A group of Chifley College Shalvey year nine students received the royal treatment last Tuesday (October 23).
Australia’s representative to the Queen, Governor General Quentin Bryce visited the school to find out how students have benefited from the school’s partnership with The Smith Family.
Twelve students ran a roundtable discussion with the Governor General about how The Smith Family’s Learning Life programs have helped them reach their potential by developing new skills and career pathways.
Students were honoured The Smith Family chose their school to bring its patron to.
‘‘It’s the closest we’ll get to meeting the Queen,’’ Maddison Collins said.
Kelvin Majano added:
‘‘It’s a privilege and something we’ll treasure forever and can tell our grandchildren.’’
The Smith Family chief executive Dr Lisa O’Brien said the dai would be a ‘‘once in a lifetime experience’ for students.
Melanie Muelhbacher coordinates The Smith Family’s Impact pilot program, which keeps students engaged in school through a weekly club, which runs activities.
She has worked with 20 year nine students at the school and another 20 at Chifley College Bidwill for 12 months and will maintain that relationship until the end of year 10.
Chifley College Shalvey principal Janet Harding told the Governor General of how the Impact program has improved students’ social and leadership skills
She said there was still a buzz around the school the following day.
‘‘The students are still bragging about it,’’ Mrs Harding told the Star.
‘‘It’s given them extra pride about themselves and the school. It instilled a sense of importance in themselves.The students were impressed with how warm and genuine the Governor General was.’’
She said the school’s partnership with The Smith Family was invaluable.
‘‘It gives kids opportunities they would otherwise get, such as wilderness camps and learning about etiquette,’’ Mrs Harding said.
Earlier, the Governor General visited the WASH House, where she toured the Mount Druitt facility and spoke to clients.