Effingham students grill top Australian politician

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Senator James McGrath, who represents Queensland in the Federal Australian Parliament, fielding questions from children at St Lawrence Primary School with head Vanessa Wallden

By Dorking Advertiser  |  Posted: May 07, 2015

  • G’DAY MATE: James McGrath with Vanessa Wallden

PUPILS at St Lawrence Primary School in Effingham grilled an Australian politician when he visited last week.

Senator James McGrath, who represents Queensland in the Federal Australian Parliament, took questions from children on his country, its political system and native animals.

The children also discussed British values that had transferred with settlers to Australia, and how they impacted on the political system of the country.

Senator McGrath brought with him some small gifts from Australia and committed to sending across an Australian flag to help them celebrate Australia Day in January.

Senator McGrath said: “I was hugely impressed by the pupils and staff at St Lawrence Primary School. It’s a lovely school and the children are bright and inquisitive, asking some tough questions about the Australian political system.

“What struck me most was the knowledge they had of their own political system – they knew the names of all the party leaders in the General Election, including those of the minor parties. Thank you to all the children for making me so welcome. I look forward to visiting again in the future.”

The school’s head teacher, Vanessa Wallden, added: “We believe that children learn best through direct experiences that feed curiosity and inspire learning. It was fantastic to provide all our pupils with an opportunity to ask questions of a leading politician from Australia, particularly at a point in our own election cycle when they are more aware of how issues effect them.

“I know it inspired them, and that teachers have faced a host of far-reaching questions on politics and Australia since his visit. We are very grateful to Senator McGrath for taking the time to visit and doing a stellar job in fielding a wide range of questions from the children.”

Senator McGrath is a Liberal National Senator for Queensland. He was elected as a Senator for Queensland in 2013, taking his seat in the Upper House in 2014.