Mr HUSIC (Chifley—Government Whip) (10:38): Earlier this month I had the pleasure of attending the Colyton Public School in my electorate for their celebration of the school’s 150th birthday. Colyton Public School was first established as a humble timber shack on Simpson Hill Road in Mount Druitt during 1861. Because of the location close to South Creek the school was relocated up the hill in the form of a brick home to house the principal and classrooms. This building, the old schoolmaster’s college, was set up between 1883 and 1898 at the present site in Nelson Street, Mount Druitt. The two further classrooms, in one large building, were erected in 1898 and today still stand proudly with the brick construction and long veranda as the colonial room. On Tuesday, 2 August, during New South Wales Education Week, Colyton Public School celebrated the 150th anniversary with a formal assembly and an open day attended by past students and community members. Staff members hired costumes covering a whole range of years from colonial right through to the sixties, and ex-students arrived from as far away as Darwin, coming from a diverse range of current professions covering doctors, dentists and prominent business owners. All ex-students showed a pride in growing up in the local Mount Druitt area and continued their support of public education by making personal donations to the library. I just want to congratulate them on such a great sense of civic and community spirit. The following evening, Wednesday, 3 August, past and present students and staff members gathered to celebrate with a bush dance and the evening was a great success with smiling faces, including some of the newest arrivals, two students who reached there from Christmas Island that day.
Colyton Public School continues its proud tradition of giving quality public education to the students of Mount Druitt and surrounding areas. Congratulations to Geoff Yates, the Principal, to teachers, staff, students, parents and everyone involved in celebrating Colyton Public School reaching this important milestone.