Giving kids in Chifley access to the best education and opportunities was high on Ed Husic’s list of priorities when he delivered his first speech in Federal Parliament last week.
Mr Husic, the Federal Member for Chifley, highlighted that he was the first graduate of the University of Western Sydney to be elected to the Federal Parliament.
“To those before us in the Labor movement who have been responsible for providing my generation with educational opportunity perceived beyond reach: I stand here as an appreciative beneficiary.”
A product of local public schools, Mr Husic expressed pride and a debt of gratitude to Blacktown South Public School and Mitchell High School for the care teachers dedicate day in and day out for their students, singling out two of his Mitchell High teachers, Ferdo Mathews and Rhona Morath.
Addressing Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, Mr Husic expressed thanks on behalf of the electorate for the work being done in schools to modernise them and create local jobs.
“Schools in the Chifley electorate have witnessed a surge of new investment like never before. It is a source of enormous satisfaction that during the greatest economic challenge of the last 75 years, an arm of the Commonwealth response mobilised government investment in a way that has left an enduring benefit to students for years to come.”
Mr Husic acknowledged that there’s more work to be done to encourage students to stay on in school to build their skills.
“Retention rates in our area are stubbornly lower than the national average. Our trade training centres hold great potential in the campaign to lift the numbers of students staying on to years 11 and 12.”
“These issues demand my focus because they stand as challenges to our young and Chifley is a young electorate, with a third of its residents aged 19 or under, the second most youthful electorate in our nation.”
Mr Husic paid tribute to the man he replaced at the recent election, who was present in the gallery to witness the speech.
“I follow in the footsteps of a tremendous servant and advocate for the residents of Chifley, the Hon. Roger Price. He dedicated his heart and soul to Chifley, something remarked upon with respect and regard by so many residents during the campaign.”