April 4, 2016  |  adjournment matter

Adjournment – Aberfeldie Primary School

The DEPUTY SPEAKER — Order! Before I call the honourable member for Niddrie, I want to wish him all the best for his fourth anniversary as a member in this house.

Mr CARROLL (Niddrie) — Thank you, Deputy Speaker. It is my honour to have your support. Thank you for all your support since my arrival in 2012.

On this fourth anniversary of my arrival in this place my adjournment matter is for the Minister for Education. The action I seek is that the minister fund in the upcoming budget much‑needed works for Aberfeldie Primary School, including the school committee’s plan for the Joan Kirner Memorial Arts and Creativity Hub. It was a pleasure to have the then shadow Minister for Education, who is now the minister, join me on a tour of Aberfeldie Primary School with principal Brett Millott in 2014, before the election of the Andrews Labor government, to show him around the school, introduce him to some of the students and teachers and have him see the great work going on at Aberfeldie primary.

Aberfeldie Primary School celebrated its 90th birthday very recently, and it was great to congratulate the school and see firsthand the quality education that the school is delivering to our local community. Some of the school buildings are more than 60 years old. Works are primarily needed for the school’s grounds, art room, block B and the main hub building, which includes the library, classrooms and offices. The school was assessed in May 2012 as having only 39 per cent of buildings above the satisfactory condition threshold. By way of contrast, average Victorian schools have 74 per cent of buildings above this threshold.

Aberfeldie primary has a rapidly growing school population. There is increasing demand for school places which cannot be met. The school has a hardworking principal in Brett Millott, who is always in my ear about getting funding. Recently he has been writing to me very regularly, and he is ably supported by his diligent school council led by parent Peter Wood. The school council has engaged the Cube Group — a partner in the business, Nick Field, is also a member of the Aberfeldie school council — to create a preliminary business case for a new building at the school, the Joan Kirner Memorial Arts and Creativity Hub. The school council proposes the demolition of an existing building and the establishment of a building linked to the current art block to create an arts and creativity hub.

The very first female Premier of this state, the late Joan Kirner — a former teacher and a former Minister for Education — grew up in Essendon and was a student at Aberfeldie primary. In 2012 at the Communities in Control conference she gave the social justice oration, where she said:

I lost count of the number of fundraising events I went to in the 1940s and 1950s, and the number of raffle tickets I helped sell to build the Essendon hospital and equip the Aberfeldie Primary School.

Joan recognised the importance of education to our society — that a quality, free, accessible and participatory public education system is important to all young people’s lives.

In October last year I submitted a budget bid to the minister for capital works funding for Aberfeldie Primary School. The minister has been out to see the school firsthand. Many of the parents and school council members have written to the minister and also to the Premier. I frequently meet with the diligent school council president, Peter Wood. Brett Millot is very committed to ensuring that Joan Kirner’s legacy at Aberfeldie Primary School is fit for the 21st century to ensure that in the future we may possibly have another female Premier coming out of Aberfeldie Primary School.