School to be cher­ished

Yarrawonga Chronicle - - Front Page - BY ROBERT MUIR

“Schools are deeply im­por­tant in our com­mu­nity. Mul­wala Pub­lic School is to be cher­ished,” State Mem­ber for Al­bury Greg Aplin said at the of­fi­cial open­ing of cel­e­bra­tions to mark 150 years of the school’s ed­u­ca­tion last Fri­day.

“To your staff, par­ents and stu­dents of Mul­wala Pub­lic School, con­grat­u­la­tions to all of you.”

Fri­day, Oc­to­ber 26 cel­e­bra­tions be­gan with Wel­come to the Coun­try by Many Mobs, fol­lowed by the Na­tional An­them. The school’s two co-cap­tains, Mad­di­son James and Jes­sica Line­han, took cen­tre stage and spoke about the school’s his­tory and com­par­i­son with to­day.

Jes­sica talked about a pro­vi­sional school be­ing es­tab­lished in 1868 as the re­quire­ments of hav­ing 15 to 25 stu­dents was met. That num­ber rose to 35 in 1874 and the NSW Coun­cil of Ed­u­ca­tion set aside land on the cur­rent site for con­struc­tion of a per­ma­nent school.

Jes­sica took the 250 at­ten­dees last Fri­day on the school’s 150-year jour­ney which saw ad­di­tional land for more build­ings, en­rol­ments reach 96 in 1896, to 116 in 1898, to 148 in 1935 and the school’s name change to Mul­wala Cen­tral School to cater for sec­ondary stu­dents who were trans­ported by bus to Corowa one day a week.

“Dur­ing this time the en­rol­ments reached 172 pri­mary stu­dents and 49 sec­ondary stu­dents,” she ad­vised. “Sec­ondary en­rol­ments be­gan to de­cline af­ter the open­ing of a high school in Yar­ra­wonga. The school was re­clas­si­fied as Mul­wala Pub­lic School in 1973.”

Yar­ra­wonga Mul­wala His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety was ac­knowl­edged by Jes­sica for pro­vid­ing this and so much other in­for­ma­tion in its re­cently Yar­ra­wonga Chron­i­cle-pub­lished book ‘A Bridge across time’ - a gen­eral his­tory of Yar­ra­wonga Mul­wala which was of­fi­cially launched by re­tired Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of Yar­ra­wonga Chron­i­cle Noel Lough­nan, OAM on Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 13.

Mad­di­son said toady’s stu­dent en­rol­ments to­tal 54. “We have three classes - a Kinder Class, Year 1/2/3 Class and 4/5/6 Class. We have 13 chil­dren at­tend­ing our Fu­ture Bud­dies pro­gram pre­par­ing to start Kinder in 2019. We have three class­rooms, plus a mu­sic room, art room, li­brary and re­treat room.

“We are a very well re­sourced school. We have ready ac­cess to com­put­ers, iPads and this year we have started us­ing Chrome­books. All stu­dents and staff use the GSuite for Ed­u­ca­tion (Google) and we have be­come a leader in this area.

“The Stu­dent Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Coun­cil is very ac­tive. Our P and C sup­ports our learn­ing in many ways.”

Mr Aplin con­grat­u­lated Jes­sica and Mad­di­son on “a great re­count of your school”. “This cel­e­bra­tion is some­thing re­ally im­por­tant,” he said. “It’s fairly rare – there are not many schools which have had 150 years.

“We need lead­ers who are ed­u­cated. It’s an ex­cit­ing time in Mul­wala.” For ex­am­ple, Mr Aplin cited the re­cent world ski­ing cham­pi­onships in Canada in which Mul­wala Wa­ter Ski Club skiers com­prised 24 of the 35-per­son na­tional team, which came sec­ond in the world event.

“That’s an as­ton­ish­ing achieve­ment. It’s your com­mu­nity,” he told the big school gather­ing. “Mul­wala wa­ter Ski Club’s Max Kir­wan Ski Park is to host the 2020 world cham­pi­onships. The world is com­ing to Mul­wala.”

The State Mem­ber de­scribed Mul­wala Pub­lic School’s 150 year mile­stone as “a mighty record of achieve­ment”. “Thou­sands over the years have gone far afield and took their ed­u­ca­tion with them,” he said.

The stu­dent choir de­liv­ered a rous­ing ren­di­tion of ‘I Am Aus­tralian’. Nu­mer­ous awards were pre­sented to stu­dents for ex­cel­lence in so many as­pects of school and out­side life.

Awards in­cluded The Min­is­ter’s Com­men­da­tion 150 Years of Ser­vice, signed by NSW Min­is­ter for Ed­u­ca­tion Robert Stokes MP, was pre­sented to Mul­wala Pub­lic School co­cap­tains Mad­di­son James and Jes­sica Line­han by State Mem­ber for Al­bury Greg Aplin.

Cut­ting of a beau­ti­ful big sponge cake fol­lowed which was tasted by so many at­ten­dees.

Fri­day night’s stu­dent art auc­tion at­tracted 163 art pieces from stu­dents, with each stu­dent paint­ing three pieces.

“It was a great suc­cess with the ma­jor­ity of pieces sold,” co-or­di­na­tor Lisa Line­han told the Yar­ra­wonga Chron­i­cle. “We raised $1,040 for the SRC and had 150 peo­ple at the din­ner.”

On Satur­day, from 10.00am to 2.00pm, it was Open Day at the school. “Up to 300 came through the gates,” key com­mit­tee or­ga­nizer Seona Wheeler said.

“There was rock paint­ing, all class­rooms were open, there was mem­o­ra­bilia and all mer­chan­dise was sold.

“The P and C team was fan­tas­tic, and the sup­port from Bre­wit’s Jai Bar­ton was great.”

Mul­wala Pub­lic School Prin­ci­pal Gayle loved ev­ery­thing about the two-day cel­e­bra­tions. “I thank ev­ery­one in­volved in the or­ga­ni­za­tion of events,” she said. “It was a great ef­fort from a lot of peo­ple. Thank you.”

Four pre­vi­ous Mul­wala Pub­lic School cap­tains joined to­day’s two co-cap­tains last Fri­day in cut­ting the cake to mark the 150-year mile­stone of the school’s ed­u­ca­tion. 2018 lead­ers Mad­di­son James and Jes­sica Line­han, Mary Hicks (nee Martin) 1961 cap­tain, Ann Al­litt (Mil­stead) 1965 and Bethany Robin­son (Orr) joined forces to cut the beau­ti­ful, large Mul­wala Bak­ery-pre­pared sponge cake.

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