Home' The Chronicle : Canberra Chronicle 18-11-2014 Contents Tuesday, November 18, 2014 - 10
Families are being asked whether they
think public or private schools are
doing better when it comes to
disruptive kids, bullying, NAPLAN
results and future success as part of an
ACT Government school survey.
Minister for Education Joy Burch
launched the online survey last week
to garner parents' perceptions of
The latest education census released
in October shows ACT public primary
schools and colleges are growing but
Canberra parents still prefer to send
their children to private high schools.
The city's government schools had
3.9 per cent more students in August
than a year earlier. Yet while primary
schools and colleges expanded, public
high school enrolments fell
marginally. The ACT remains the only
state or territory in which a majority of
junior high students -- years 7 to 10 --
attend non-government schools.
Only parents and carers of pupils
from early childhood years to grade 6
will have access to the survey. Private
schools have not been included.
Participants will be asked what type
of school they think is most likely to
perform highly in NAPLAN tests and
tertiary rankings and provide better
outcomes in terms of jobs and earning
capacity. The survey also questions
whether public or private schools are
more likely to notice and quickly deal
Ms Burch said the anonymous
survey would help the government to
test ideas and seek feedback about
public school education. It will be
circulated by all ACT public primary
and early childhood schools and closes
Girl with big heart
with own charity
Year 6 student Paris McMahon, 12, is raising money and awareness of
the homeless in Canberra by taking photos and video of people and
providers of homeless services.
Photo: Matt Bedford
Twelve-year-old Paris McMahon has
been working tirelessly to help the
homeless and disadvantaged in
Canberra for the past year.
She created her own charity, A
Little Hand, and has won various
awards for her work, including the
ACT Young Information and
Explorers competition and the Fred
Hollows School Award with her sister
Paris has now set up an online store,
Shellery, selling jewellery made out of
shells, to help raise money for her
Paris said she does not know why
she feels passionately about helping
out those less fortunate, but she knows
she wants to do everything she can.
"It's not just for the homeless in
Canberra,'' she said. It's for the
Canberra community who are
vulnerable, the people who need help;
all the people who are really struggling
at the moment for different reasons.
Maybe they can't afford food or water
or the essentials, or they don't have a
Paris visited the food pantry run by
Communities at Work as part of her
documentary series, which aims to
shine a light on not only those who
need assistance in the community, but
the people who are doing all they can
"It's quite sad and it was really
shocking too,'' she said. To see that
there are children my age who can't
afford food and are struggling like
Describing herself as very lucky,
Paris said she wanted to do something
to help other people.
Now that she's started, she is not
about to give up.
Nicole Cameron, Paris' mother, said
she is very proud of her young
daughter and the work she's done.
"Most impressively, she has
interviewed charities and made
documentaries to build awareness,"
"The only help provided was a
chauffeur service by me, and
occasional holding of the iPhone to
film her interviewing people. She
[Paris] has done all of this with the
support of her school, the Canberra
Girls' Grammar School, allowing her
time off for filming, while maintaining
good grades and competing at a high
level in sport. She works tirelessly to
try to make a difference."
Find out more about Paris' cause at
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