School Council President's Report
Term 2, 2020
As we emerge from the brave new world of ‘on-line’ learning, I'd like to update you on what’s been happening at School Council, which continues to meet …. albeit by Zoom.
The final week of Term One saw the first meeting of the new School Council. I’d like to welcome a number of new members and of course the returning members. The new faces on Council include: Scott Cutler, Lea Campbell, Kim Sutton and John Thompson as parent or community members, Michelle Westlake as a new staff member. These members join the returning parent and community Councillors Ben Hart, Jeroen Kramer, Ian Wilson, Frederik Verveat and myself as well as departmental employees members, Anthony Avotins, Margaret Fry, Kim Gray, Jan Baddeley and our Principal, Trevor Smith. As well, I’d like to welcome new student representatives Zara Chauvin-Cunningham and Evin Turan.
I like to take this opportunity to thank the retiring Councillors for their years of service to Council and the school. So thank you, Sam Cunningham, whose architectural expertise has been highly valuable on Building and Grounds sub-committee and Suzanne Robinson whose finance skills have been highly valued on the Finance sub-committee. I also like to thank retiring student representative Ada Duffy who was always a strong voice for student concerns on Council.
As part of the first meeting, we had the election of office bearers and yours truly was elected President, John Thompson was elected Vice President and Jeroen Kramer returns as Treasurer.
After the election of office bearers, Council got down to business. Business included a lengthy discussion about the school’s Mirrimbah campus. Currently the Department has a program of removing all A3 asbestos from Education Department facilities. This program includes Mirrimbah. All A1 and A2 asbestos, the more problematic kind, has removed previously. Removing the A3 asbestos from Mirrimbah and making good involves quite extensive works at the campus including recladding (with Colorbond) and relining the buildings. These works also provide the school with the opportunity to carry out other improvement works such as insulation, redoing the windows and reroofing. But first it leaves us with the issue of some remaining A4 asbestos (A4 asbestos is not part of the A3 removal program). Despite strenuous efforts by the school to have the removal of the A4 included with the A3 removal, we haven’t been able to convince the Victorian School Building Authority (VSBA) to include it in their scope of works, unless we foot the bill. Given that it would better and more efficient to have all the asbestos removed at the same time, Council has allocated the funds to have this happen.
Council has also now agreed in light of the works the VSBA are undertaking and the efficiency of doing things in conjunction with these works to approve window replacement, insulation and re roofing.
To help Council with its work there are series sub-committees. I’d like to remind parents that membership of sub-committees is open to all members of the school community and an excellent and important way for you to be involved in the life of the school.
The Sub-committees and their roles are:
- Buildings & Grounds looks after the physical environment of the school and develops and oversees maintenance, minor capital works, and improvements.
- Education considers all issues that relate to the learning program at the school including camps.
- Finance reviews the school’s budget and advises on the school’s discretionary expenditure.
- Community Connections looks to ways for the school to work more actively with parents and carers, past students and the wider community.
I strongly encourage you to consider participating on one of these sub-committees. If you would like to participate or have further questions, you can email either myself Mark.Wilkinson@education.vic.gov.au or Principal, Trevor Smith Trevor.Smith@education.vic.gov.au
Recent activities of the sub-committees are reported back to School Council.
The Finance Committee reported that the school finances and in good health and that we should be able to cope with any additional demands the ‘on-line’ learning response to COVID 19 may entail.
The Education sub-committee recommended that Council approve the schools trial participation (Years 7-10) in a project-based learning initiative, EduSTEM.
The Buildings and Grounds sub-committee reported the Science room improvements are almost complete. B&G are also considering a proposal from the Music Department for improved sound proofing in the music block. Other projects on the immediate agenda for B&G is the all-gender toilet and the resurfacing of the basketball court.
Mark Wilkinson, President