Mr GEPP (Northern Victoria) (10:53): I rise to congratulate the schools in my electorate of Northern Victoria that have been honoured as some of the state’s top educators in this year’s Victorian Education Excellence Awards in an online ceremony last Friday. Cobram Primary School received the Outstanding School Improvement Award. I commend the team, Matthew Knight, Claye Runnalls, Narelle Pell, Cassie-Jane Ryan and Marika Newey, for developing and implementing collective approaches to curriculum development, assessment and the building of teacher capacity, ensuring the consistency and quality of teaching practices across all classrooms.
I was also delighted to see Swan Hill Primary School named winner of the Outstanding Koorie Education Award. I congratulate the team of Hayley Doyle, Justin Condely, Janene Thompson and Nandia Brabham for their initiatives to improve the educational outcomes for their Koori students, which is significantly closing the achievement gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students. The school is doing an outstanding job and making a difference for their Koori students, demonstrating increased levels of student attendance, engagement and achievement.
Finally, I would like to acknowledge and congratulate the other Northern Victoria finalists: Chaffey Secondary College, which was a finalist in the Outstanding Koorie Education category; and Marika Newey, a maths teacher at Cobram Primary, who was a finalist in the Outstanding Primary Teacher category—a wonderful achievement. Thank you to each of the winners and the finalists for leading the way when it comes to improving education outcomes for students in Northern Victoria. You are all very deserving of this honour.