World Teachers' Day

Debate resumed.

Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (12:54): I rise to support this motion supporting our school teachers and acknowledge the work that they do. Speaking after a contribution like that, which was amazing, and noting the time, I will have to try to keep it pretty concise.

My education certainly was not as colourful as that of the member for Giles—that was quite an interesting contribution. Most of my education was at Coomandook Area School for the first 10 years. I note one teacher, the late Alan Head. He was so convinced that we needed to know old-style dancing that he taught us old-style dancing in years 6 and 7. We would get out with the foxtrot, the military two and the military three. I still struggle a bit. I was trying to get my wife to dance with me at my son's debutante ball at Coomandook the other night, but—

Mr Treloar: Do they still have the deb balls?

Mr PEDERICK: Yes, they still have the deb balls and what a great night it was. It was magnificent and it was great to see the concentration on the young ones. Certainly, my dance moves did not match the training that the young ones had. That is one of the more interesting memories I have from school.

I also remember Bob Chapman with fondness. He was a deputy at Coomandook for a long time. We were on a houseboat trip in the Riverland and the motor conked out on the boat. We were being pushed downstream towards a bridge by the flow. It was going to be chaos, whatever happened. Bob smoked a bit, but I reckon he was lighting each one from the one he had in his mouth at the time because Bob was in charge and he was panicking a bit. I must say that the crew of that boat did a great job. They lined up the bridge, lined up a pylon and parked the boat so that it would just pull up sideways. I was probably the last student, if not one of the last, to get off the boat. Certainly, those teachers at Coomandook did their best.

I then came to Urrbrae. It was initially for two years, but I did not like the city much so I did one year in year 11. I acknowledge the people who tried to mould me there, even though I did not like being in the city. I went home the next year.

I want to acknowledge the fantastic teachers right across my electorate and right across the state and the work they do because it is not just about education anymore. It is almost also about childminding with some of the behavioural issues they need to deal with, so I salute our school teachers and the pressures that they are under every day of the week. It is not easy, and with so many scrutinising their performance, I really commend the work that they do.

There is certainly one teacher I really want to acknowledge in Murray Bridge and that is Christine Roberts-Yates at Murray Bridge High School. She has put in an application, which I have supported, for a global teacher award. She has just been informed today that she has made the final 400 out of the 20,000 applicants, so that is an achievement in itself.

This is in acknowledgment of her work with the disability unit at Murray Bridge, which does great work for students of various abilities in using robots and teaching cooking and educational skills. I know they have a big Finnish or Flemish rabbit there—one of those will be right. Christine does a fantastic job. In winding up, I would like to acknowledge Christine, wish her all the best in that international award and congratulate all the teachers of the state.

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