Entrepreneurial Specialist Schools

Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (15:14): My question is to the Minister for Education. Can the minister advise the house how the government's investment in entrepreneurial schools will particularly benefit students in regional areas?

The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER (Morialta—Minister for Education) (15:14): It's very significant the benefit that the regions will get from our Entrepreneurial Learning Strategy. I thank the member for Hammond for his question because he understands just how important it is to have the value-add of local businesses being able to connect with primary industries in the regions.

Indeed, at Murray Bridge High School, which I was delighted to visit last week with the member for Hammond—not for the first time, I should say—Principal Ruth Mussger and a range of students and staff, who have been engaged in putting together the pitch for their entrepreneurial school choice, were there. They were talking about the connections that the school has to horticulture, the dairy industry, the agriculture industry, the expanding mushroom market.

Some students there were particularly interested in talking about some of those opportunities, as well as other developments, non-primary industry related, to do with the motorsport park and the Tailem Bend solar farm. All these opportunities for that school to engage with industry, as well as sharing their learnings within the Murraylands secondary alliance, will be a particular benefit. The member for Hammond has been a very enthusiastic supporter of those engagements prior to, including the development and now as part of, this Entrepreneurial Learning Strategy.

I also want to reflect on the member for Mount Gambier and his local Mount Gambier High School, which I also had the pleasure of visiting last week. I thank the member for Mount Gambier for being a gracious host and ensuring that we were able to get from the airport to the schools on time. The member for Mount Gambier's local high school, Mount Gambier High, has an excellent program, particularly connected with the Flinders University New Venture Institute, and will be reaching out further to the University of South Australia as well. That program is taking advantage of both the local regional connections and those connections with universities.

The students I met with at that school were utterly charming. They were year 8 and 9 students who had again formed part of the pitch that went forward, and they are now so excited that when they are in years 10, 11 and 12 in the years ahead they are going to be personally and actively involved in developing new business ventures, trialling ideas, benefiting from this program. They are excited about their future and they are more excited about their future as a result of the entrepreneurial learning program set up by the Marshall Liberal government and the particular impact that it's going to have, the particular benefit it's going to have for regional South Australia.

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