GAWLER students have endless opportunities after school, according to Mayor Karen Redman, who held a civic reception to celebrate the town’s quality public education on Monday.
The event, which was also attended by Federal Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham, was aimed at commending the work of Gawler & District College staff, students and its foundation’s board members, on providing a supportive and equal learning environment.
Mrs Redman, a scholar of the former Gawler High School, said she was humbled to acknowledge that Gawler’s young people have access to high standard public education, and have countless opportunities beyond their schooling life.
“My education in Gawler allowed me to believe that I could achieve anything if I worked hard, studied…and took a few risks,” she said.
“I am here today as testament, as is Minister Simon Birmingham, who is also an old scholar, that public education works.”
Gawler & District College principal Andrew Dickinson said his journey since arriving at the school has been really exciting.
He said he’s seen student results significantly improve, which is a result of a combined effort from students, staff, the community and the college foundation.
“Starting as principal in 2014, my agenda was very much about raising the results, and changing the perceptions that were had of the old high school,” he said.
“(I wanted to be) moving forward with a community of learners who were cutting edge, and who were really starting to make Gawler & District College a place of choice for education in Gawler.
“In 2014, we finished up that year with a SACE completion of 86 per cent and that was up from 75.
“In 2015, we jumped up to 94 per cent…then the end of last year, in 2016, we actually achieved 100 per cent SACE completion.”
Mr Birmingham said he was very grateful to meet some of the college foundation’s scholarship recipients at the event, and hear about their life after attending the school.
“It is a good celebration of the college and just really shines a spotlight on the many and varied achievements of those who have graduated and gone onto other things,” he said.
“Gawler has several really good schools and it is wonderful to see all of them succeeding.
“It is also great to see, first- hand, the articulate and capable young people who have a clear sense of purpose on where they want to go with their lives.
“It gives you real confidence that the school is kicking goals and that they are helping those young people to achieve all that they can.”