do our students at Wanguri get out of this? They get a real childs view, I suppose, of an indigenous culture that is still so strong and solid in East Arnhem Land. Wanguri Primary School and Dhalinbuy school in north-east Arnhem Land have made history. It was a fabulous night, and I extend my congratulations to all concerned. Another school in my electorate is St Andrews where I had a great day on 10 September when I visited Ms Munros Year 5/6/7 class to talk about government in the Northern Territory. It was like Question Time, with the students firing questions at me about my life as a member of parliament and a minister, and the about what happens in parliament. There was a lot of interest in the Mace and how it was stored, and the story about how the Mace fell off the back of a ute many years ago in an oft-told fable about how we nearly lost the Queens Mace that the kids knew about. They were very excited about that and wanted to know what would happen if any robbers stole the Mace. I was happy to say that in the care of the Speaker and the Clerk of the Assembly and all the security around it, it is very unlikely, but there was a lot of interest in the Mace and what would happen if it was stolen. As well as the story about the Mace, there was a lot of discussion about other issues in our democratic system. I thank Ms Munro and her class who have been studying government all term and have drawn some amazing pictures of Australias past and present Prime Ministers. It was great to see the students interest in the way the Territory and the country is run. I was invited, on 27 September, to Leanyer Primary School for their inaugural Transition Art Fair and their new garden. What a great morning it was. We sat out among the trees and watched the Transition classes and their Grade 4 buddies sing songs and open an art fair that they had worked so hard on. Many parents came along to see what their children had been up to in class and the art work on display was great. There was art hanging from walls, trees, fences - everywhere you looked. The main theme of the art fair was indigenous arts and craft, and I was presented with a great set of drawings of snakes, basically Rainbow Serpents, that the kids had coloured in, which now hang proudly on the wall in my electorate office. I send a big thank you to all the students of the three Transition classes as well as the three teachers, Kaye Cowley, Melissa Park and Macoushia Kelly. A big thank you also goes to Mary-Lou OGallaghers Year 4 class who helped out on the day. It was a great initiative and the kids were fabulous. I was pleased to see so many mums and dads had the morning at Leanyer School before going on to work. I have been told that Leanyer Primary School is holding a special assembly in two weeks to give out 93 certificates to students who participated in the University of New South Wales Maths, Spelling, English and Writing competition as well as the Westpac Maths Challenge. Well done to Leanyer School. I will try to get to that assembly and, hopefully, hand out a few certificates to the hard-working students. The Minister for Housing, in Question Time this week, spoke about the 2007 Public Housing Garden Competition. As the very proud member for Wanguri, I thank and congratulate some of my constituents who took out a number of prizes this year in the Public Housing Garden Competition. As the minister said, many of our public housing tenants go above and beyond what they are required to do as tenants in public housing in