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August 12, 2014  |  

Viewbank College

I rise to congratulate the cast and crew of the Viewbank College production of Hairspray, which concluded last week after six sold-out shows seen by an audience of some 1200 family members and friends.

To quote co-director and choreographer Andrew ‘Hondo’ Hondromatadis:

Hairspray is a comedic, heartwarming and poignant piece of theatre brought to you by a student-based cast of 73, student orchestra of 20 and student crew of 40, indicating the show’s the enormity.

Farewell and thank you to the year 12 students in this year’s production: Paul Kascamanidis, the college drama captain Chelsea Tsaparis, Marie Trevithick, Bronwyn McKenzie, Alicia Surtees, Jade Ingvarson-Favretto and Benjamin Richardson. They were extraordinary and as entertaining as ever. Several of them were familiar faces from previous college productions.

My wife, Anita, and I were very pleased to attend last Friday’s performance with college principal Mrs Judith Craze and her husband. Thank you to the college’s Friends of Performing and Visual Arts group for its strong support.

I was pleased to visit Viewbank College with the Leader of the Opposition and the shadow Minister for Education, the member for Monbulk, last week to announce that an Andrews Labor government will commit $11.5 million to build a new performing arts centre, music classrooms and administration buildings at the school. This project is the college’s no. 1 priority. These will be the first new buildings in over 20 years.

It is all about ensuring that Viewbank College has state-of-the-art facilities on the site — the current ageing theatre is several kilometres up the road — to match the first-class academic results our teachers are helping students achieve. With almost 1200 students, so many families in the Ivanhoe electorate are putting their trust in Viewbank College to give their children the best preparation for their futures as citizens and the leaders of tomorrow.

As a past student of Viewbank College, I am pleased that if elected in November a Labor government will give me the opportunity as the local MP to give back to the school that gave me the best start in life and is helping to shape the lives of so many young people in my community.