This time of year is a special one for our schools as they celebrate their achievements and also those of their school students. One of the sad parts about being here this week is that so many of us are missing the school assemblies and presentation days which are such an important part of the life of our community. However, I’ve had the opportunity to attend a number of those presentation days, and I particularly want to thank the students of St Michael’s primary for the friendship bracelet which they gave me last week and which I promised to wear in parliament this week to celebrate cultural diversity. I also want to acknowledge the considerable talents of our school students which are evident in all that they do.

Like many of my colleagues, one of the highlights of the year for me is running a school students Christmas card competition. As always, I was swamped by hundreds and hundreds of entries from many of the 40 schools in my electorate. I particularly want to thank the students who won: Heidi Edmunds from year 6 at St Philip Neri School at Northbridge, who won first place; Yuzi Han from year 5 at Chatswood Public School, who came in second; and Aurelia Ruberto, who is in year 2 at Northbridge Public School, who came in third. I know it’s a highlight for those receiving my Christmas card to see these wonderful paintings and drawings that the students have done. I congratulate them.

I also congratulate everyone in year 6 who is graduating this year. It is an extraordinary experience to see their trepidation and excitement as they think about their next step, into secondary school. I know that, with the fine education in my electorate, they will do well.