Legislative Council: Thursday, February 08, 2024


Forbes Primary School

The Hon. R.P. WORTLEY (14:41): My question is to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs. Will the minister inform the council about the recent visit to Forbes Primary School?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (14:41): I would be very happy to do so, and I thank the honourable member for his question. It was a great pleasure to recently visit the Forbes Primary School, accompanied by my colleague from another place the member for Badcoe, Jayne Stinson. It was a privilege to tour the site of the Forbes Primary School, located in South Plympton, a school that has a significant number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

The tour of the school began with a student yarning circle and included an impressive Acknowledgement of Country that was expressed through song and was followed by all students in the yarning circle introducing themselves, incorporating the Kaurna language. As we sat in the yarning circle, students and staff highlighted their appreciation for the advocacy that the member for Badcoe has provided for their school, bringing particular attention to the upgrades of their sports facilities, particularly accessing South Australian Cricket Association grants for their cricket nets.

I was able to meet a number of students, one in particular who was a third-generation Forbes Primary School student. I was also informed about some of the notable alumni. Over the years there have been many members of the Forbes Primary School community who have gone on to do very important things. Members of the school today talked about the pride they have in the school. Some of the alumni that were mentioned include household names such as four-time Olympian Phil Smyth, Brownlow medallist and Australian of the Year Adam Goodes, and yonks and yonks ago, and less well-known for his athletic prowess, the broadcaster David Bevan attended the school, I was informed.

As we continued the site tour there was the opportunity to participate in the opening ceremony of the primary school's newly established bush tucker garden. The students and staff had been working very hard on the bush tucker garden for many months, even putting on the final touches and involving us in the painting of some of the planter boxes on the day of our visit. What made the garden very special to the students was not only that it was a reflective place to sit and talk but it was also designed with many of their own life stories and journeys, which was reflected through the paintings on those garden planter boxes.

Although I was unable to stay for the rest of the night, the Forbes Primary School were holding their Family Fun Night that evening, which has historically been praised for its diverse and vibrant atmosphere. I was able to see some of the displays during the afternoon's tour. This year the event included various games and activities and also featured stallholders and food trucks.

Outside of providing a wonderful event for students, parents and the wider community, I am advised that the Family Fun Night raised in excess of $700, which will be put towards a new playground. I would like to thank all of the staff and the students, particularly the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, who are using language and keeping culture alive at the Forbes Primary School.