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2017 Proud Public School Event


​On Tuesday 15th August our Year 12 students along with invited special guests attended our annual Proud Public School event at which we celebrated public education along with selected high achieving graduates and long term staff members.

This year we acknowledged the outstanding achievements of the following Kirwan High graduates:

·       Keely Bennett (Clarke) 1992 - Keely Bennett Bio.pdfKeely Bennett Bio.pdf

·       Emily Hall 1993 - BIO Emily Hall.pdfBIO Emily Hall.pdf

·       Daniel Thomson 1997 - Daniel Thompson Bio.pdfDaniel Thompson Bio.pdf

·       Jacqueline Wilton 1997 - Jacqui Wilton Bio.pdfJacqui Wilton Bio.pdf

·       Kelly Kennedy 2001 - BIO KELLY KENNEDY.pdfBIO KELLY KENNEDY.pdf

·       Courtney Dibben (Doyle) 2005 - Courtney Dibben-Doyle.pdfCourtney Dibben-Doyle.pdf


From left to right: Emily Hall, Jacquel​ine Wilton, Kelly Kennedy, Courtnery Dibben, Daniel Thompson. Absent: Keely Bennett

We also recognised the tremendous contribution that the following staff members have made to our school and public education over a long period of time:

·       Zoe Hiddins – Science Teacher - Zoe Hiddins Bio.pdfZoe Hiddins Bio.pdf

·       Rochelle Jones – Deputy Principal - Rochelle Jones.pdfRochelle Jones.pdf

·       Gail Torrisi – Mathematics Teacher - Gail Torrisi Bio.pdfGail Torrisi Bio.pdf

·       Tim Villalba – Head of Department ICT - Tim Vilallba.pdfTim Vilallba.pdf

·       Christine Hook – Teacher Aide, SEP - Christine Hook Bio.pdfChristine Hook Bio.pdf

·       Rae Millican – Cleaner - Rae Millican Bio.pdfRae Millican Bio.pdf


​From left to right: Rochelle Jones, Gail Torrisi, Zoe Hiddins, Tim Villalba, Christine Hook, Rae Millican 

This event provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the history and ideals of Australia’s public education system that continues to provide an excellent education for all students.  I would like to share these reflections with you as it is most important that we all acknowledge the strength of our public schools.

Kirwan High is indeed a proud public school and we celebrate the strength of our public education.  Now let me share a little bit of history about our public education system with you.

Did you know that Australia was the first continent on earth with a legal right to schooling?  As a relatively young country, in 1867, Henry Parkes Public Schools Bill was passed into law in New South Wales.  This meant that a quality education was to be available to every Australian child regardless of race, religion or wealth.  That is, a Public Education.  How proud can we, as Australians, be of this piece of history!

This commitment to a high quality education for every child has driven the ideals of public education ever since.  More recent history tells us that in 2008 the Australian Government released the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians, which set the purpose and policy for Australian Schooling for the next ten years. 

As in 1867, these goals still focus on promoting equity and excellence in schooling - ensuring that all young Australians can become successful learners, confident and creative individuals and active and informed citizens.

Successful author, David Gillespie tells us that a good education system is a tide that raises all boats.  It does more than teach the three R’s, it raises the capabilities and expectations of every part of our society.  That is, it recognises diversity as its strength and it aims to provide a high quality education for every student.  It focuses as much on values education and personal growth as it does on academics.

Through a public education in schools like Kirwan High every student acquires strong values.  They experience the joy of learning with a diverse group of fellow students whose life experiences differ from their own.  They learn to respect and celebrate this difference and they are taught the skills required for different cultures to live together harmoniously.  They are expected to set challenging goals, work hard and achieve their very best.  These are all lessons for life that prepare our young people and our society for a very bright future.

Meredith Wenta

Executive Principal