Annie Butler

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Public Education Day 2020

I’m so pleased to be celebrating public education day and everything that public education means for Australia. I didn’t go to a public school myself – but that wasn’t my choice, it was my parents’ choice. When it was my choice – for my children – I chose the public school system, both because of their father’s (a product of the public system) and my commitment to public education and our belief in its contribution to building a better society.

My daughter and son went to local, but not the same, public schools where we found cultures supporting diversity, understanding and acceptance were fostered.

When my son was about 12, I took him and some of his friends to an archery session for his birthday (his choice…all that Lord of the Rings immersion, I think). The instructor asked me if my son went to a public school, I said yes and asked how did he know?

He answered that he could always tell - my son wasn’t entitled, but was polite, interested, engaged and able to share and be part of the group. The instructor said he always knew when kids came from a public school.

For me, that’s it in a nutshell – public schools don’t just provide a sound academic education for our kids, they help develop good citizens to make our world a better place.

Annie Butler, Federal Secretary, ANMF