Cate Hall spent four years leading High School for Coburg’s campaign for an all-access secondary school for Coburg. Last week the state government announced Coburg Senior High would welcome junior students in 2015.
IT started with a push to reopen the Coburg pool. When I moved into the area five years ago, some local mothers and I got together to lobby Moreland City Council to reopen the pool. We were successful, and during that campaign I realised there was something else clearly missing in the community – a secondary school.
There was a girls’ school in Preston and a senior secondary school in Coburg but no all-access high school in Coburg.
Many local primary schools are bursting and many high schools are under enrolment pressure. Anecdotally, families are not only moving out but choosing to not move in.
The advice to the state government was that Fishermans Bend, with a population of 50,000, would require two high schools. Well, our education black hole – Coburg, Pascoe Vale, Preston – has nearly 92,000 people.
Now that I know it is going to happen it is just an amazing feeling. It’s a testament to people power – we’ve been supported by the community throughout.
The community response has been overwhelming. They are relieved there is somewhere local for their child to go to high school. It feels like the community is now complete, like Coburg is now a place you can stay.
Now that the campaign is over, I will divert my attention to looking for work. I was a chef for decades but I’ve just become passionate about community-building.