Cranleigh School Art Show

Speech in the ACT Legislative Assembly

28 October 2015

I rise today to again place on the record my congratulations to the staff, families, children and friends of the Cranleigh School. Cranleigh is a wonderful caring community located in Holt and serves all of north Canberra.

The school provides educational programs for children from three to l2 years with developmental delays, autism and moderate to severe intellectual or multiple disabilities. There are currently approximately 96 students enrolled at the school. The school has many specialised facilities for its students, including a hydrotherapy pool, a gymnasium, a multisensory room, a sensory garden and outdoor play areas. The school has a partnership with Therapy ACT and collaborates with therapists and parents to develop individual learning plans. The school’s motto is “achieving potential together” and the school values the contribution of parents and community members to the life of the school. The school community is enthusiastically led by the principal, Sue Roche, who has recently taken over the job in a permanent capacity.

A couple of weeks ago I was delighted to again attend Cranleigh’s annual art show. The art show is an opportunity to view and purchase some outstanding artwork from local artists. The three-day event is run by the school, in collaboration with the Capital Chemist group and the Artists Society of Canberra, and raises much-needed funds for the school. This year was the 10th art show, and the funds will be used to create a new outdoor learning space and sensory garden. I understand that over $30,000 was raised.

The art show was officially opened by Simon Elliott, assistant director at the National Gallery of Australia. Musical entertainment was provided by the Radford College jazz band, and hospitality students from the Woden School again did a wonderful job with the catering. I would also like to acknowledge the contribution of many other people to the success of the event, including Kathleen Bowen, Carole Osmotherly, Anne Maree Vogt, Greg Sydney-Smith, Kimberly Ingram, Tammy Isbister, Ayesha Inoon, Laurie Fiddian, Sam Dahms, Robyn Fisher, Christina Dunne, Akka Ballenger Constantin, and Chris Holly. The art show committee this year was coordinated by Anne Dunstan and also included Sue Roche, Kimberly Ingram, Tammy Isbister, Jenn Dowdy-Pitt, Laurie Fiddian, Isla Patterson and Bev Gaykema.

I would particularly like to thank Anne Dunstan for her significant contribution to the Cranleigh community over many years. Anne has been a stalwart of the school, and her contribution to the school, through involvement in the art show and many other formal and informal positions, is inspiring. Anne and her family will be moving to Melbourne later in the year, and she will be greatly missed by the whole Cranleigh community.

The art show is just one of the many examples of the way the school is supported by businesses, community groups and others in our city. I would like to thank all the sponsors of the art show for their ongoing support for Cranleigh. The major sponsors were the Capital Chemist group, Aspen Medical, the Rotary Club of Hall, the Artists Society of Canberra, Kippax Fair, Paragon Printers and ArtSound FM 92.7. Other sponsors include Sheldon Boxall, Paul Parsons, the National Gallery of Australia, the National Portrait Gallery, Cricket ACT, Col Ellis, Akka Ballenger Constantin, Kathleen Bowen, Carole Osmotherly, Anne Maree Vogt, ActewAGL, Isla Patterson, the El Khoury family, Sue Allen, Judy Power Thomson, Costco, Pam House, Michael Pitt, Exquisite Jewellers and Personality Plus Photography.

The Cranleigh art show is a wonderful example of the way the whole school community, local businesses and other community organisations come together to support a great cause. I again congratulate all those who were involved in this year’s show, especially the students who exhibited their work. I encourage members to visit Cranleigh if they have an opportunity, to see the wonderful work they are doing. Finally, I want to extend sincere thanks to the staff at the school. They do an amazing job. They are all very special people and they do a great job serving our community. For more information about Cranleigh, I encourage members to visit their website at