Kangaroo Island Community Education

Today, I pay tribute to Kangaroo Island Community Education, otherwise known as KICE, being named Australia's best regional school of the year for the second year in a row at the recent Australian Education Awards. This annual event recognises the top performing schools, principals, department heads and teachers throughout Australia, so to win this award back to back is a remarkable achievement. It goes without saying that it is a very proud moment for the school, its principal, its teachers, the students, the governing council and indeed the entire community. I congratulate everyone involved.

The school is a multicampus school that was established in 2005 by bringing together area schools from across the island. I am pleased to inform the chamber, and I fully disclose, that I am a proud former student of the Parndana Area School, having attended there for 11 years. Parndana is now one of the campuses that makes up KICE, with the other two campuses located at Kingscote and Penneshaw, being the former Kingscote Area School and Penneshaw Rural School.

Winning this award represents the pinnacle of what has been years of commitment to delivering relevant and practical education to students at all stages of their school life. In 2005, the Kangaroo Island community engaged in this overhaul of their schools and the amalgamation of services with the establishment of KICE. It also brought with it enormous history from each of the other three schools. I particularly acknowledge Kingscote as being one of the earliest schools in the state and also the Parndana campus, which was built after World War II to provide primarily for the education of children of the soldier settlement scheme.

This reform has provided a new level of learning and an important reform for the island, which has successfully linked child care, preschool and TAFE with a birth to lifelong learning focus. Under the guidance of the school's principal, Maxine McSherry, it has maintained its commitment. I also acknowledge Peter Philp, head of Kingscote; Leanne Woods, head of Penneshaw; Matt Linn, head of the Parndana campus; Lois Wilson, current chair representative for the parents; Darren Keenan, the deputy; and all who volunteer in the governing of the school.

The school itself now has over 700 students located across the island, and it has also been able to put into practice its vision of linking learning centres with the wider community and the island's unique resources and environment. It has embraced the opportunities presented to it as a rural island community by utilising national parks, as well as having farmers who open their blocks for use by the students.

Parndana campus made a name for itself at the national level a few years ago with a student aquaculture program and forward methods of teaching subjects more practical to island life. This innovation saw the Parndana campus receive free fish feeding supplements from a company to help enhance the fishes' water supply. As a result of this commitment, the school's students have become ambassadors for the local community and the natural environment of the island.

This is a remarkable achievement of which the school should be incredibly proud. I take this opportunity to commend all those in leadership for winning this award and the commitment of Ms McSherry and her staff in delivering innovative and practical education of the highest quality to the Kangaroo Island community and our leaders of tomorrow. My congratulations on this outstanding achievement.