Lane Cove Public School Frog Pond

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SpeakersRoberts Mr Anthony
BusinessPrivate Members Statements, PRIV

Page: 13818

Mr ANTHONY ROBERTS (Lane Cove) [6.21 p.m.]: Last week I attended the opening of the Lane Cove Public School frog pond, together with Principal Bob Lamaro, a fantastic educator and administrator. It was a very successful event, thanks to the hard work and dedication of the parents, friends, donors and of course the children. Lane Cove Public School had an old disused frog pond on the grounds. It was in an overgrown state, covered with a shade cloth and behind a locked gate. A group of parents decided that it was a shame to leave the pond in such a state, particularly as many species of frogs are endangered and local councils are encouraging people to build frog ponds in their backyards. After many discussions and workshops, the parents managed to source enough materials and rebuild the pond. The students now have a peaceful area for quiet reading, relaxation and pond-life observation. The teachers are also able to use the area for science classes, art lessons and other activities.

Jayne Whitford and Susan Loane coordinated the project, and I commend them for their leadership. Congratulations should also be offered to the Frog Pond Friends, Emily Waterson and Laura Searson, who are both year 6 students. The families who donated time and effort and worked on construction of the pond were David and Cathy Cook and daughter Millie; Marianne Kingsmille and children Astrid and Curtis; Gordon Power, a grandparent; Ella Holland and son Ben Hacquoil; Anna-Lise Sewell and children Robbie and Whitney Mueller; Mark and Julie Dyer and children Amy, William and John; Belinda Roberts-Timms and children Ava and Lana Timms; Alyssa Lang and children Sienna and Tully; Kim Loane and children Marcus, Nick and Duncan; Jeremy Colless and children Liam and Lara; Patrick Reily and daughter Olivia; Megan Craig and daughter Isabella Vaccaflores; Pierre Campeau and son Nicolas; John and Sharon Knight and daughters Georgia and Grace; Liz Eadie-Mirams and daughters Olivia and Georgiana; Cait Rawlinson and children Elise and Liam; Giles Parker and Cathy Wilcox and son Felix Parker; Duncan and Jody Stone and son Jack; Kraum Knolev and son Kristian; Tim Cook and sons Will and Harry; and Sally Lawler and son Angus.

With virtually no budget for the project, the parents turned to the community. I quickly mention the generous donors: Willoughby Council provided wildlife and frog pond construction expertise, and many of the materials and tools; Lane Cove Council provided 150 plants; Bunnings Artarmon provided some materials and many consumables; Lane Cove Men's Shed provided signage; Bud Landscaping provided a solar pump for the pond; Australian Project Services provided fence construction and repair services and built a deck beside the pond; and Wirreanda Nursery provided a few additional plants, as well as labour to assist with pruning and planting. Finally, I thank the volunteers from Willoughby Council who attended a "Build a Frog Bog" workshop, which was held on site at Lane Cove Public School, and assisted with renovating the pond and planting the gardens.

One of the volunteers was an 11-year-old student from Vincentia Public School, Indiana Riley, who came along to help and to learn as much as she could about frogs and frog ponds. Indiana then returned to Vincentia Public School armed with information. She has now been appointed the senior student in charge of her school's frog pond. Special thanks must also go to Mia Brown, a 9-year-old from Newcastle who held a children's workshop as part of the Willoughby Council program. She showed the Lane Cove Public School children how to build the lizard and skink shelters. The children at the workshop then constructed a number of lizard shelters for the Lane Cove Public School frog pond.

It is a very proud moment to represent a community that is as vibrant, dedicated and united as the Lane Cove community. With virtually no budget or resources, my community has banded together and created a space for learning and relaxing while at the same time protecting endangered species. Again, I thank all those involved and I congratulate them on their success. As I stated on the day to Principal Bob Lamaro, it is a tremendous achievement in a day and age when people who want something done simply fill out a form and seek government funding. This school reflects a true, traditional value of Australian communities: to get something done go out and do it, not necessarily with government funding. I wish the tadpoles—soon-to-be frogs—all the very best. On my next visit to the school I look forward to hearing the delightful noises of our amphibious friends.