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Monday, September 30, 2013

'A big win for the little people'...

Remember way back in June this year, I wrote a post about DH and I going on a protest march through our suburb's streets to the local high school ? The state government had published a list of schools which it planned to close at the end of the year. This incensed me as the school is also a community resource used by a number of community groups, as well as being a smaller school that cares for its student population. So I felt that I had a duty to support the local community's efforts to save our school.
We gathered at the shops on South Pine Rd...

The balloons that I was given to carry seemed to want to take off! lol

This lady who worked at our local Coles and who is on maternity leave with her first child was there...and she made her feelings known about the proposed school closure

Wayne Swan, the Federal Member for this area came along to lend his support...
pretty soon the march will start...
 The crowd crossed the main road and started heading up Stafford Rd...

We are nearly level with the school's front gate which is on the other side of the road. The group then crossed  Stafford Road, while some brave volunteers held up the traffic...
 The school's entrance...

The media was there inside the school grounds interviewing a number of people...


Here's Joel from Channel 9 News...

Some of the signs which people had carried on the march were then propped at the front of the stage in the Effie Reid Assembly Hall...

Some of the crowd... note the disparate age groups...a real cross section of the local community...

Now that was in June. During June and July a group of parents, community members and school staff worked together on a submission to save the school. In the early stages the government moved the date forward for submissions to be finalised...it seemed like a ploy to make it more difficult for school groups to collect all the data and have it ready on time. DH felt that such an effort was doomed, but I just kept hoping. I knew how hard that group had worked. 
Well the community got the government's decision a few weeks back...The school is saved from closure!! Such wonderful news. The school's submissions were accepted and the trade off is opening up the school to even more community groups out of school hours and a smallish parcel of land from the school's 25 acres will be taken back by the government for whatever they plan for it...probably sell it to private enterprise. I think it has been a real win win situation and for once 'People Power' has won!

The man in the photo is the President of the school's Parents and Citizens' Association and he deserves a 
'pat on the back' for the way he galvanised the community into action. Way to go!!

4 comments:

Susan said...

That is great news for you all - well done on being so persistent.

shez said...

great news Maria.xx

Sue Niven said...

Fantastic news Maria.

Vireya said...

Well done!