School to be cherished
“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.