Tuesday, 7 February 2023


Preston South Primary School


Preston South Primary School

Kat THEOPHANOUS (Northcote) (19:28): (18) What an honour it is to stand here again as part of our progressive and proactive Labor government representing the good people of Northcote. I am delighted to direct my adjournment tonight to our wonderful Minister for Education, who has been doing a power of work ensuring every Victorian child has the opportunity to learn and to thrive. The action I seek is that the minister join me in my electorate of Northcote for the official opening of Preston South Primary School’s brand new facilities.

One of my happiest moments as the member for Northcote was sharing the news with principal Leon Leonidas that Preston South was getting a $14.63 million upgrade. I remember being on the Zoom call with Leon and his team in May 2020 as we laughed and cried together about this funding, feeling just so overjoyed that this resilient school was finally getting the modernisation it needed – and I say ‘resilient’ because Preston South has had it tough over the years, including two fires which drastically limited the space available for students. But in true community spirit they rallied and persevered and turned the fortunes of the school around. In fact they have thrived so much that enrolments have increased and the school has been bursting at the seams. Well, no longer, because Preston South Primary is about to open the doors on a brand new architecturally designed three-storey learning building which will deliver 200 new student places. Having been on site a couple of times during the construction, I can tell you that this project is shaping up to be one of the finest school modernisations in the state.

Across the three floors there will be collaborative learning spaces, dedicated science and tech areas, outdoor learning, maker spaces and reading nooks. There will be new landscaping as well as new staff and admin facilities for the devoted team, who are so much a part of making this amazing school what it is. This is what our Labor government is about – the Education State. And it is not just Preston South seeing it in real time. In just four years across the Northcote electorate our government has invested over $120 million in our local schools and kinders. Our secondary schools, Northcote High and Thornbury High, have major works underway to give more young people opportunities to pursue their passions in science and tech. Every primary school across Alphington, Fairfield, Westgarth, Thornbury, Northcote and Preston in my electorate now has a project completed or underway. Across my community we are saying goodbye to outdated facilities and embracing modern, workable, inspiring places – spaces that help kids learn.

I thank principal Leonidas for his leadership and passion; the staff, students and community for their patience with the construction works; and the project team who have brought this to life. I have been honoured to work side by side with you on this journey, and I look forward to showing the minister what we have achieved at Preston South Primary School.