House of Representatives, 27 March 2018
Watch Matt's Speech
Mr KEOGH(Burt) (13:39): Earlier this month the state member for Armadale, Dr Tony Buti, and I joined many of my fellow former students, teachers and parents of St Francis Xavier Primary School, now called Xavier Catholic School, for its 80th anniversary mass and morning tea. Established in 1938 on the corner of the South Western Highway and Thomas Road in Armadale as the convent school, it is now located just down the road in Hilbert. Xavier Catholic School has a proud history of being a strong, community minded school and is a cornerstone of the Armadale community. It was great to share stories and catch up with so many long-time friends in our community, including some of the school's original students. The Keogh family has been educated at St Francis Xavier and part of its school community for around 50 of Xavier's 80 years.
Congratulations to the principal, Catherine Bauer; board chairman, Damien Slattery; Father Joe and all the students and staff for their fantastic work in organising this celebration and continuing to build upon such an already strong community school spirit. It is schools like this in low socioeconomic areas, where a large proportion of students don't pay fees or pay reduced fees, that make a significant difference in the lives of children and provide the legitimate opportunity for a religious education and that are being unfairly disadvantaged by the Turnbull government's education funding changes. Independent analysis shows Catholic schools will face funding cuts under this government's plan. These students deserve better. They have my and Labor's support; they deserve the support of this government too.