Record investment in Bonner schools

Students in Bonner will benefit from the Morrison Government’s record $5.4 billion funding for schools in Queensland next year, up from $5.1 billion in 2021.

Funding for Queensland schools has almost doubled since the Morrison Government came to office, and is locked in to grow a further 38 per cent between now and 2029.

Government schools in Queensland will see the biggest increase, from $1.7 billion in 2018 to $2.9 billion in 2029.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the Government’s record investment in Queensland schools was an investment in their future.

“We’re giving kids in Bonner the best possible chance to get the best education and reach their full potential,” Mr Vasta said.

“We have many highly regarded schools in Bonner, filled with hard-working dedicated teachers and the Government is backing them, so they can focus on giving their students the best education.

“Last week I had the pleasure of visiting Citipointe Christian College in Carindale, who will benefit from this funding.  This school is reknowned for its facilities, passionate teachers and vibrant school community.

“It was fantastic to catch up with college Principal Pastor Brian Mulheran to hear of the opportunities that are being presented to students to aid their development and how this funding will assist.”

Citipointe Christian College Principal Pastor Brian Mulheran said, “As a member of Associated Christian Schools, the College welcomes the Government’s funding to strengthen education.”

“The funding by the Government continues to support the democratic nature of our society to grant parental choice for educating their children,” Pastor Mulheran said.

“Increased funding is required by schools as needs increase. Needs such as student well-being which is vital to improve educational outcomes.”

Minister for Education and Youth Hon Alan Tudge MP said, “Locking in record funding means states, territories and schools can now focus on lifting standards.”

The National Curriculum is also under review, with the independent body ACARA currently seeking public feedback on draft proposed changes.


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Educational resources for schools to support ANZAC Day commemorations

SCHOOLS and community groups in Bonner will soon receive educational materials and creative resources to help commemorate Anzac Day.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the Anzac Day mail-out resources, made available through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), helped the community commemorate in a meaningful way and learn more about Australia’s military history.

“Learning about our military history is a significant part of commemoration as it provides us with an understanding of events that have shaped the nation as well as the sacrifices that our service personnel have made for Australia, including the more than 102,000 Australians who have given their lives in service of our nation,” Mr Vasta said.

“This year’s mail-out includes resources that commemorate 100 years of the Royal Australian Air Force, with this milestone falling in 2021.

“The war in the Pacific and the end of the Second World War will also feature in the mail-out resources.”

The Anzac Day mail-out contains posters, educational materials including flyers and the book Shifting Tides: Australia and the Pacific in the Second World War.

Mr Vasta said he encouraged schools and community groups to access and use these resources as a tool to teach Australia’s future leaders and the next generation about the service and sacrifice of Australian service personnel.

“These educational resources will help children and teenagers learn about our military history, and understand the meaning of Anzac Day,” Mr Vasta said.

“Extending their understanding of service and sacrifice will also help them appreciate why it’s important that our community, along with the rest of Australia honours our service personnel on this day.”

All resources are free and available to download on the Anzac Portal (

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Submissions open for review into Disability Standards for Education

The Coalition Government is calling for public submissions into a review of the Disability Standards for Education 2005.

Minister for Education Dan Tehan said the standards played a key role in ensuring students with disability could access and participate in education without any barriers.

“It’s incredibly important we review these standards regularly to make sure they are doing their job to give equal access and opportunity for students with disability,” Mr Tehan said.

“The standards help students with disability and their families know their rights and make clear the obligations of all education providers – from preschool and kindergarten through to vocational education providers and universities.

“This could include making reasonable adjustments in the classroom, such as additional learning support and modifying homework tasks, or adjusting the classroom environment to suit a student’s mobility needs.

“An extensive community consultation process will be held from 16 July to 25 September, providing an opportunity for the public to share experiences and ideas.”

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said he strongly encouraged current, former and prospective students with disability, their families and carers, educators, and other members of the public to share their thoughts on the standards and their implementation.

“People can have their say by completing an online questionnaire, making a submission, participating in a webinar, or by expressing their interest in a focus group, one-on-one interview, or an online discussion,” Mr Vasta said.

The first webinar on 23 July will centre on schooling.

The standards are reviewed every five years.

For more information, visit the Consultation Hub at

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One week left for schools to apply for project funding

Schools in Bonner have one week left to apply for funding through the Coalition Government’s Local School Community Fund to support small-scale projects.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said schools could apply for grants of up to $20,000 for school projects that benefit their students’ learning experience.

“Projects could be anything from upgrading playground and sporting equipment, to library resources, new computers and mental health and counselling services,” Mr Vasta said.

“My electorate has been allocated $200,000 in grant funding for projects and I urge all schools across Bonner to submit an application for funding though the Local School Community Fund.

“I want to see applications from every school across Bonner seeking funding for projects that will help their students and the local school community.”

The Local Schools Community Fund is open to eligible state, Catholic and Independent schools.

Schools may submit one application for up to $20,000 funding for each of their campuses.

Applications close at 5pm AEST on September 30, 2019 and projects must be completed by the end of 2020.

Schools can apply for the Coalition Government program through SchoolsHUB –

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Member for Bonner Ross Vasta has welcomed the opening of a new memorial at Citipointe Christian College commemorating the Centenary of the First World War Armistice.

“It is an honour to attend their Centenary Memorial Ceremony and Opening today and see the school and the community mark Armistice Day,” Mr Vasta said.

“I was pleased to help secure $18,182 under the Armistice Centenary Grants Program to support this project.”

The project, named “The Centenary Memorial”, is modelled on the Australian national monument in Villers-Bretonneux. The new area will allow Citipointe to host community commemoration events and will also be used for its annual ANZAC assembly.

Principal of Citipointe Christian College Pastor Brian Mulheran thanked Mr Vasta for making the school aware of the Armistice Centenary Grants Program and his help securing the grant.

Mr Vasta encouraged locals to attend a Remembrance Day service this Sunday, November 11 and to observe a minute’s silence at 11am to remember the Australian men and women who have suffered and died in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.

For more information on the Armistice Centenary Grants Program visit

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The Turnbull Government has released a landmark report into Australia’s school system that outlines a clear plan to ensure every school student, including those in Bonner, has the opportunities they need to succeed.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta welcomed the Turnbull Government’s in-principle support for all recommendations of the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools led by Mr David Gonski AC.

“Every student deserves a quality school education, and every student in every school in our community should be given every opportunity to succeed and to thrive,” Mr Vasta said.

“I know that local parents value their schools and the teachers who work hard in our classrooms to teach and help prepare their children for whatever challenges the future holds.

“Parents also want to know how our record amount of school funding will improve our students’ educational outcomes.

“This is a challenge the Turnbull Government is committed to tackling. This review is an opportunity for all levels of government, educators, and families to turn around Australia’s performance and build a stronger school system.”

Head of Secondary at Citipointe Christian College, Mrs Helen Moore, welcomed the review.

“For years we have noted a drop in overall standards of literacy in particular, especially in the lack of sophistication of style and breadth of student writing. We were concerned enough eight years ago to begin addressing this specific area in our College,” Mrs Moore said.

“The recommendations in the Gonski report are wide and general so the impact on schools remains to be seen when further details of actions are published.”

Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said the Review provides a national blueprint for every government, every teacher, and every family to help tackle declining school performance in Australia.

“There’s no doubt Australia has some of the world’s best teachers and school leaders, and they work hard to help students achieve outcomes that are the envy of many other countries,” Minister Birmingham said. 

“But it is clear that while school funding has been growing year after year and is now, for the first time, truly needs-based – and will continue to grow under the Turnbull Government to new record levels over the next ten years – student outcomes aren’t keeping pace.

“This Review was about how to put our record and growing needs-based funding to best use to improve school performance and student outcomes.

“Australia must focus on creating an education system that gives each student the opportunity to excel and to be their individual best.”

The report is available at: Through Growth to Achievement: the Review to Achieve Education Excellence in Australian Schools

The report identifies 23 recommendations under five themes:

• Laying the foundations of learning before the school years and in the home environment;

• Equipping every student to grow and succeed with the knowledge they need and a focus on growing each individuals’ skills;

• Creating, support and valuing a profession of expert educators including building on the Government’s reforms to date in teacher education;

• Empowering and supporting school leaders with experience and autonomy;

• Lifting aspirations with quality assurance, data and evidence-based research. 

The Government will now work with states and territories and non-government school systems to determine how the reforms set out in the Review should be delivered. A new reform agreement between the Commonwealth and jurisdictions will be negotiated this year to come into effect from 2019.

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Today isn't the first time I've mentioned Red Frogs here, and it certainly won't be the last. No, I'm not talking about my alleged chamber lolly stash! Last Thursday, I was delighted to have the Red Frogs founder, Andy Gourley, join me for another student leaders afternoon tea for over 60 primary and secondary captains from across my electorate. Students who attended last year's event got so much out of it that I had to do it again, and I had to bring Andy back.

Andy does such amazing work for young people across the country. He's a great mate of mine and a wonderful role model for young kids. Once again, he gave a great talk sharing his inspiring story and his personal thoughts on how to be a good leader. The students were once again terrific. They had some really thought-provoking questions for Andy, ranging from what inspired him to start Red Frogs to obstacles he's encountered, whether he had any regrets and how he has inspired others to get involved. Andy said that he had people come up and tell him that he had saved their lives and that parents had written to him and thanked him for his work. He told the students to trust their gut and that, through consistent work, they can transform small things into great things. I have no doubt the students learned a lot from Andy and from each other, and I wish them every success in the future.

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Over 60 school captains from primary and secondary schools across the Bonner electorate attended the second Student Leaders Afternoon Tea hosted by Federal Member for Bonner, Ross Vasta yesterday.

The students enjoyed a captivating talk by Red Frogs founder Andy Gourley and had the opportunity to ask questions about his work and what they could do to make a difference in their leadership roles.

“When we did this last year the students got so much out of it I had to hold it again,” Mr Vasta said.

“Andy is a superb role model for young kids and his story is an inspiring one everyone can learn from.”

Mr Gourley, a former Holland Park State High School student, spoke about how he started Red Frogs, and shared his general principles on being on a good leader.

“You can achieve a lot with others as long as you don’t mind others taking the credit,” Mr Gourley said.

“Learn the art of being second. Learn to champion others over yourself. Good leaders are culture setters—people will do as you do, so set a good example. Don’t be a whinger and never criticize others for not doing something if you’re not willing to either. And always be willing to learn from others.”

School captain of Mansfield State High School Clive D’Silva said one of his main goals as a school leader was to strengthen ties within the school community and the wider Mansfield community.

“Becoming school captain has motivated me to be the best version of myself I can be, so that I can set a good example for other students,” Mr D’Silva said.

Questions from students to Mr Gourley ranged from what inspired him to start Red Frogs, obstacles he’d encountered and whether he had any regrets, and the best reactions he’d had from people he’s helped, to how he inspired others to get involved.

Mr Gourley said he’d had people come up to him to tell him he’d saved their lives, and that parents had written to him to thank him for his work. He told the students to trust their gut, and that through consistent work they could transform small things into great things.

“More good leaders are needed through the education system, and to encourage this Red Frogs offers student leader training seminars across the country for schools and universities,” Mr Gourley said.

“I had a lot of great questions today—this is definitely a room full of leaders.”

Student leaders from the following schools attended the event:

• Manly West State School
• Lota State School
• Belmont State School
• Wondall Heights State School
• Brisbane Bayside State College
• Moreton Bay Boys’ College
• Citipointe Christian College
• Holland Park State High School
• Mt Gravatt High School
• Mansfield State High School
• Wishart State School
• Rochedale State High School

Mr Vasta said he hoped the students had enjoyed their red frogs and had gotten the most out of meeting Andy and leaders from other schools.

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Today I want to focus on young high achievers I’ve met recently from my electorate of Bonner.

I recently had the pleasure of presenting young sports stars from my electorate with their Local Sporting Champions awards. The Local Sporting Champions program is an Australian Government initiative that provides $500 grants to young sportsmen and women aged 12 to 18 to help them cover the costs of attending state, national, and international sports championships.

There were 35 successful applicants from Bonner for the latest Local Sporting Champions round. Five of these sports stars attended my presentation ceremony last week:

• Ella O’Grady from Wynnum North, representing Metropolitan East School at the Football State Championships. Ella one day hopes to play for the Matildas;

• Luisa Gauci from Chandler, representing Queensland at the Youth Women’s Nationals baseball championship. Luisa is the first Brisbane girl to compete in the national Kookaburras team, and was recently in Korea representing Australia;

• Mitchell Torrens from Manly West, participating at the BMX QLD State Championships at the junior elite level;

• Ethan Bennetts from Carindale, representing Queensland Athletics at the Australian Athletics Championships. Ethan is a gold medallist in the hammer throw event and intends to represent Australia at the Olympics one day;

• Erin Hopgood from Wynnum West, representing Redlands City Gym Sports at the TRP State Age Championships.

The Government is proud to support our talented young sports stars and help them achieve their sporting dreams. Good luck to our Local Sporting Champions at their upcoming championships! I encourage other eligible sportsmen and women in Bonner to apply online.

I also recently got to meet some outstanding language students from Mansfield State High School. Eight of these students have received scholarships to travel to Kobe, Japan this month. I also wished bon voyage to French language students heading off to Rouen on exchange. Congratulations to these excellent students, I was happy to present them with Aussie flags and other goodies they can take with them on their trip.

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Government and Independent schools in Bonner are each set to receive a boost in funding by 2021 under the Turnbull Government’s student-centred Gonski funding plan that recently passed Parliament.

Federal Member for Bonner, Ross Vasta, said the new funding was part of a $7.78 billion funding boost for Bonner government and Independent schools over the next decade, which will see a $234 average increase next year for every student and around $361 on average extra for each student each year by 2021.

Catholic schools in Queensland will get an additional $2.84b under the plan over the next decade that their education authorities will distribute to their schools.

“We’re delivering a school system that’s entirely focused on students and what they need to be their best,” Mr Vasta said.

“We’re delivering a new funding system that ensures every student gets the resources they need, no matter their background or where they live. We’re tying that extra funding to the activities that are proven to improve the quality of our schools. That means more resources for one-on-one time with teachers and new or existing initiatives such as specialist teachers or targeted intervention programs.”

“We’ve appointed an independent National School Resourcing Board to ensure the funding model is focussed on supporting students and holding governments to account for the money they receive and spend.”

“Our additional funding will start to flow next year, giving schools and communities the certainty they need to plan and ensure that every student gets the support they need to succeed.”

“Schools and students that need the most additional resources will get the biggest funding increases in the fastest time period so that everyone will get their fair share of funding from the Commonwealth.”

“Along with support from Gonski Review panellists Ken Boston, Kathryn Greiner and David Gonski himself, the Government’s plan has been backed by independent think tanks including The Grattan Institute and The Mitchell Institute, as well as schools, families and educators such as former head of the Australian Education Union Dianne Foggo.”

“Our focus now is building on our teaching quality reforms through the work of a panel of education experts focused entirely on how schools should be using the extra funding we’re delivering.”

Further details on the Turnbull Government’s Quality Schools reform package are available at

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