Public Education Day, 23 May, is a time to recognise the central role that public schools, preschools and TAFEs play in strengthening the social, economic and cultural fabric of our society. Free, public and secular education is the key to a vibrant, socially cohesive, multicultural and democratic Australia.

Share why you are #ProudToBePublic

It’s Public Education Day on Thursday and we want to hear from you. Millions of Australians have attended public schools, and we know first-hand the positive impact that teachers and education support staff have had on our lives.

Australia’s public education system is globally unique, it provides students with hope, opportunity, and a sense of purpose. No matter where you come from or where you live, you’re entitled to a high-quality public education.

But right now, our world-class public system needs your support. Only 1.3 % of public schools are at the minimum funding benchmark agreed to by governments. In public schools across the nation, teachers and students are giving 100% every day but they need to be backed by governments with full funding.

The 23rd of May is Public Education Day and we want to celebrate Australia’s incredible public schools as we call on the Albanese Government to fully fund public education by delivering a minimum of with 100% of the Schooling Resource Standard (SRS).

So, dust off your old photo albums or scroll back through your social media Facebook photos and share your public school alumni pride. In doing so, you’ll be raising the public awareness of how fabulous our schools are as we continue the campaign for full funding. contributing to the call for fair and proper funding for all public schools.

Prominent Australians speak out for Public Education

Maralyn Parker


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.

Alan Reid


Public education has been central to the fight against Covid-19 in 2020. From the outset, and even as the health strategy changed as circumstances changed, public school educators acted in the same spirit in which public schools were established.

Jason Kimberley

We mainly work with public education teachers with a desire to partner to create engaging resources that enable the democratisation of high-quality education resources for all schools regardless of postcode.

Amanda Graham


In April/May of last year, when communities shut down because of COVID, public schools remained open. During this time, I chatted with a wonderful Year 1/2 teacher...

John Falzon


A well-funded, fully resourced public education system is the cornerstone of a strong democracy and a fair society.

Stephanie Gotlib


It is really important that we celebrate Public Education Day. This year with the outbreak of Covid-19, it has been a telling reminder of how important public education is.

Jay Weatherill

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Universal free public education is one of the great social democratic achievements of our nation.

Michael Kirby


Recent advent of COVID19 has imposed added pressures on public schools, their staff and students. However, the shining values of public education have continued and even strengthened.

Lesley Podesta

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Education is a human right, as well as a public good and a public responsibility. Without a properly funded and considered public education system, Australian society is at grave risk of endemic poverty, inequality, brutality and injustice.

Professor Larissa Behrendt

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Professor Larissa Behrendt, the first Aboriginal Harvard Law graduate, speaking about the importance of public education to her life.

Rosie Batty


Rosie Batty shares her thoughts on the importance of public education.

Pasi Sahlberg

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In my global education mission I’ve been often asked: What is the most important thing you learned in school? Much of what was taught to me I have forgotten but one lesson will stay with me.

Julia Gillard

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I first became a supporter of public education in 1967. That was the year when, as a terrified five-year old migrant girl with continuing traces of a Welsh accent, I started at Mitcham Infants School.

David Gonski

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Even though I was only seven when we emigrated to Australia, I still remember it. Times were tough for my parents who had four children under eight living in a very small rented flat. Within a week of arriving in Sydney I was sent to the local public school...

Jessica Tovey

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I strongly believe that every Australian child should receive an education that allows them to find what inspires them and nurtures their individual needs regardless of their background.

Sally McManus


Sally McManus, Secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, shares her thoughts about public education.

Dr John Davis

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To couch a deeper connection to the ideal of Public Education, I wanted to share a few points on the grand narratives of our nation, to which Public Education subscribes.

Kurt Fearnley

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Kurt Fearnley (three time Paralympic gold medalist and two time Commonwealth Games gold medallist), shares his thoughts on the importance of public education.

Fiona Press

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Fiona Press, an Australian actress whose career has spanned over 30 years, shares her thoughts on the importance of public education.

Michele O'Neil

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Michele O'Neil, President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, shares her thoughts about public education.

Dan Walton

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Dan Walton, National Secretary AWU, shares his thoughts on the importance of public education.

Jane Caro

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Jane Caro, author, columnist, broadcaster, documentary maker, and social commentator (and public education advocate!) shares her thoughts on public education.

David Hetherington

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David Hetherington, Executive Director of the Public Education Foundation shares his thanks.

Brad Chilcott

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Brad Chilcott, Executive Director, White Ribbon Australia, Founder, Welcoming Australia, shares his thoughts on the importance of public education.

Dr David Zyngier

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As the founder of the Public Education Network (PEN) I wish to acknowledge the positive contributions that public school teachers make to the lives of children and young people, their families and communities need to be widely recognised.

Annie Butler

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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.

Jo Schofield

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Public schools are at the heart of our community. They are places full of hope, of learning and – most importantly – of equity and inclusion.

Craig Reucassel

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Craig Reucassel talking about how his public school shaped his career and concept of social justice.

Professor Peter C Doherty


The best thing that could come out of COVID-19 is that we re-evaluate, then change many of the ways we are doing things. At the forefront of that is the need to fund the public education sector properly, from schools to TAFEs to universities.

David Bartlett

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I consider myself very fortunate. Not only did I get the opportunity to attend three great Tasmanian public schools – Mt Nelson Primary, Taroona High and Hobart College – but I also have the opportunity to send my own children to great Tasmanian public schools.

Lara Golding


Lara Golding, shares her thoughts on #PublicEducationDay

Prof. Rachel Wilson

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Public Education is the foundation for strong and flourishing democracies. It serves to provide opportunity for all, within a schooling system that promotes inclusion, diversity and shared experience.

Carmen Lawrence


This week is an opportunity to celebrate the strengths of our public schools and commend the many who make it possible – the teachers, support staff and administrators.

Mark Zirnsak


Free public education funded through a fair tax system is vital for a decent society. It is one of the key elements to putting a brake on the growing inequality in our community and across the globe.

Susan Hopgood

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In times of uncertainty and disruption, it is a good thing to remind ourselves of what matters. Public Education Day provides just such a reminder to me, both in a personal and professional sense.