Lesley Podesta

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Public Education Day

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.

Critical and creative thinking is envisioned as a primary purpose of education, says the Australian Curriculum: to ‘challenge [students] to think logically, reason, be open-minded, seek alternatives, tolerate ambiguity, inquire into possibilities, be innovative risk-takers, and use their imagination.’

I am a product of a robust public education system and am grateful to my teachers and mentors along the way who encouraged me to learn, to explore, to think and to create.

National children’s charity, the Alannah & Madeline Foundation has worked in the public education space for more than a decade through its eSmart School programs which aligns with the Australian Curriculum to ensure our students learn how to be smart, safe and responsible online.

We know that children need knowledge to thrive in a globalised, interconnected world. This requires creativity, flexibility, problem solving skills, collaboration and ownership over students’ own learning.

To ensure all children and young people are given the opportunities to learn, we endorse a focus on what matters most and to those who need it most. We support efforts to increase and improve equality of access to high quality education throughout the schooling span for all learners, with an increased concentration on early years.

Ms Lesley Podesta

Former CEO, the Alannah & Madeline Foundation