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Protestors fight to keep Colmont School open

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By Colin MacGillivray

Colmont School students and families gathered in front of the school yesterday morning to protest its closure and call for administrators to accept bids to save it.

Colmont students were at the forefront of the protest, with grade six student Regina saying the school meant ‘everything to us’.

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“I hope people recognise that our school is worth saving. Our education means a lot to us, and the school is very important to the whole community,” she said.

“If you can do something, anything, please help to save this school.”

Parent Eugene Koh expressed disbelief at the school’s sudden closure and said it would have knock-on effects for all of Kilmore.

“It’s not just the school, it’s the community and the people who have moved here for the school. It’s the businesses who depend on the school,” he said.

“There is no good substitute for [The Kilmore International School]. This is a school with a longstanding history and a track record of excellence.

“Excellence is not something that develops overnight. We are not going to have a replacement in 10 years, and perhaps not even in 20.”

Protest organiser Armit Verma said a group of parents intent of keeping the school running were exploring legal avenues to doing so.

“We are looking at all the options available to us, and a class action will be one of those options,” he said.

“There are a lot of other people who have interest in this school and want it running, including the landlord who owns the property. My understanding is that they are in talks with legal teams to see how we can get administrators to accept offers so the school can keep running.

“My understanding is that as of now the administrators intend to liquidate the school and wrap up everything. There have been offers made to the liquidators and all those offers have been rejected. We don’t know why.”

Protestor Keon Chong said parents simply wanted answers.

“[We were] given such short notice with no care for what’s going to happen to the kids in the following weeks. That’s why they need to be here [protesting],” he said.

“As parents we need to show them what to do when things like this happen to them.

“Any financial difficulties have signs. It doesn’t happen overnight. Who are the people who saw what was happening and let the whole thing slip until it was beyond manageable?”

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