It’s the last call a local MP wants to get these days – I look at my phone and the Health Minister’s office is ringing. They tell me that a cleaner at Parklands Christian College has been working there while infected with Covid-19. Looking at outbreaks in Victoria, it fills me with dread. I ring Principal Cully and he had just received the call that no Principal ever wants some time before me. He is preparing to email staff and students to tell them about the Covid-19 case, and the school was closed for deep cleaning.
From that first moment of shock, the Parklands Christian College community and especially Principal Cully were simply fantastic. Early that morning, Principal Cully gave a media briefing akin to the daily briefings from the Premier. He was calm and reassuring at a frightening time for the community. By the time he was finished, the Baskerville Sports Centre was almost finished being prepared as a pop-up testing clinic.
As Principal Cully had to go into quarantine himself, he then ran things calmly over the phone and email. Pastor Mike stepped in to be the face of the College. We often talk of the pastoral duties of religious leaders, and Pastor Mike was there every day – a calming comforting presence for all that came through.
The whole Parklands community came forward to get tested and then stayed home to ensure there wasn’t any spread. The waiting time for testing, because of the lines, was long. Even though people were anxious, they persevered to get their tests to help others. It is a tribute to the school community how they followed the information to keep each other safe and when faced with the possibility that they could spread Covid-19, they put others first.
Each year the college gives out a prize for Christlikeness. It is a prize for a student that learns from the lessons of Christ to do something extra throughout the year to help others in the school or local community. They are always inspiring young people. This year I think Queenslanders should give the whole Parklands Christian College Community the Christlikeness award. They did everything they could to keep others safe.
Thousands of other southside and Logan residents followed their lead, patiently waiting to be tested and staying home to protect others. I could not be prouder of Parklands and Logan. I never want to get that call again from the Health Minister’s office, but if I do, I would be confident that the Logan community are ready to do that extra bit in order to keep their neighbours safe.