Brad Chilcott

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Public Education Day 2021

Everyone in Australia is born into a different circumstance and family – the households we grow up in have diverse levels of wealth, health, job security and education. We’re spread across cities, towns and remote communities. There’s myriad other differences that either enhance or diminish our opportunity to thrive and contribute in Australian society, to reach our unique potential and to chase our unique aspirations.

Public education is the most readily available mechanism for reducing the opportunity disparity in Australian society. A well-funded public education system – one that makes sure no one is left behind and no one is held back through lack of resources, one that ensures that your postcard, your visa status or your parent’s bank balance doesn’t determine the quality of your education – is the way we build a future in which everyone can flourish and fairly share in our prosperity.

Unfortunately, this is not the way our public education system is currently funded. And yet – week in and week out – teachers, tutors, lecturers and support staff give their all, using whatever resources they have available, to do the very best for every students they have, knowing that the better educated our population is the better our collective future will be. They serve our children, and our adult students – but they also serve us all. If public schools were funded properly and fairly it would honour their efforts and bring the vision of every child having equal opportunity to thrive much closer to becoming a reality.

On Public Education Day, I recognise and thank every public educator – and I call on Governments to recognise that our tomorrows will be determined by your investment today.

Brad Chilcott, Executive Director, White Ribbon Australia. Founder, Welcoming Australia.