It is with great pleasure that I rise to bring to the attention of the House one of the groundbreaking schools within my electorate of Bonner, the Mackenzie State Campus, which celebrated its official opening on 14 March this year. The recent development of the Mackenzie State Campus has allowed for the replacement of a primary school facility, developed a new special school facility and established an early learning childhood development centre for children before school age with suspected disabilities. The adoption of the new campus model provides the opportunity for student leadership through supporting students with disabilities, whilst breaking down stereotypes and prejudices around these disabilities.
During a recent visit to the Mackenzie State Campus, I was very impressed with the campus’s ability to retain two separate schools, ensuring the preservation of specialised staff skills, whilst enjoying the economy of scale savings from resource and facility sharing, bulk purchasing, combined professional training and labour cost savings. The classrooms and leisure areas have also been designed to accommodate outside school hours care to assist families in supporting their children with special needs.
I found that the full disability access on the campus ensures whole of life utilisation of the facility by a diverse range of students with a disability. Areas such as the tuckshop, library, oval, multipurpose courts and performing arts complex have full access to facilitate the involvement of people with a disability into all areas of education, just one of the many strengths of this dual-purpose campus.
All in this chamber know that the system of support for Australians with a disability is broken. If you are born with a disability or acquire a disability later in life, you can generally be expected to wait for any form of assistance, resulting in many who are left without the support that they need. I believe that individuals should have the right to pick their support, aids and equipment and have the service providers of their choice. This, as we know, is the vision of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
I am proud to say that the Mackenzie State Campus has been designed and built with this in mind. One of its core objectives is to integrate special-needs children into the community through empowerment with education. I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the driving forces behind this fantastic development, Terry Forster and Shirley Rimon, without whom this level of success would never have been achieved. I am truly delighted to have such a wonderful school community in my electorate of Bonner, and I wish to congratulate all involved on this wonderful achievement of their official school opening. I hope that many other schools follow Mackenzie State Campus’s lead in integrating students from all walks of life.