Local MP Anoulack Chanthivong said today’s announcement of the ‘endorsement of the name’ Roy Watts High School – to replace Hurlstone Agricultural High School at Glenfield in 2023 – acknowledged a great Australian who made a significant and lifelong contribution to agriculture in NSW, both as a scientist and educator.
“Roy Watts AO made a tremendous contribution to agriculture and is held in high esteem for his dedication to research and his service to NSW. I acknowledge his immense contributions to agriculture in our State and his strong ties with Hurlstone at Glenfield,” Mr Chanthivong said.
“However, it is ironic that the Liberal Government has chosen to honour his name at the Glenfield school site when this Government is set to sell-off the Hurlstone Farm to developers and erase the school’s agricultural heritage forever.
“In celebrating Roy Watts AO’s name and legacy, we also celebrate other notable Australians that are products of the distinguished Hurlstone name and tradition at Glenfield, such as John Edmondson VC, Sir William Keyes and world-leading scientist, Professor Alan Trounson.
“It is the Hurlstone name and tradition at Glenfield that we value – that has provided opportunities for educational excellence for students from across south west Sydney and been an intrinsic part of our community’s heritage and identity for close to a century.
“My position is – and always has been – that Hurlstone Agricultural High School should remain at its rightful home in Glenfield. Its Farm should not be sold off to developers and local children should continue to have access to a school whose name is synonymous with excellence in education and agriculture. That name is Hurlstone. And the place is Glenfield.”
A distinguished old boy, Roy Watts AO, began his studies at Hurlstone Agricultural High School in 1929. By the late 1930s, he was an officer with the Department of Agriculture, and from 1966 to 1980 was NSW Director-General of Agriculture. One of Dr Watt’s great passions was the Royal Agricultural Society and he served as councillor to the society from 1968 until he passed away in 2001. As a mark of respect, the road running past the school in Glenfield was named after him.