EVER ONWARD: (from back, left) Dalby State School leaders Hayden Taylor, Chlor Bound, Matilda Salter, Carl Dela Cruz, Mitchell Sternes and Abbey Burton, and (front) QFES Area Commander for Dalby Warren Buckley, principal Mona Anau, and QFES Chaplain Joel Pukallus at school on Thursday.
EVER ONWARD: (from back, left) Dalby State School leaders Hayden Taylor, Chlor Bound, Matilda Salter, Carl Dela Cruz, Mitchell Sternes and Abbey Burton, and (front) QFES Area Commander for Dalby Warren Buckley, principal Mona Anau, and QFES Chaplain Joel Pukallus at school on Thursday. Sophie Volker

DSS back to business

FOR THE first time since a devastating fire ripped through Dalby State School on Anzac Day, the school opened its doors to a crowd of eager parents and students this morning.

The day began with a whole-school parade, which gave staff members the opportunity to thank the community for their support and reassure the students.

DSS Music teacher, Ben McPherson, spoke about the loss to the school's music excellence program since the fire ripped through their music classroom.

"I received a phone call at about 1am on Tuesday morning, and at first I was a bit grumpy about being woken up so early,” Mr McPherson said.

"But then it hit me that our music room was gone, and I was really upset.”

The school's music room, which had only been renovated last year, was home to many of the students' musical instruments, music stands, and sheet music - all of which are now destroyed.

"I was thinking about all our instruments that we lost, and that brand new classroom that we were all so excited about, and I was very sad,” Mr McPherson said.

"But then I started to think - that's not what really matters, our school is so much more than that.

"What makes our music program so great, more than anything else, is you guys - the students - who make us excellent,” he said.

Principal Mona Anau was positive about moving forward, prioritising the students' learning and safety above all else.

"I am part of your family and you are part of mine, too,” Ms Anau said to the students.

"Ever onwards, we're going to be proud, strong, and resilient together.

"We're about coming to school, going to our classrooms, and learning - and that is exactly what we're doing today,” she said.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) volunteer chaplain, Pastor Joel Pukallus, and QFES Area Commander for Dalby, Warren Buckley, attended the parade to offer their words of support.

"The most important thing is that nobody got hurt,” Pastor Pukallus said.

"The fire was very sad, but that's not going to be the end of Dalby State School,” he said.

The school's Senior Guidance Officer, Ms Gail Butters, as well as three other guidance officers from surrounding schools, are available to students at the school for emotional support.


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