Maralyn Parker

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Public Education Day 2020

The professionalism, resilience and creativity of our public school teachers have never been more obvious to us, the majority of Australian families who send our children to public schools. You lift us up as a nation. You make us proud of who we are and what we can become. It is wonderful to get this opportunity to tell you how much we value your high expectations and your unstinting, often unacknowledged, and seemingly inexhaustible, labour. We thrive because of you.

I want to say thank you. Thank you for it all. Thank you for all of those late working nights, the constant worry about how to deliver in such fraught times and that endless striving to do better.

I hope you hear all the voices on this day thanking you because they are just a small part of those who want to let you know how much you and your work are appreciated. We are deeply grateful. We want you to hear all of this praise. You deserved it all and more. We say loudly and proudly that we honour and respect you for who you are, our public school teachers.

And lastly (because I can’t resist this chance to stir the pot) please be political.Everything you do from what you teach to where and how you teach, has been politicised. So be political. Go to meetings, join your professional organisations, join your union. Be part of the political discussion not just the fodder. For all that you are, and all that you do, your voices so very much deserve to be heard, now more than ever. Shout and don’t stop. We are with you.

Maralyn Parker