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New faces tackle same old problem

15 Jul 2014

New faces tackle same old problem Image

Schools lobby group Two Schools Now has had a reshuffle, announcing a new president and treasurer/secretary.

The group has announced Marie Walters as president and Martin Lawrence as treasurer and secretary.

Mr Lawrence, a Southbank resident, said from the moment his four-year-old son Luke was born, his wife had been onto the issue of local schools.

“We’ve been in Southbank since 2008. It was really my wife who started thinking about where Luke could go,” Mr Lawrence explained.

“There are quite a lot of little kids that live in apartments in Southbank and I’m not sure their parents are planning to move out to the suburbs anytime soon, so this issue is only going to get bigger.”

Ms Walters, who lives in Port Melbourne and has two sons, six-year-old Jack and four-year-old Bryson, said one of her major priorities was ensuring any school in the area had adequate space.

“My concern is young kids can live in apartments and that’s fine, but then we don’t want kids sitting in a high-rise school all day as well. Kids need space to run, from both a learning perspective and health perspective,” Ms Walters said.

She also explained that the lead up to the state election was the best time to be involved with a group like Two Schools Now.

“It’s such a crucial time, with the election coming up. This is the time to get involved and get this issue into the public domain,” she said.

Mr Lawrence agreed: “We need to ensure that whoever wins the election and is returned to Albert Park is held to what has already been promised and hopefully promises more. At the very least we need to make them aware of the issue,” he said.

Southbank Local News met the pair at the proposed primary school on Ferrars St in Southbank and Mr Lawrence said it was a shame the timing hadn’t worked out for young Luke.

“Our son would be a perfect candidate for this school, but unfortunately he’ll be in secondary school, or close to it, by the time it opens,” Mr Lawrence said.

Both were introduced to Two Schools Now by outgoing president Alanna Vaz and said the previous committee had done a fantastic job raising the profile of the issue.

“Alanna and the team have done a great job in creating the Two Schools Now brand. It’s out there now and we want to build on that momentum,” Ms Walters said.

“We’ll keep pushing the issue until no-one has the struggle of having to move just to be able to get into a public school.

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