Bunbury Primary School

I want to congratulate the Bunbury Primary School. It is a school of around 450 students in my electorate and recently took out two national awards, being crowned Education Perfect Australian
School of the Year and also Primary School of the Year, government category awards, at the recent Australian Education Awards ceremony for 2022. The excitement at the school was palpable when I dropped in a couple of days later. They recently held an afternoon tea for the staff and volunteers together just to celebrate this amazing achievement. It was striking to see the joy they shared in receiving this national accolade for excellence that they have been delivering for students and the community for many years. It’s a testament to the leadership of Bunbury
Primary School, which has able to engender a remarkable culture that is a testament to the very dedication of the staff who work there.

It’s an independent K-6 public school with 15 per cent of students from language backgrounds other than English, and 32 per cent of students have a medical, imputed or diagnosed disability. The school’s motto is ‘Strive to achieve,’ and they’ve been delivering through a holistic approach to each child. A key part of the performance is a strong and stable leadership team under Principal Shane Doherty and associate principals Franca Dillon and Adriana Palermo, who have all been at the school for well over 10 years. Under the IPS structure, Bunbury Primary has a school board that has contributed to the school’s outstanding performance in close alliance with the parents and school community. The board includes the principal, P&C representatives, two teachers and three parent representatives. That structure enables parents to be closely involved in key planning and decisions affecting the school.

There’s an all-encompassing approach to doing the very best they can for the school and the community. They don’t give up on students or families. They look for ways to support and nurture them outside and within the school. It’s backed by positive behaviour support, which means Bunbury Primary teaches social skills in the same way as academic skills: through explicit instruction. There are well-defined strategies for identifying, supporting and monitoring students at educational risk. The school’s expectations of behaviour are: ‘Be responsible, be
caring, be respectful and be your best’—a great message for Bunbury Primary and surely one for our society as a whole. It is that holistic approach I referred to earlier.

It’s an undisputed leader in delivering curriculum outcomes paired with social, emotional and behavioural outcomes. All practices and strategies applied are evidence based. They love data at Bunbury Primary. It’s a digitech school, leading change in teaching and learning using digital technologies, embracing the use of technology from the perspective of student learning, teacher assessment and professional development as well as growing partnerships with the community. A fascinating digital technologies project the staff and students developed is the outdoor e-library, an interactive virtual e-library featuring student developed content covering a wide range of topics. Posted around the school are ebooks, which are locations with QR codes. With your smartphone or tablet you can download content covering subjects from Aboriginal heritage to water conservation to the Anzacs to recycling to road safety to health and wellbeing to fostering resiliency to SunSmart messages to solar energy —a wide range.

I am really proud that Bunbury Primary School have been recognised for their long-term dedication to their students—proud that this has been recognised on the national stage with these two awards. Commendations for the school, in this process, actually came from the school gardener—to mention one—the cleaners, the parents, the volunteers, through to education leaders and experts. And I am particularly proud of the people who have done the work for so many years. Their holistic approach is a very sound way that they have been able to influence the lives of young people in and around Bunbury.

I want to commend all of those involved and who have been involved for so long at Bunbury Primary School. You deserve this award, and the young people whose lives you’ve changed will always be grateful for the influence you’ve had on them.