18 September 2015

Speech to the Legislative Assembly, 17 September 2015

It was magic in Morayfield this year when the inaugural Morayfield Magic event was held at Morayfield State School. Morayfield Magic is an initiative that I have introduced to help create excitement for reading and a love of books for local kids. I have done this because we know that by creating excitement for reading and a love of books we can improve literacy levels and academic levels for the young people of our community.

This initiative involves an interschool literacy orienteering challenge and family fun day. The entire event is free and this year’s Morayfield Magic had popcorn, fairy floss, a sausage sizzle, a jumping castle, little squirt fire truck ride, information stalls and the interschool challenge. With over 1,000 people attending this year’s inaugural event, I am pleased to say that Morayfield Magic 2015 was a great success.

The inspiration for Morayfield Magic is found in the literary works of Australia’s most celebrated children’s book author Mem Fox. Madam Deputy Speaker Farmer, I know that you have a particular interest in Mem Fox’s work because I recall that she attended a school with you quite a few years ago and read to young school students. Many members of this House will know of Mem’s most famous book, Possum Magic. A story of two possums, Grandma Poss and Hush, her invisible granddaughter, and their life in the Australian bush. Mem is the author of more than 40 literary works and is a positive influence upon millions of young children, parents and educators worldwide.

I am sure all members of the House will be very excited to hear that Mem Fox was very enthusiastic when I asked her to partner with me to develop Morayfield Magic. In particular, I am extremely grateful that Mem was able to join with me and Education Minister Kate Jones to officially launch Morayfield Magic in June this year at Morayfield State School.

Witnessing Mem’s magic as she shared her love of books and reading with hundreds of students will be a memory that I will hold dear for many years. Mem mesmerised these students with the most brilliant readings of some of her most popular books – Tough Boris, The Magic Hat and Possum Magic. I will never forget the excitement in the students’ eyes as they experienced Mem’s magic. As proof that the kids really did enjoy Mem’s visit, I still have prep and year 1 students from Morayfield State School coming up to me and asking whether I am Mem Fox’s friend.

I use this opportunity to publicly thank Mem for her contribution to making Morayfield Magic a reality and all those community groups and members of the public who helped make the inaugural Morayfield Magic a great success.

You can view this speech here.