Funding from Local Schools Community Fund announced for New England

MEETING: Sarah Mills from Armidale Secondary College with Member for New England Barnaby Joyce and a group of Yezidis students.
MEETING: Sarah Mills from Armidale Secondary College with Member for New England Barnaby Joyce and a group of Yezidis students.

Visiting Armidale Secondary College on Thursday morning, Member for New England Barnaby Joyce announced funding for 12 schools across his Electorate for everything from science equipment to the drilling of a bore.

Armidale Secondary College received a $16,849 grant to purchase new laptop computers to assist refugee students, including more than 100 Yezidi youngsters.

College principal Carolyn Lasker said the technology would be a great resource to support their increasing numbers.

"We have 106 [refugee] students as of today. We started in 2018 with two. In under two years we've added 104, so the growth's been extraordinary, " she said.

"The support that's being made to these kids is outstanding. The staffing ratio to students is well reduced.

"The number of support staff also ensures the kids are progressing really beautifully in terms of their English language acquisition and we're delighted."

Ms Lasker said planning was in place for the refugee students to have just as good, if not better, facilities at the new campus when the school moves in 2021.

"It's still in the planning stage in terms of how that will look, but certainly the support structures put around them won't change at all," she said.

"We certainly hope there will be room for more students."

Mr Joyce said he wanted to show his admiration for the teachers tackling the massive task with more than 100 Yezidis students.

"Realising, that for many of them, they're learning English while they are trying to be educated means that we have really pushed ourselves to the limit and are achieving great results," he said.

... students now progressing into the main classrooms shows the success in this.

Barnaby Joyce

"Obviously for the Yezidis community in general it is vitally important that we have students that have the capacity to help their families.

"To see students now progressing into the main classrooms shows the success in this."

He said it sometimes came down to simple issues.

"Like if a person goes to a doctor and being able to translate what sort of pain the person is feeling," Mr Joyce said.

"And then translate what they need to do from the doctor to the parent, or in encounters with the law, to know what's legal and what's illegal, what's a danger, what they need to react to.

"Going into a shop - finding simple things in a shop. These things are all important."

Mr Joyce thanked the people of Armidale for being so generous.

"Armidale has shown itself throughout the nation as being big enough to do this and take it in it's stride - that's the sort of place Armidale is."

Funding details

  • $18,243 - St Joseph's School, Uralla:Making Our School More Energy Efficient and Ecofriendly: Project includes replacing old light fittings with LED lights, replacing heater with reverse cycle air-conditioner and installation of blinds on classrooms windows.


  • $17,309 - Tenterfield High School:THS Aboriginal Performing Arts Project: Includes performance and video production workshops for Aboriginal students by One Vision Productions. Will also support students to continue the creative process and community involvement by purchasing audio-visual equipment.


  • $15,241 - Delungra Public School:Library Refurbishment: a new interior makeover including new shelving and furniture for students to enable better access and engagement in learning activities and reading. As there is no public library in Delungra, this project will offer significant benefit.
  • $20,000 - St Mary of the Angels Primary School, Guyra:Water For Our Future. Drilling of a bore and installation of piping to access water for playground use. This will enable to school to provide a green space for students to actively participate in safety, in a town on Level 5 water restrictions, while also drought-proofing the school for future times of water restrictions.
  • $6,500 - O'Connor Catholic College, Armidale.Science Investigation Equipment: Purchase 10 compound microscopes, two electrophoresis kits and equipment supporting resources for students' exploration of Stage 4, 5 and 6 Biology.
  • $15,358 - Macintyre High School, Inverell:Special Education Technology: Project involves incorporation of an Interactive CommBox in Special Education classrooms and lessons to support students with learning or physical disability.
  • $20,000 - The Armidale Waldorf School: Irrigation Water Tank Project: Involves extension of drinking water collection and self-sufficiency plan in maintaining the school's vegetable garden which provides produce used in the weekly Friday Tuckshop.
  • $20,000 - Peel High School, Tamworth:Playground Upgrade, Shade Sails Outdoor Furniture: Installation of new equipment to support a sun-safe environment. Will offer considerable benefit to Support students as Support Unit classrooms are located immediately adjacent to the area.
  • $20,000 - Werris Creek Public School:Upgrade of Interactive Technology: Project will replace outdated teaching aids and resources to enable staff to fulfil the technology component of the curriculum, ensuring all students at the school achieve their expected outcomes in technology.
  • $18,000 - Duri Public School:Establish Outdoor Community Kitchen: New facility will be located next to an existing school garden. The new kitchen will assist students learn about preparing and eating healthy, school-grown produce.
  • $12,500 - Bendemeer Public School:Paddock to Plate Kitchen Installation: Project will enable students to use fresh produce from the garden in the kitchen. The kitchen would also be used to establish a breakfast program to support drought families.
This story Which New England schools are getting a funding boost? first appeared on The Inverell Times.

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