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Byron Shire
August 14, 2022

Main Arm Upper school are excited to be going ‘back to school’

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Ballina MP Tamara Smith with year six students from Main Arm Public School. Photo Aslan Shand

It has been hard for many young people as they have managed the impacts of COVID over the last few years but for students at Main Arm Upper Public School they have had the added impact of being out of their school for almost half a year. 

The February 28 floods devastated the school who had to move out and relocated to Durrumbul Primary School. When they meet their local state member Tamara Smith (Greens) the year six students told her that they had been unable to raise funds for their year six camp, normally a trip to the snow. 

‘I asked them how much they normally raise and they said “$3,000” so I said “how about I give you $5,000”.’

As a former school teacher herself, Ms Smith understands how impactful being forced out of their school has been. 

‘They are due to go back to their own school on the first day of term three,’ she told The Echo

‘We just need to make sure that they have everything they need. They have been out of their school for almost half a year.’

Smaya Askill, from the Main Arm P&C, said that students, parents and teachers were all looking forward to getting back into their own school. 

‘It’s been a really challenging time for the children,’ she told The Echo.

‘Many of the children lost their homes and were displaced by the floods and then they were displaced from their school. Main Arm School really holds a special place in our community. It is a real priority to have our children back on site and the school fully restored.

‘We really hope that the teachers will have adequate resources available for the children as their education has been fractured by both COVID and then the floods. They need to be able to catch up, especially the year six students, before they head off to high school.

‘We appreciate what the department of education has had to deal with on the North Coast and we really appreciate that Tamara Smith has advocated for us and supported our school.’

The students are hoping that their year six trip will now be able to go ahead and are thinking that they may take the opportunity to go to Sydney where they have been invited to visit parliament by Ms Smith. 


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