Territory Stories

Debates Day 4 - Tuesday 9 May 2017



Debates Day 4 - Tuesday 9 May 2017

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Parliamentary Record 5


Debates for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2018; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020




pp 1623 to 1686


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 Tuesday 9 May 2017 1656 School can be tough for some students, but I am very fortunate that I look back very fondly at my education in the Territory and the teachers who gave so much to me. Mrs Green, whom I think is in Hermannsburg now, taught quite a few of the Caucus team. I was very proud to have the Minister for Education in my electorate. I am very proud to be involved with schools, as I know you are, Madam Speaker. We have a unique program where we are collaboratively working across Catholic, independent and public schools to promote active travel to and from school. Not only am I passionate about this in the sense that it provides access to education for our young people; it is a health promotion measure, getting kids walking and riding to school. The collaboration includes principals from the four schools in my electorate as well as parents, and they have been creating safe routes to school for students, making walking and cycling the most popular ways to get to school in Nightcliff and Rapid Creek. We have reduced the reliance on cars to minimise traffic congestion, and we are creating an environment that encourages walking and riding. We have ongoing traffic issues, but we have tackled them, working with council and schools. We have big stickers along the footpath that let the kids know how far it is to their school and which direction. The kids get excited. They count down400 metres, 300 metres to their school. On some days 60% to 70% of children at Nightcliff Primary School have walked, ridden or scootered to school. It is great to see the public and private sector working towards a common goal of promoting physical activity and safe travel to school. Surveys found that in the Dry Season 34% of children are regularly walking and cycling to school, so we are looking forward to expanding and working on that program. I acknowledge the principals and the assistant principals at Essington, Ms Jaya and Mr Cannon; at St Pauls Mr Hockey and Ms Knight; at Nightcliff Primary School Mr Chadwick, Ms Glennon and Ms Finch; at Nightcliff Middle School, where I was with the Minster for Education the other week, Mr Isaksen and Ms Kaye. We have fabulous school leaders, fabulous staff that support our schools and wonderful teachers in our classroom. Mr PAECH: Fabulous Territory schools. Ms FYLES: I pick up on the interjection. They are fabulous Territory schools. The Minster for Education has spoken about the additional investment that this government is making into schools. I was horrified to see the disrespect the CLP government had for teachers during its term of government. I know you felt this personally, Madam Speaker. We witnessed cuts to funding, programs, teacher numbers and support staff numbers. I cannot remember what the debate was, whether it was during a censure or GBD, but I recollect when the galleries were filled with teachers and parents who were concerned and appalled at the CLP governments disrespect for education in the Northern Territory. It is very pleasing that we have a government that is committed to our schools, providing them with resources. I was thrilled to learn that Nightcliff Middle School has received additional funding. It was impacted by the CLP cuts, so that helps to provide resources for our schools to plan and cater for our students. I also acknowledge COGSO, the Council of Government School Organisations, which does a wonderful job supporting our schools. We have very hard-working school councils. I know the independent and Catholic schools have a different process, but it is parents putting up their hands to support their childrens education. Within the public system, I was thrilled at the Nightcliff Middle School Council meeting earlier this year, where numerous parents turned up, which was very exciting. Nightcliff Primary School has a consistently large school council that works really hard on making sure there are programs and initiatives that tap into parents passions and skills, whether it is through healthy eating programs at the school or long-term planning for the school.