"Good afternoon!" cried Federal Education Minister Bill Shorten as if he were a Year 4 student, and "good afternoon" chorused the hundreds of teachers packed in to hear him speak at an education rally to protest against public school cuts.
Angry teachers, principals, support staff and parents cheered and booed the parade of speakers.
Undeterred by frequent rain, education assistants wore orange ponchos and teachers, principals and parents wielded a sea of umbrellas.
People in the crowd chanted "no cuts" and carried placards bearing pictures of Education Minister Peter Collier with a long nose and the words "Col-LIAR".
Mr Shorten congratulated impassioned teachers packed into the Parliament House carpark on fighting for their students to get the best start in life.
"I do not understand why the Barnett Government, in a resource-rich State, fails to understand that the most precious resources are not below the ground, it is in the minds and abilities of our kids," he said.
WA Council of State School Organisations vice-president Janet Pettigrew queried how cost-cutting could lead to improvements in education.
David Lee, from the WA Primary Principals Association, said principals wanted the Government to implement the schools funding review by Melbourne academic Richard Teese in full - "not some bastardised version".
State School Teachers Union president Anne Gisborne said schools were shocked to learn last week they were expected to dip into money saved in school bank accounts.
CPSU secretary Rikki Hendon said teachers would suffer without the support provided by 146 staff sacked from central and regional offices.
Australian Education Union president Angelo Gavrielatos said children were paying for the Barnett Government's mismanagement of the Budget.
Earlier in the day, hundreds of education assistants cried "shame, shame" when told 350 assistants could lose their jobs.
United Voice union secretary Carolyn Smith told education assistants that it was just the beginning of a long campaign that would go "for as long as it takes".
She said members would continue to get their message out at the front gate of every school and at every school fete.
Opposition Leader Mark McGowan told the crowd the Barnett Government was cutting much-needed support for schools. "This is not a reform," he said. "It's a cut."
Mr Collier, who could barely make himself heard over booing and cries of "liar", said he valued the role education assistants played in classrooms but the Government would not change its position.
Education assistant Sandy McCann, who attended the rally with colleagues from Balga Primary School, said she was impressed that so many people turned out in such wet conditions.
"But it was too important a cause not to," she said.
This is not a reform.It's a cut." Opposition Leader Mark McGowan