Students and staff at Mary MacKillop Memorial School in the electorate of Barker will have full use of a new covered outdoor learning area known as the Father Paul’s Shelter thanks to funding from the Turnbull Government.

Mr Tony Pasin MP officially opened the new facility in Penola today on behalf of the Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham.

“It was great to visit Mary MacKillop Memorial School and see the new facilities firsthand and the impact they will have on students’ learning potential,” Mr Pasin said.

The Turnbull Government provided $185,000 in funding from the Capital Grants Program, which provides funding for non-government schools to improve capital infrastructure where they otherwise may not have access to sufficient capital resources.

Mr Pasin said students and the whole school community would benefit from these new facilities.

“Sport is about teamwork, strategy and fun. The lessons learned on the football field, netball court, running track or swimming pool provide lessons for life.”

“As well as backing the construction of Father Paul’s Shelter, Mary MacKillop Memorial School will attract estimated additional recurrent funding of $2,285,800, or $4,590 extra per student, over the coming decade under the Turnbull Government’s new Gonski needs-based funding plan to the South Australian Catholic System.”

“We’re delivering the real Gonski needs-based funding that Labor distorted with 27 special arrangements with states and territories and sectors.”

The Turnbull Government’s schools reforms also include improved capital grants arrangements for non-government schools, with an additional $300 million over the next 10 years for the Capital Grants Program. From 2018, funding will also take account of enrolment growth, which is consistent with arrangements for government schools.

Minister Birmingham said the Government’s recurrent funding growth will be tied to a range of evidence-based initiatives to support students by focussing on outcomes in literacy, numeracy and STEM subjects, helping lift teacher quality and better preparing our children for life after school.

“While buildings alone do not make a great school, I hope students and staff will enjoy learning and be inspired by these new facilities,” Minister Birmingham said.

“The Australian Government is committed to improving the quality of our schools and equipping students with the skills they need to succeed in an increasingly competitive world.”

For more information on the Quality Schools reform package visit:



Contact: Charlotte Edmunds 8531 2466