Bega High students' colourful parting gift

A PRETTY new garden providing a concreted corner of Bega High School with a burst of colour and life was unveiled this week. 

The garden and its opening tea party were a special thank you from the students in BHS’s Special Education unit who graduated this year, Katie Harris and Colleen Barrett. 

The “Thank You” garden was designed and developed by Katie and Colleen with the help of classmates and SE classroom teacher Don Green. 

The ceramic work, painting, digging and planting were all done by SE students. 

“Well, as you know there are a few concreted areas at Bega High that are in need of improvement,” Mr Green said to chuckles from the teachers.

“This little garden holds special significance for us because it’s situated where the old demountable SE unit once was.

“Its significance is also in how it expresses thanks for the friendship and support Bega High has shown Katie and Colleen.

“It shows we are an inclusive school that welcomes all and excludes none, and it’s a unique parting gift that recognises that.”

Unfortunately the sun wouldn’t come to the tea party and the solar-powered water feature wasn’t able to turn on as Katie and Colleen cut the ribbon, waiting until the end of the celebration to make an appearance. 

“The garden is a lovely example of what the kids here are capable of,” Katie’s mother Tracey Harris said. 

“This has been a very inclusive environment and we felt welcome and happy from the first time we visited here.”

Colleen’s mother Janelle Barrett said it had been a very emotional year for the family, with fundraising efforts to buy her daughter a disability access vehicle coming to a successful conclusion recently (BDN, 8/11).

“Thank you so much, this is the end of seven years here for us and there’s been so much support,” she said. 

There were many tears as Ms Barrett and Ms Harris were hugged farewell by teachers and support staff that have known and loved their children throughout their BHS journey. 

Mr Green said he’s got his eye out for another space in need of rejuvenation for a garden next year. 

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