In Australia’s Indigenous tradition, a Welcome to Country is a practice where an Indigenous Custodian or Elder from a traditional area in Australia welcomes people to their land through speech, ceremony or music.
With the greatest of respect, a welcome to Dandenong North Primary School is very much like a welcome to country. The wonderful staff that serve the students of this school are custodians for a period of important time – as I am. I have been here for a fair while, too, so that qualifies me as an Elder, as well as a custodian. The school is a special place that we all feel connected to.
So, I welcome you to this school - even if your “visit” is just to satisfy a passing interest to learn a little more about us. There is much to learn. Our school is a big place with more than 800 students and one hundred and thirty staff who have been trained to meet all the sorts of needs that a diverse group of children may present with.
Dandenong North Primary School is a great school. A claim like that just rolls off the tongue. But, what makes a school great? Well, these four qualities are certainly part of what is needed.
Most parents would be happy with a “Good School”. We deliver a “Great School”!
I couldn’t do a better job of advertising than the following short “persuasive writing piece” from one of our students:
“Are you wanting brilliant results for your child? Do you want happy children at the end of the school day? If so, come to the great Dandenong North primary School! Marvelous teachers. Incredible excursions. Magnificent facilities with large classrooms and a fun curriculum. It really caters for all your child’s needs. Located just near the fabulous Plaza, the school is just opposite the clean hospital and is close to two excellent High Schools. For one of the best schools in Australia, come to us.
As Principal, I would offer only one correction – and that is the last sentence. I would replace it with: “For the best school in Australia, come to us.”
Our students are our best advertisements because they reflect the successes and efforts of our staff. Looking through our website is another way of “exploring” our school. Mrs. Colaci – an ex-student of Dandenong North Primary School, and now our website curator – has created a wonderful ‘smorgasbord” of detail. Thank you Mrs. Colaci. We also have our own YouTube channel (Dandenong North Primary School) where you can view interesting video excerpts of life at Dandenong North Primary School.
We are all proud of our school. Yet, there is still more to achieve. We badly need a full-size gymnasium. The value of health and fitness for our students is beyond debate. To take advantage of the talents of our teachers and students we need to have teaching and learning spaces fit for purpose in all weathers. That means an enclosed gymnasium. With that would come a canteen that would allow the preparation and distribution of breakfasts for those students who want them. The process for getting a gymnasium is not about raising funds; to get the gymnasium we have to reach priority status for State Government Funding. There are many competing demands from nearly 1600 schools across Victoria. After 20 years of being eligible, though, we think it must be getting close to our turn. At least, we hope so!
If you are wanting to know if you are in our “zone” you can look on the School Enrolment Zone Information. Our skilled and dedicated staff will continue to deliver the programs that we have tested to be tried and true. We will continue to make sure that our students are safe, happy and educated. That’s what being “great” means!
Kevin Mackay OAM