I pay tribute to the fabulous Maitland music teacher Helen Tuyl, and congratulate her on receiving the TMB Teacher Recognition Award at Sydney's Festival of Instrumental Music.

The festival, which was held at the Sydney Opera House, involved around 4,500 public school students from around New South Wales.

Among them were children from Millers Forest and Gillieston public schools performing three songs on their recorders, which they had spent six months learning with their dear Ms Tuyl.

During her 40-year career Helen has ignited a passion for music in thousands of Maitland children, including her own three lovely daughters Steph, Lara and Annie, who have entertained so many people over the years as part of their ensemble group, Dolce.

There is no doubt that Helen's strong passion has led to such great outcomes for her students.

I congratulate her on the receipt of the award and thank her for all the hours of enjoyment she has given to the children of Maitland, their parents, grandparents, aunties, uncles and me.

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