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St Joseph’s Primary students excel in national rail safety comp

Three students, Mia Kenningale, Joel Mahy and Taye Cashmere, from year two St Joseph’s Primary School in Hillston have won first place in a national primary schools competition for the book they authored and illustrated about rail safety titled Tommy Turtle’s Train Troubles. Three other year two students, Alyssa Peters, Sophie Laird and Grace Ellis were runners up with their book, Ella’s Journey.  

The students will receive a special visit from the Minister for Education, Adrian Piccoli MP, on Monday 31 October at 10.30am, who will attend their school to personally congratulate them on their achievements.

“TrackSAFE Education ran a national primary schools competition which challenged Australian students to write and illustrate a picture book about a safe rail journey. The competition was a creative way for students to bring the important message of rail safety onto their radar and into the classroom,” said Bob Herbert, Chairman of the TrackSAFE Foundation.    

“We were delighted that not only the winners of the ‘foundation to year two’ category came from St Joseph’s Primary School but also the runners up. The students involved have identified safe and mature behaviours around trains, tracks and level crossings. It’s thrilling for us to see the students take key messages about rail safety and thread them into a narrative. This demonstrates a deep understanding of safe rail practices.

Tommy Turtle’s Train Troubles has been lodged with the Australian National Library along with the Hillston Library and also been made into an eBook, available for download from the TrackSAFE Education website. The runners up book, Ella’s Journey, has been made into an eBook and is also available for download off the TrackSAFE Education website.

“On behalf of TrackSAFE Education I would like to congratulate the students for this enormous achievement and for being among Australia’s youngest published authors,” said Mr Herbert.  

About TrackSAFE Education

TrackSAFE Education is an initiative of the TrackSAFE Foundation, the program provides teachers with free learning resources to conduct engaging student-centred lessons within various Australian Curriculum learning areas with a train and track safety theme. It provides consistency in rail safety education throughout Australia. More info on TrackSAFE Education: