Caring Communities - OpEd, The Chronicle

One School’s Desire to Do Better

The Chronicle, 3 October 2017

Ainslie School celebrated its 90th birthday last month, proud of its past and looking towards the future. Opened by Prime Minister Stanley Bruce in 1927, the school is distinguished by its Art Deco architecture and its honour boards. There’s an old-fashioned phone in the foyer, and some say that the library is haunted by a friendly ghost called Mary.

Yet with a pride in history comes a desire to do better. The school’s motto - Altiora Conde Templa - translates literally to 'create higher temples'. In practice, it means living the values of respect, excellence and community. Anti-bullying benches provide a safe space for vulnerable students. Chickens and a community garden help children learn about farming. An Ainslie School cookbook has been selling like hot cakes (and has a yummy recipe for them on page 37).

Rooted in history, modest about past achievements, striving to improve. It’s not just a great approach for running a school - it’s also a way of living a good life.

Andrew Leigh is the Federal Member for Fenner, and his website is

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Cnr Gungahlin Pl and Efkarpidis Street, Gungahlin ACT 2912 | 02 6247 4396 | [email protected] | Authorised by A. Leigh MP, Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch), Canberra.