COOGEE ELECTORATE SCHOOL FETES
Mr BRUCE NOTLEY-SMITH
(Coogee) [5.42 p.m.]: Over the past couple of months I have had the great pleasure of attending a number of school fetes in my electorate. I am sure every member remembers fondly that sense of anticipation and excitement they felt in their own school days with the approach of the annual fete. That is certainly true of me. My mother was part of the organising committee for the fetes held at my school. Therefore, the lead-up to the fete was long. My father manned the fairy floss machine. He would hire the machine the day before and go to the garage the night before to practice his technique at swirling the floss. His efforts were witnessed and rapidly consumed by an array of expectant neighbourhood kids.
So it was with these fond memories that I went along to the Bronte Public School fete in August. It was huge. In the time I was there I witnessed hundreds of students and their parents pour into the school grounds, but, importantly, also many locals who normally have no other contact with the school. Clearly, Bronte Public School ticked all the boxes when it comes to event management. Principal Kellie Paton and her team of volunteers would have been very pleased with the outcome of the fete because they raised a massive $100,000. Waverley Public School held its fete in September. I had the pleasure of opening the fete and, believe me, there was a lot going on that day. Obviously a great deal of coordination was involved. The logistics of school fetes are massive and the results are even more impressive when one considers that the event is pulled together by the volunteers of the parents and citizen's associations, friends of the school and, of course, the students, teachers and principal.
The volunteers must organise the advertising, entertainment and sound, first aid, food and drink, power supplies, car parking, signage sponsorship and cleaning up, and also come up with new ways to attract a wider and more sophisticated audience to the event. Of course, there is always the bric-a-brac stall. Principal Glenn Levitt and his team at Waverley Public School raised an impressive $10,000 for the school. I opened the Kensington Karnivale in October on a beautiful warm day, much to the relief of any school fete organiser fearing a wash out. Principal Annie Jones and her enthusiastic team of volunteers pulled out all stops and raised $30,000 on the day, which will be of enormous assistance and allow it to invest in more resources for its students. This was a very impressive effort given that it was the first fete the school had held in about 15 years.
I believe school fetes are one of the great unsung heroes of our education system and must be one of the oldest ways that a school can raise extra funds for educational resources. They are an important component of the school's calendar. However, the success of a fete is not to be measured in dollars. School fetes bring together the entire school community to work together in a positive way for a common cause. They are a great way of bringing the wider local community together with the school and help to forge stronger ties and a stronger neighbourhood. The success of a school fete is measured by the smiles on the faces of the kids who arrive with weeks of pent up anticipation and excitement and who rush from stall to stall, from one amusement to the next, filling their stomachs with not so nutritious food and banking magical memories of a great day at their school. Memories like those I cherish will stay with them a lifetime. As the member for Coogee I am very proud to visit the many schools in my electorate, especially on their fete day, and to assist in furthering the educational opportunities for all our young people.
Private members' statements concluded.