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Early child service is 'leading the way'

Thursday, 18th March, 2010

* NSW Governor Marie Bashir and Silverlea Early Childhood Services Anna Kanillas talk with some students. * NSW Governor Marie Bashir and Silverlea Early Childhood Services Anna Kanillas talk with some students.

Australia was lucky to have places like Silverlea Early Childhood Services to secure the next generation's future, according to NSW Governor Marie Bashir.

Professor Bashir paid a visit to Silverlea yesterday, as well as to the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the University Department of Rural Health. She swung by the city after spending the night in Menindee, where she opened the Menindee Central School Enterprise Park.

Local MP John Williams said it was a great pleasure to have the governor in the city. "This clearly demonstrates the Governor is an excellent lady. She is willing to go anywhere and has visited some very remote areas. She is willing to visit everyone in the region," he said. Prof Bashir visited both Silverlea's Early Childhood Services and Employment Services for the organisation's 50th anniversary.

Before she was Governor, Prof Bashir worked as a child mental health development specialist, and said she was very happy to see the work being done at Early Childhood Services which caters for disabled children. "From what I have seen so far this place is exemplary. We're so lucky to have this," she said.

"People think our biggest problem is water, but Australia's biggest challenge is to make sure every one of our children has the best possible chance for the future. "This country is poised to do so much more, and places like this will lead the way.

"Broken Hill has led the way in so many respects. I have such respect for the city, it hasn't been vandalised by new buildings. It's not the first time I've been here, but every time I visit I feel inspired by the people."

Prof Bashir said the children she had met at Menindee Central School had been equally inspiring. "Eighty-five per cent of the students there are indigenous, and all of them have been imbued with a sense they can achieve anything, and they're a part of a real school community," said Prof Bashir.

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