Rydalmere East Public School Hall

About this Item
SubjectsSchools; Students; Buildings
SpeakersGadiel Ms Tanya
BusinessPrivate Members Statements

Page: 15818

    Ms TANYA GADIEL (Parramatta) [5.30 p.m.]: Today I draw the attention of the House to a wonderful school in the electorate of Parramatta. Like most of our State's schools, Rydalmere East Public School is special. It has a wonderful sense of community. It has 166 students, almost 50 per cent of whom come from non-English speaking backgrounds. It also has 20 pre-school students. In fact, because the Parramatta electorate is so wonderfully culturally diverse most of the schools there have high percentages of kids from non-English speaking backgrounds. Indeed, I am proud of the diversity in Parramatta. Rydalmere East has a great student body and very dedicated staff. I recently had the pleasure of attending a sod turning for the new hall that will be built this year and opened in November. After the sod turning the students were treated to a party, with games and a sausage sizzle. It was a fun day. There is a great story behind this hall—the story of a wonderful principal's tenacity. The principal's name is Gail Henley. With the indulgence of the House, I would like to tell the story in her own words—just as she told them to the Rydalmere East assembly. It is a lovely speech from a special lady. I want to honour Mrs Henley by putting her words on the public record. Here is what she said:

    I am sure that at some time you have all dreamed about special things you would like to have or special things you would like to do. Some of you have dreamed about what you will do when you grow up—will I be a famous sportsperson? Will I become prime minister? Will I be rich?

    Teachers do that too and so do Principals.

    When I came to Rydalmere East I dreamed about having an Assembly Hall so that on Monday mornings, children would not have to sit on the asphalt in the hot sun in summer or in the freezing cold wind in winter.

    I dreamed that we would have a performance space where the choir could sing and the string ensembles could play to an audience.

    I dreamed that when Presentation Day came, we would have our own place where parents could come and see their children being rewarded for work well done.

    Sometimes dreams can come true if we do things to make them happen. This is what we did.

    We asked permission from the Department of Education to sell some land. This took quite a long time but it was finally sold in December 2003.

    We than applied for permission to build not just a hall but new toilets, a new canteen and a big covered outdoor area which will be attached to the hall.

    We visited other schools to look at assembly halls. We made plans together. Then we had lots of meetings until we all agreed what the hall would look like.

    So that you and your parents would know what it looked like, we put the plan of the hall on display in the foyer of the admin building. It is still there now.

    Now our hall is about to become a reality. Not just an assembly hall, but new toilets, new canteen and a new covered outdoor learning area. It will be right where you are standing today. At the end of 2005, Presentation Day will be in our hall! Doesn't that sound great?

    And the all kids agreed that it did. Mrs Henley continued:

    My dream is about to become a reality and I feel very happy. Happy for Rydalmere East Public School. Happy for you, the students here and happy for all your parents who are part of our school too.

    It has taken 13 years for all this to happen so when our planning started, none of you were born. It has been a very long journey but the end is now in sight.

    I feel very privileged to be the person who turns the first piece of earth over to begin the building of our hall.

    I would like to give you some advice to remember. Our school motto is "Strive for success". That is what you need to remember. Dream your dreams and never give up. Keep striving because dreams do come true."

    So there you have it: the story of how Rydalmere East Public School came to get its hall. It all started as a result of Mrs Henley's dream and will be finished because of her hard work. I congratulate Mrs Henley, who I understand is soon to retire. She will be a very sad loss to the teaching profession and to Rydalmere East. I wish her and her husband, who was also a dedicated principal, all the very best in their retirement. I also congratulate the staff, students and parents of Rydalmere East on a job well done. I look forward to seeing their new hall later this year.