Friday, 9 December 2022

Rod and I are delighted to be with you today to celebrate 60 years of schooling at Coomandook Area School and to celebrate the end of the school year.

Thank you for your warm welcome.

As South Australia’s 36th Governor, I am delighted to follow in the footsteps of the 25th Governor, Lieutenant General Sir Edric Bastyan, who officially opened the school in 192 after it had first enrolled students the previous year.

Sixty years is an important milestone to celebrate. Sixty years of education, sixty years of community spirit and sixty years of achievement by the students.

You can be proud that your first Principal, Mr John Steinle, later became the Director-General of Education in South Australia, the top position in education.

A lot has changed over 60 years, when seven small primary schools in the region came together after community debate to form this school.

The school later included secondary education and amalgamated with the Coomandook preschool to include  kindergarten students coming here.

The first five teachers were also the school bus drivers and drove the students to the school from outlying areas.

I know many of you today travel long distances by bus between home and school, which is a huge part of your day, but also a good time to catch up with friends or do that last-minute reading.

Because schools bring people together, they have always been at the centre of the local community, and your school is well known for its involvement in the pedal prix, sport, performing arts, agriculture and having the trade training centre on site.

Today we are also marking the end of the school year and I know you are all looking forward to the school holidays.

Congratulations everyone on your hard work and I am sure you can’t wait for the summer break to start at the end of next week.

To all those who are being presented with awards, certificates and prizes, well done.

Be proud of your achievements and know that your community is proud of you.

For those who are completing school this year, Rod and I wish you all the best for the future, wherever that may take you.

I said earlier that a lot had changed over the past 60 years, but there is one thing that hasn’t: your school spirit.

You will come to realise, if you don’t know already, that there is something very special about attending a school where everyone knows everyone, not just by name, but deeply.

What you have learned here at Coomandook Area School, not just through formal study but about life, about pitching in, helping each other, becoming resilient, will stand you in good stead wherever you go and whatever you do.

People who have attended small schools find themselves doing great size things in life!

I meet them all the time!

To all the students, I hope your school’s values of respect, honesty and persistence will guide you always.