Students pay tribute to local humanitarian

YEAR five and six students at Goulburn Primary School have made a special contribution to the West Hobart community.

After months of brainstorming and planning, the students have installed a seat in the West Hobart Peace Park in tribute to community member Joan Fitz-Nead AM.

Principal Gay Cumming said the school was very proud of the students for organising the initiative and its official launch, which saw a wonderful turn out from a number of invited guests and community members, including Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings.

“Joan Fitz-Nead visited the year 5/6 classroom [during Harmony Day activities] and spoke to the students about her role in the foundation of the Peace Park,” she said.

“The students were so impressed with Joan’s energy and support for others that they believed a seat and plaque should be installed in the Peace Park in honour of her contribution to the local community.”

Teacher Peter Harrison said the students wrote letters to the Hobart City Council with their ideas of installing more seating in the park.

Mr Harrison said Hobart Alderman Jeff Briscoe was very supportive of the students’ requests and agreed that if the council paid for the seat, the school would pay for the plaque.

“This prompted the students to then undertake a fundraising event for the plaque amongst the school community,” he said.

“The students also collaborated on the wording for the plaque and consulted with Joan with regard to positioning of the seat.”

The official unveiling of the new seat and plaque was followed by a morning tea arranged by the students.

“I am very proud of our students’ work to organise and raise the funds to recognise such a committed member,” Mr Harrison said.

Tasmanian Senator Carol Brown, who attended the unveiling, praised Ms Fitz-Nead for her tireless work in the community.

“She is a truly inspirational woman who has had a huge impact on young people and her community. This recognition is thoroughly deserved.”

In 1995, Ms Fitz-Nead received a Tasmania Day Medal for Community Service and in the 2003 Australia Day Awards she received the Australia Day Medal for her contribution to a number of health, social welfare and education services.

Today, she is listed on the Tasmanian Honour Roll of Women.

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