SIMON BIRMINGHAM: It is a real pleasure to be able to be with you all for this celebration of the new facilities within your school which, of course, provides a real opportunity to celebrate all that enlivens your school and all that your school achieves and gives to you as students who pass through here and who develop so many of your life skills and create so many opportunities for your future as part of your time in the school environment. I thank the worship band for your welcome, as the Federal Education Minister I get to hear the national anthem played in many schools around the country, it is one of the honours I have, and in many other places that are not in schools. Schools usually provide the most uplifting versions of the national anthem, but I have to say the slight extra rock tempo to today’s anthem I think gives a real extra boost that perhaps we can think about how we can see that carried through in to our anthem that is sometimes played in a slightly downbeat fashion I think in too many places so, well done and thank you for that welcome. To Chloe, the college captain and all of the school leadership who welcomed us here today and of course to all of the students, boys and girls, teachers, other leaders of the school community, any parents who are present thank you so much.
The principal, Mr Linke spoke about King Solomon’s temple in his introductory remarks and of course, highlighted the dedication of that temple as a place with a clear purpose. And our schools are of course places with very clear purpose. The buildings, the facilities that we celebrate and dedicate today are but bricks and mortar, they are just the place within which you learn. The school community that you have here is a far richer, deeper and more important thing than any of the buildings or infrastructure that we celebrate today. It is of course about the opportunity that your parents and your families give you to come to a wonderful school such as this one. The enrichment that your teachers and the support staff here at the school give you as you go through your learning experience at the school is about the sense of community and the support that each other as students lend to one another as you pass through this place.
All of that, of course, is helped by having wonderful facilities and as a Federal Government we are very proud and pleased to provide the type of support to your education, to contribute alongside parents and the school community in supporting the development and building of these facilities, whether they’re science labs, better access for students with disabilities, new facilities like this one completed a number of years ago, all of them come together of course to help create a wonderful learning environment, but my thanks in particular goes to your teachers and to the staff within the school who I know give so much to make the most of these facilities and to ensure that they are able to pass on to you, knowledge, information and create within you a sense of opportunities that hopefully is limitless in terms of what you see you can do in your life beyond school.
As a Federal Government, we support education right around Australia in schools of many different types. The figures are sometimes quite staggering, if you look at the latest budget and what we’re committed to we are providing around $16 billion of support for school education that will grow over the next few years to around $20 billion by 2020. That of course is a sum that in some ways is meaningless but, translate that down to a school community like this and for each and every one of the children here present thousands of dollars from Governments stand alongside the contributions that your parents make each year to help you get the best of educational opportunities and that is because we want to see Australia succeed and we know that in you lays the future of our country, that in you is the opportunity to fill all of the different jobs, some of which we haven’t even thought of yet that will exist in to the future and it is through the knowledge of your teachers, the opportunities they create, the facilities in your school, that we know you will be able to go on and pursue those different roles. We’ve seen such change in terms of jobs that are available in recent times and around 70% of the fastest growing occupations in the world require science and technology, engineering or mathematics skills. So, we want to see in particular investment and support to drive people through the study of those particular disciplines.
Can I congratulate all who have been involved in the development of the particular facilities here over recent years, to the architects, the builders, the engineers, support staff all of those who have helped contribute. To the accountants and those who have actually kept the finances on track and of course to the school leadership who continually work to prioritise the next things that a school like this requires to succeed. Well done to all of you, I hope that today’s students make the most of these opportunities that are provided by the facilities you have and of course of what it is your teachers give in these facilities for you to succeed. Well done everybody, thank you so much, it is a pleasure to be with you today to officially open all of these resources and I’ll hand over to the local MP Matt Williams to say a few words; thank you.