• Annemarie Taylor

Macdonald, Bilpin, Colo Heights schools each receive $1000 Christmas gift from Norwegian seafarers

It was a true hands across the water moment for Macdonald, Bilpin and Colo Heights public schools this week when each received a $1000 Christmas present from Norwegian seafarers.

Macquarie MP Susan Templeman with Mich-Elle Myers of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) and student leaders at Colo Heights Public School

Norwegian wharfies generously donated thousands of dollars to three Hawkesbury schools in bushfire-affected areas after members of the Norwegian Seafarers Union saw the coverage of last summer’s devastating bushfires and put their hands in their pockets to help out, asking the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) to identify needy schools.

It was a long way from a Scandinavian winter, but the Norwegian Seafarers Union donated tens of thousands of dollars after seeing the devastation of the bushfires over the other side of the world, and their first thought was to help affected children or schools,” said Macquarie MP Susan Templeman who announced the goods news this morning.

Much of the funding, understandably, went to the north and south coast regions where so many homes and schools were burnt,” Ms Templeman said.

“But as the federal representative of a bushfire-affected electorate, I was contacted by the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) to help distribute a small part of the funds here, and I put forward three small Hawkesbury schools whose communities had been affected by the fires.

“As a result, Macdonald Valley Public School, Bilpin Public School and Colo Heights Public School each received a $1000 Christmas present.

“MUA National Officer Mich-Elle Myers and I visited Colo Heights Public School earlier this month to present a cheque to Principal Glenn Ellis and the school community.

“It was a wonderful gesture from people on the other side of the world.”

Ms Myers said each of the three schools also received a book in addition to the funds - Finding Our Heart - by Thomas Mayor, which explains the Uluru Statement to children.

“The power of global solidarity in the union movement is truly on display through this,” Ms Myers said.

Ms Templeman said every cent would assist the three small schools.

“I thank members of the Norwegian Seafarers Union for their generosity, and I know all three schools will be putting the funding to very good use for the students,” Ms Templeman said.

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