90 Second Statement – School Leaders

Sunday, 2 March 2014
Mr PITT (Hinkler) (16:25): In recent weeks I have had the great pleasure of meeting some of Hinkler’s best and brightest. High school students from Hervey Bay, Kepnock, Kingaroy, Bundaberg, North Bundaberg and St Luke’s Anglican School gathered in Maryborough for a constitutional convention. Teams discussed the arguments for and against Australia having a bill of rights. The students chose Maria Anderson from Hervey Bay State High School to represent the region in Canberra later this month. Here in Parliament House today, I met with the school captains of Bundaberg Christian College: Fletcher Castelli, Nic Weiss, Sinead Edwards and Eliza Henderson. I also recently had the pleasure of presenting badges to Kepnock State High School 2014 student leaders Madalyn Thomson, Henry Carlile, Laura Wilson and Robert McLellan.

The year 2014 marks 50 years since Kepnock opened its doors to the Bundaberg community. Three former Kepnock students, myself included, have gone on to become elected members of the Australian parliament. Becoming the next Brian Courtice was certainly not something I had in mind when I graduated from Kepnock State High School in 1986! The school has grown in size since then, and the cross-country shortcut through the adjacent cane paddock is now a housing estate, but the school has maintained its connection with agriculture and has remained true to its motto: ‘Success is earned’. In half a century, many Kepnock students have gone on to forge highly successful careers in sport, art, media, law, science, health, agriculture and industry. The strength of any school is not in the bricks and mortar. At the heart of a successful school like Kepnock is a group of passionate, hardworking teachers who inspire and encourage their students to persist.

These recent meetings with young people have strengthened my confidence in the next generation.

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