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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 21752

Address to the Calamvale Community College Calamvale, Brisbane

Photo of Howard, John

Howard, John

Period of Service: 11/03/1996 to 03/12/2007

More information about Howard, John on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 17/05/2005

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 21752

Thank you very much Diego, and to the School Principal Sue Bremner, Mr Neil McDonald, the Acting School Principal, and to my friend and Parliamentary colleague Gary Hardgrave, but very importantly to the girls and boys of Calamvale Community College. Well this is a different school, and it's a very big school, a school that has challenged not only the people of Brisbane but also people interested in education in and around Australia to enable new and better ways [inaudible] to grow up and get a good education.

I have had a little bit of the school shown to me, it's certainly very different from the Earlwood Primary School that I attended in the NSW education system in Sydney a few years ago. We didn't have pods, we had classes but I guess some of the things that I learnt there are very similar to the things that you are being taught. But I have noticed in the short time that I have been here something that is very special and something that you should be very proud of, and that is there is a great spirit of enthusiasm and cooperation. The teachers are friendly, the teachers are very engaged in what they are doing and they are very committed to the task of educating you.

School years are so important, all of us go through school and occasionally wonder what it is all about. We occasionally feel that maybe it's a bit unfair that we have to go to school. You should not think that it is unusual to feel that way, it's a perfectly natural thing but as you get a bit older and you look back on the school years, you will have a great sense of appreciation for the opportunity that it has given you and your generation of Australians will leave school and enter the workforce at a time when there will be a growing demand for workers because our population is getting older at a more rapid rate than it used to and therefore the job opportunities that are going to be available are going to increase.

I never make long speeches at these gatherings, I learnt when I was at school that long speeches at assemblies by visitors were not all that welcome but I have one piece of advice that I always give to school students no matter what age they are and that is I have found in life and I found it at school, and I found it later on, that the best people and the people who are the happiest people you meet in life are the people who always look for something positive in the character of the people they deal with.

You have a lot of friends at school and sometimes individuals, people you meet at school, might make you mad on occasions and you might think that they are particularly unfriendly people. Can I assure you that in every person, there is a lot of good and if you look for the good in the positive side of a person, you'll not only end up being good friends with them but you will also end up being happier in life than those people who always look for the negative in somebody and my advice to all of you is, to even the people you find hardest to look for something positive in them, you will find it and not only will you find that you like that person a lot more but you'll end up being a lot happier person as you go through life.

And the last thing I'd say to you is always remember the contribution that teachers make to your lives. Teachers are very dedicated, professional people, it's not an easy job, they have a great influence on children and the knowledge they impart to you and the commitment they bring to that is something that you should always appreciate.

Calamvale is being watched and from what I've heard and from what others have told me, and from what I have seen this morning, it's a very, very interesting, different and very positive way of educating children, it builds the friendship and the bonds between teachers and students over a longer period of time and in a way that perhaps that more traditional methods of instruction do not do and therefore the education authorities in Queensland and all of those associated with this community and not least the parents, a number of whom who are here today should be congratulated on the contribution that you are making.

Can I thank you very warmly for having me as a guest of your school. I wish you every health and happiness in the years ahead, not only through your education but as you grow to adulthood and enter life and go into the workforce, have your own children, worry about their education, I hope that you always take with you through those years, a fond memory of the time that you have spent at this school. Thank you very much.

[ends]

Transcript 21752