Schooling and Belong Acacia Ridge (Adjournment Speech)

November 01, 2018

You can watch video footage of the speech here.

I am fortunate to have 12 wonderful schools within my electorate of Algester with incredibly dedicated teachers and support staff. I had the pleasure of visiting some of these schools recently to celebrate World Teacher's Day and I regularly host school leaders in parliament. Recently Wisdom College was represented by students Malek Moussa, Kate Luces and Huzeyfe Coskun. They were accompanied by their principal Mr Murat Guzal and teacher Andrew Leigh.

Watson Road State School was also represented by school captains Sara Noor and Elena Obradovic, accompanied by Deputy Principle Alex Paterson. Teachers in my electorate of Algester happily share the great successes of their students. They also share with me the challenges their students face. Some families are really doing it tough in my community. There are many stories of families going without three meals a day simply because they cannot afford it. Some schools in the Algester electorate, like Watson Road State School, run breakfast programs coordinating with the not-for-profit sector to help make sure each child receives breakfast.

The evidence is clear that a healthy diet, beginning with a healthy breakfast, is imperative to successful learning. This is where programs like the food co-op at belong in Acacia Ridge are vital in our community. The vast majority of people seeking support from the food co-op are in insecure or part-time work. They are proud people and whilst they may have a job the conditions of their employment mean there are times when they simply do not have enough money to make ends meet.

Alarmingly there has been a significant increase in demand for the belong service in recent times. I understand that local residents queue outside as early as 7 am to meet the opening time of 9 am just to ensure they have food for the day. That is why I have taken on the challenge to work with my community to support their food co-op program. I am hosting a fundraiser for this fantastic program on Thursday, 22 November in cooperation with the Archerfield Airport Corporation.

The special guest for the evening will be Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad. I am really looking forward to the night and raising some much-needed money to go into the local community to support hardworking families and a better future for our children. Belong at Acacia Ridge has been doing an incredible amount of work for local people who, as I said, have been doing it incredibly tough.

This fundraiser will go a long way towards supporting Belong and their efforts to make sure that people have access to good wholesome food to ensure that they have healthy homes, healthy children and a healthy outlook. I welcome and encourage everybody in the House to come and be a part of the fundraiser, to support the local community at Acacia Ridge. Come along and enjoy the evening's events at the Archerfield airport.