As in previous years, the Parents and Citizens' Association this year has continued to play a very active and essential part in providing those benefits to the school which normally cannot be supplied by the Department. This has only been made possible by the keen interest and support shown by the parents, particularly in the well attended monthly meetings of the Association. When it is realised that so many of the pupils live in the surrounding towns and the Regions, the average attendance of 55 parents at meetings is very ecouraging ad augurs well for the future of the Association. I would particularly like to thank our Berridale members who have braved the elements each month to give us their support and who, earlier in the year, ran such a successful "Amateur Hour" at Berridale in aid of the Association.
Although one of the Association's main functions is to assist financially in providing for the school those items which normally are not within the scope of the Department's responsibilities, we feel that the opportunity available at the meetings to meet and discuss with the Headmaster and the Staff the day to day problems of our children in the School, is one of which every parent should avail himself. This aspect of our activities this year has been supplemented by a series of guest speakers drawn from the senior members of the school staff who have given up their time to give us an understanding of the problem and methods of teaching their subjects in the High School of to-day. These informal talks have been most enlightening and appreciated by all who attended the meetings.
Last year the School was fortunate in obtaining six acres of ground behind the school for the much needed additional area for playing fields. This has been recently supplemented by the purchase from the Snowy Mountains Authority of an adjoining area of 2 1/2 acres, the whole forming one consolidated block and a suitable area for the development of sporting facilities which previously had been lacking in the School. construction of an oval large enough to accommodate a football and hockey field side by side, four basketball and five tennis courts and one full size and two half concrete cricket pitches. The construction is now well under way and it is hoped that by early 1961, apart from the tennis courts which will be the Association's main project for next year, the area will he ready for use.
All expenses associated with this work must necessarily be met from the Association's funds, although it is intended to seek Departmental assistance. We hope by the end of this year to have approximately £1,500 available which will go a long way to meeting the cost of this work, but as it is only by the continued support in your Association's activities that this project, so vital in the development of our children, can reach the successful completion we all so desire.
The continued growth of the School both in numbers of pupils and school buildings is encouraging to all and the fine academic and sporting achievements as well as the demeanour out of school of the boys and girls is something which Cooma and the Monaro District can justly be proud. I am sure all parents will join with me in congratulating and thanking Mr. Laughlin and his staff, who by their untiring efforts, have built Monaro High School into what we consider to be one of the leading country schools of the State.