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Goolwa was worth fighting for

Published on May 26, 2022

Have you heard of a new regional school opening in Regional South Australia? It is rare, unheard of and unlikely – but we did it here in Goolwa.

I listened to the community and looked at the way Goolwa was changing in demographic and how much potential the area had for growth and decided to fight the fight.

The thing I am most proud of from our term in Government is that through my advocacy the new Goolwa Secondary College opened. Goolwa was by far the largest regional town in South Australia that did not have a high school, had never had a high school. I was on Investigator College Governing council (private school campus at Goolwa) when they decided to consolidate to their Victor Harbor campus. I seized this opportunity to begin advocating for government to take the asset and turn it into a high school for Goolwa.

I continued to work on the issue when I become the MP for Goolwa because it was so important to the community and future generations of young people.

The appointed principal, Bec Moore, certainly embraced the opportunity to have a new school and the opportunity to set a new culture. She says that the fact you are starting from scratch is delightful.

The sense of pride I share when I see the new uniforms and social media news is almost overwhelming, I would tell those new students, never underestimate the power to make change.

The community classroom of Goolwa has been learning to learn for six months and what better way to encourage our young people to stay in the community. As I look through the school’s social media feed it is apparent that the values are being held true. In the planning stages, staff were planning to CONNECT, INSPIRE and IGNITE with innovation the key. I can see from the school’s engagement that students are becoming expert learners, ready for the future and making the most of Goolwa region being the classroom and community.

Without a doubt I am so proud of a learning community that recognises their community history while looking to the future and embracing innovation and personal excellence. The local river and coastal environment provide learning opportunity and cause to remember a sense of place. Wrapped together with key learning is community integration and involvement to create a safe and exciting place to learn with relationships that will be lifelong. These students will have an anchor in their relationships with learning and community that will ensure they care and are involved in the future.

Contributing to government and the rules that govern us is a possible vocation for a young person that cares for the community they live in and know, has compassion for others and the ability to understand issues and what can make them better.

I will closely follow the progress of the SA Student Representative Council project by Commissioner for Children and Young People, Helen Connolly. The students were chosen from applications to gather and discuss ideas and issues that young people are currently facing in their local community. The first council was held earlier this month and action plans were created.

Tours of Government house, understanding debate, representing people, championing an issue – these are topics I am keen to be involved in learning about with all facets of our community. Please contact the office to arrange a project or program with your social network, community group, workplace or education class.

Goolwa was worth fighting for