Mr MELHEM (Western Metropolitan): I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Southern Cross Grammar on the official opening of its new Victorian certificate of education (VCE) building at its Caroline Springs campus. Southern Cross Grammar ensures the highest quality of learning and facilities for children, enabling them to become active and involved citizens in our community. For the first time, this year Southern Cross Grammar is providing education to students from years prep to 12. To mark and celebrate the school’s growth and many achievements, the new purpose-built VCE building was officially opened last Friday, which I had the pleasure of attending.

Southern Cross Grammar has much to celebrate. In 2011 the school was facing closure after Independent Colleges of Australia went into voluntary administration. Within three days, parents, teachers and the local community bonded together to create a group to save the school. After many months of campaigning the school was able to attract the benevolence of the Zig Inge Group, which bought the school for the community. This was the turning point. Since then enrolments have risen rapidly and Southern Cross Grammar has been able to achieve many successes. This is reflective of the high regard held for the staff and programs of the school.

The opening was a very successful event and was well attended by former and current staff and students, parents and representatives from the local community. I would like to specifically congratulate the principal of Southern Cross Grammar, Mr Andrew Ponsford, for leading the school to this milestone. I also would like to take the opportunity to thank all the staff, parents and students and the local community for their support, which has allowed Southern Cross Grammar to be where it is today. I wish the school and the class of 2018 all the very best.

28 March 2018