Cherbourg State School – Speech in the House of Representatives 15/11/23

November 15, 2023

Hansard 15/11/2023  House of Representatives

Mr LLEW O’BRIEN (Wide Bay) (13:42): Cherbourg is an Aboriginal community in Wide Bay that faces its challenges but is also having some wins. In a recent meeting I had with Mayor Elvie Sandow, she told me one such story around education. In the past 18 months the Cherbourg State School has made real progress as a result of its local community education board. Collaborating with parents, the local community education board is focused on promoting excellence, supporting student wellbeing, organising homework clubs and fostering leadership. These efforts have led to impressive academic achievements: a 71 per cent increase in English and a 45 per cent increase in maths results, with early-year students now exceeding the state average in both subjects. Elvie showed me a recent survey highlighting a 37 per cent increase in parents feeling valued and a 30 per cent increase in their belief that the school now takes their opinions seriously. This has highlighted engagement results and resulted in an 11 per cent increase in attendance this year.

Mayor Elvie expressed deep concern that the federal and state funding for this successful program will end in 2024. She emphasised the importance of not dismantling a program that’s clearly working. In the words of Mayor Elvie: ‘When something is working, please do not take it off us.’



In the spirit of Australia, I acknowledge all citizens who contribute to making our nation the greatest on earth.

I acknowledge our defence force personnel, past, present, and emerging, for their service to our nation, and particularly those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the defence of Australia.

I also acknowledge the Australian taxpayers who, through their hard work, pay for the infrastructure, health, education, and emergency services that keep our proud nation healthy, safe, and prosperous.