I rise today to congratulate the Maraylya Public School on its 150th birthday. I had the privilege of attending the sesquicentenary celebrations, which included dance performances and presentations on the history of the school from past and present students, on Friday, 2 November. Maraylya’s youngest student, Sienna Kassis, cut the cake with the oldest living alumnus, Audrey Jorgensen. It was a lovely tribute to the school’s long history of educating Maraylya residents over the past 150 years.
The school is located on the border of my electorate in the rural area which was once known for mushroom farms. Maraylya Public School had humble beginnings. On 27 July 1868, nine residents signed an application guaranteeing their 26 children would attend the new school. On 2 November that year, North Rocks Provisional School, as it was first known, opened with 12 students in attendance. In those days, before the Public Education Act, many New South Wales schools were organised by the church. It became a public school in 1880. Over the next 150 years, the school would change its name twice, becoming Maraylya in 1920.
It became much more multicultural in the 1970s, with Italian, Irish, German, Polish and Dutch families. I would like to acknowledge Gary and Jakalyn Holloway for documenting Maraylya’s history. Today, Maraylya has over 110 students. It has enthusiastic and committed staff under the leadership of Stewart Gaffey, their principal. I want to acknowledge the great work of their P&C president, Angela Latter, and all the members of the association, who make a valuable contribution. Happy 150th birthday, Maraylya Public School.