Jay Weatherill

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Public Education Day

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

It distinguishes us from other less equal societies where the quality of local schools depends on the resources of local communities.

The existence of a quality school in every community accessible by everyone is an accepted part of the Australian settlement.

We are rightly as concerned with the educational needs of children in remote aboriginal communities as we are of privileged children in our inner cities and we expect our public schools to educate our children in these very different settings to the highest standards.

Public schools have helped prepare many millions of Australians for their life journey.

Each of us can remember a teacher who inspired us encouraging us to be the very best we could be.

Each of us can remember the friendships we forged many which have endured through the years.

The local public school has also provided a gathering place for family and friends and a secure and ongoing presence in the life of our community.

Australian society is fairer more prosperous and more creative for the existence of our public schools.

Congratulations to all of those teachers who have found the key to unlock the potential of so many young people and who have shaped the Australia we know and love today.

Jay Weatherill

Former Premier SA