Education Week 2017 Launch


Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. And welcome to a very special launch
of Education Week 2017. Today’s official celebration
will truly be reflective of the breadth of public education
in NSW as we come to you live,
from both Sydney and Tamworth. My name is Rory Geerin and I’m one of the school captains
of Glenmore Park High School. My name is Emilia Rance and I am also one of the captains
of Glenmore Park High School. We are delighted to be sharing
the role of comperes today with the representatives
from Tamworth High School. Thank you, Emilia. My name is Joshua McCulloch and I am a senior Year 11
Tamworth High School leader. And my name is Georgia Taggart and I am the captain
of Tamworth High School. The theme for the 2017 Education Week
is ‘I Learn, We Learn’. It is a celebration
of our public schools’ commitment to ensuring that every student,
every teacher, every leader, and every school
continues to improve every year. We see these improvements by our schools constantly striving
to set high expectations for all students and staff. By our teachers who teach to the
strengths and needs of each of us and by our schools creating
supportive and nurturing environments where we grow academically,
emotionally and creatively and by the strong ties that we have
with our local community. We would like to extend a very warm
welcome to many students, staff, community, family
and distinguished guests who have joined us here this morning,
both in Tamworth and Sydney, and, indeed, across the state
via our YouTube live streaming. Thanks, Georgia. We also have some very special guests
joining us today. And we’d like to ask you all
to stand, silently, as they enter the auditorium. In Sydney, we would like to welcome
The Honorable Rob Stokes MP, NSW Minister for Education. Mark Scott, Secretary,
NSW Department of Education and his Secretaries for a day. Murat Dizdar, Deputy Secretary,
NSW Department of Education and his Secretaries for a day. Christine Tasker, Macarthur Director
of Public Schools, NSW. Lisette Gorick, Principal
of Glenmore Park High School. In Tamworth, we would like
to welcome Mr Trevor Khan, member of NSW Legislative Council. Mr Frank Potter, Executive Director,
NSW Department of Education. Ruythe Dufty, Tamworth Director
of Public Schools NSW. Mark Young, Wollemi Director
of Public Schools NSW. And Mr Daniel Wilson,
Principal of Tamworth High School. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. Please remain standing for
the acknowledgement of country, delivered by Koorina Boney,
Faith Howarth, and Ben Kent to play the didgeridoo. (DIDGERIDOO) (SPEAKING IN INDIGENOUS LANGUAGE) Hello, welcome to all. Koorina, Ben and myself are proud
people from Tamworth High School. We would like to acknowledge
the Gamillaraay Elders, both past and the present, the traditional owners of the land
that we are on today. I would like to extend this
acknowledgement to the Darug people, the traditional owners of where
Glenmore Park High School is located. And finally,
Glenmore Park High School, Tamworth High School, guests,
and everyone joining us via YouTube. Happy Education Week. Thank you. Could you please remain standing
as we welcome Brendan Matthews, Year 7 student from Newtown
High School of the Performing Arts and Schools Spectacular
Featured Artist to the stage, to lead us in the national anthem. (MUSIC PLAYS) # Australians all let us rejoice,
for we are young and free # With golden soil and wealth
for toil, our home is girt by sea # Our land abounds in nature’s gifts
of beauty rich and rare # In history’s page,
let every stage # Advance Australia Fair # In joyful strains
then let us sing # Advance Australia Fair. # Please be seated. We are delighted that the premier of NSW has been
able to record a special message for us for Education Week. Good morning and welcome to
the launch of Education Week 2017, a time when our public schools
across the state and their local communities
come together to celebrate the achievement
of public education in NSW. And there is so much to celebrate. Our 202 public schools in NSW
make up the largest education system in the southern hemisphere. At the very heart of this system are the people we are celebrating
this week. The 86,000 staff educating and
nurturing almost 800,000 students to reach their personal best. The scale and significance
of this work cannot be overstated. That’s why it’s important
to take the opportunity to put the spotlight on
the dedication and quality teaching of our educators. On the individual and collective
successes of our students. And acknowledge their support crew,
the parents, and carers who are partners
in their children’s education. I’m proud to lead a government
that puts education front and centre of our priorities. We have just allocated a record
education spend in the state budget to go towards building
new and improved public schools, more teachers and counsellors
and more resources to prevent and call out
the scourge of bullying. As a product of the public education
system myself, I still feel so inspired by the teachers who made a difference
to my learning. And I want to make sure every person,
every child in NSW, has that same opportunity
to be their best, no matter where they live
in the state, no matter what their circumstances
or what their background. Public education allows our children
to dream big, to think big, and to feel
that the sky is the limit. I’m honoured to be part
of this launch today which is being televised
all across the state to make sure we send
such a positive message about the wonderful work
our public education system provides for all of NSW. What a great reminder of how learning
communities can overcome distance through use of technology. Please enjoy Education Week and may you all bask in the sunshine
of your success. You deserve it. This is time out to recognise
our hard-working teachers, and the students who they continue
to inspire for generations to come. Thank you, Premier. Your support acknowledges
the high standing in which public education is held
in this state and the fine work done by teachers
and other staff at more than 2,200 schools
across NSW. It gives me great pleasure to welcome
back to the stage, Rory Geerin, not as compere, but as a performer. In a fitting example of the quality
and diversity of education on offer in NSW public schools, Rory will now play a Spanish
guitar piece entitled ‘Hanuman’. He will be joined by year 9
Glenmore Park High School student, Mackenzie Bannister. Please make them feel welcome. (MUSIC PLAYS) (APPLAUSE) Thank you, Rory and Mackenzie.
That was wonderful. I feel extremely proud
to be a NSW public school student and delighted to be a part of this
inspirational celebration. I would now like to invite
Minister Stokes to the stage to deliver his address. (APPLAUSE) Ladies and gentlemen,
boys and girls, what a hard act to follow. The Secretary Mark Scott
just said to me, “Good luck,” in having to follow
Rory and Mackenzie after such an incredible performance and, indeed,
what wonderful ambassadors to the amazing talents that we have in the hundreds of thousands of
students currently being educated in public schools across NSW. Ladies and gentlemen,
this is an opportunity for us to recognise and celebrate
the incredible work, the incredible depth of talent
and experience, the incredible legacy and inheritance
we share of public education. And the strength and opportunity
it provides for communities right across NSW. In opening, I wanted to also
acknowledge that we are on the lands here in Glenmore Park of the Darug people and in Tamworth
of the Gamillaraay people, to acknowledge their ownership
of this land, to recognise Aboriginal elders,
both past and present, and to extend that acknowledgement
and those respects to Aboriginal people both
in this room here, in Glenmore Park and also in Tamworth as well. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls,
the theme of this week, of this Education Week, this 63rd annual Education Week
in NSW, is ‘I Learn, We Learn’. It points to three key themes
about public education that I just want to take a very few
minutes to discuss with you today. First, it recognises that education
is relational. It’s about people.
It’s about each of us. Second, that it is spatial. That places of learning,
sites of learning, are important in our community. And thirdly,
that education is lifelong. It’s not just a product that is delivered
at a certain point in our lives. Instead, it is a journey that we are
each one of us engaged in throughout our lifetime. So, first, education and learning
as a relational experience. I think this is something
that is really important. There was a philosopher called
Edmund Burke, about 250 years ago, pointed to the truth
of the relationship at the bedrock of our society when he said he likened society
to a contract. He said it’s a contract between
the living, the dead, and the as yet unborn. He spoke about it
being an inheritance between and across generations. Education is precisely the same. It’s a relationship. It’s a relationship between
student and teacher, between family, between community, and it’s the sum total of all
of those relationships interacting together
that provide the narrative, the bedrock, the cornerstone upon which we base
all of our learning journey. As I mentioned, education is not a
product that can be simply delivered. Instead, it’s about a forging
a relationship that may continue a lifetime
between teacher, between student, recognising it’s not just students
in the classroom who are learning, but our teachers as well
are engaged in constant reflection of how they can improve
their teaching practice. It’s recognising that schools are
a locus of education. Not just as lessons
that are imparted, but instead, a relationship that is shared. That’s why the NSW Government,
the last budget, announced funding for an additional thousand teachers
across our public schools because we recognise
that the fundamental role as a relationship leader
of the teacher, in leading the instruction
in schools, in recognising the importance
of that one on one relationship, that forms the bedrock of education and public education
in NSW. Secondly, education and the focus
of this year’s educational week in ‘I Learn, We Learn’, recognise that schools have
a special place in our community. There has been so much change across
our society over recent decades. But one of the constants,
one of the key institutions that embeds our society
and creates our society, are our NSW public schools. Wherever you are in NSW, in a rural
location, a regional location, a regional town, a suburb, a village, something that is consistent
for everyone is the location
of the local public school. The local NSW Government school that
imparts faithfully public education as in many cases they have been doing
for more than 100 years. We recognise that great teaching
can happen in spite of whatever infrastructures
constraints are faced at a school. But we recognise as well that if
we create great backdrops to quality education, we can improve those outcomes. That’s why we have been proud to
announce $4 billion over the next four years to improve the infrastructures
in our schools. Recognising that the sorts
of educational facilites we need for the next generation
and for coming generations are quite different to the schools
that we had in the past. Rather than being institutions
that have been separated from the rest of the community, we recognise that schools need to be
in the heart of our community, open to all, recognising
opportunities to share uses, both with school communities
and general communities and to undergird the importance
of NSW public schools as a centrepiece of education
in NSW. The final point I spoke about is that education is also something
that’s not just relational, it’s not just spatially located. But it’s also lifelong. As we prepare
a NSW education strategy, we are not just looking at the role
of learning within schools. Even though’s that the bedrock
and foundation of all learning that happens
right throughout our lifetimes. We recognise that to deal with the
challenges that are confronting us, we all, each and every one of us,
needs to be the lifelong learners. As part of recognising the role of
education in this – in our society,
repeating once again – it is not a product delivered
at one point in our lives. Instead, it’s a journey
that we are all part of. The moment, ladies and gentlemen,
that we stop learning, we stop growing, and the moment we stop growing,
we start to disappear. That’s why learning throughout
our lifetimes is so critical. While this relationship of learning
is all about equipping us and empowering us to make
a difference in our own lives, in the lives of our families
and our communities and in the life of our nation. Recognising that the key to success
individually and societally, is a quality education. The sort of education that we are
celebrating that’s occurring each and every day
in our NSW public schools. We have a plethora of challenges
confronting us in the future. We have the challenge
of environmental degradation. Resource depletion. We have the challenge of vast
movements of people and demographic change across our
nation and across the world. We have great challenges
relating to urbanisation, relating to things like
an aging population, exploding healthcare costs. All sorts of a range of challenges that are going to confront
this generation and the next. The disappearance of additional jobs,
the rise of artificial intelligence, all of those things that are going
to change the context of our lives. 200 years ago, we didn’t have
public schools, 100 years ago, public schools provided an
educational opportunity generally up to the age
of about 12 or 13. 50 years ago, we provided education
until kids were generally around 15. Today, it’s 17 or 18. But we all recognise that that
is just the context for a relational lifelong experience
of learning and education for each and every one of us. Public education is all about
providing answers… Provide information
about mental health. ositive wellbeing in school really
starts from the moment you walk through the front gate. Students need to feel a self
of belonging, a sense of purpose. A sense that they have part
of the ownership of the school. Because in the end,
having healthy students means they can achieve
at high level in school. Local schools for centuries
have been intrinsic to the role of our community. They are a place where young people,
older people, professionals can meet with the shared vision of focussing
on our young people, of helping them to grow and to learn. I am waiting for the bus to come. It takes about half an hour to get
to the school from my house. And bus drivers come and pick me up. One of our fathers and bus drivers
is a local identity. And it’s his birthday today. # Happy birthday to you! # Hip, hip, hooray!
Hip, hip, hooray! We do like to celebrate in Dunedoo. Earlier this year,
the Department of Education’s Communication and Engagement
Directorate ran a competition to find
the best untold stories in all of our public schools
in NSW. Schools were asked to create
a 60-second film using Filmpond resource, and based on Education Week theme,
‘I Learn, We Learn’. The top five films were opened
up to the public’s vote on the department’s
social media channels. Today we are very pleased to announce
that the winning film is ‘Waste Warriors’
from Parramatta North Public School which we will now watch. At Parramatta North Public,
we are committed to making our environment
as green as possible. Our school has started a program
called ‘Waste Warriors’. ‘Waste Warriors’ is a program to
encourage students to help keep our school clean. – Make it clean. Keep it green. – No rubbish around,
a clean playground. Take three for the sea. Students from K to 6 work together, learning how to be
environmentally responsible and care for our playground. What do we recycle? – Bradley.
– Rubbish. Yes, you can. So why is that good for us to reuse? At Parramatta North Public School,
we have compost in every classroom. Each day we empty our class compost
bin in the compost bin outside PE. Once a week, they will empty
all of the compost into this bin. The compost that we make
is using these gardens. Where have you seen them? ‘Waste Warriors’ teaches us
to put rubbish in the bin. ‘Waste Warriors’ is heaps of fun. Congratulations Parramatta North
Public School and thank you for sharing your story
with us all here this morning. It is now my great pleasure to invite
Executive Director, Frank Potter, to the stage to deliver his address. Ladies and gentlemen,
may I begin today by acknowledging
the traditional owners of the lands we are meeting on, the Darug people and the Gamillaraay
people here in Tamworth. I pay respects to elders
past and present and to all Aboriginal people
here today. And recognise and acknowledge the
great responsibility and privilege we have in educating
the elders of the future. As we have heard from our minister that the theme for this year’s
Education Week is ‘I Learn, We Learn’. Celebrating the commitment
of the NSW Department of Education to ensure that every teacher,
every student, every leader and every school improves
every year. We have a great responsibility
as teachers to unlock the innate curiosity
of every student. To guide their learning and modify
the learning sequences as lessons proceed. To enable students to direct
and manage their own learning. To help students believe
that they can be successful by providing access
to a range of information, connected to personal interest, that will encourage inquiry
and attract their attention. We need to recognise that
21st century students won’t thrive using 20th century pedagogy locked in a 19th century
industrial education construct. We are fortunate that the building
and re-modelling programs funded by our government,
engaging with local communities, are moving towards providing
flexible learning spaces, recognising the need
to enable students to adapt to the ever changing economic
and social landscape. Technological advancement have
increased the availability of low-skilled jobs
and increased the number of jobs that will require higher levels
of literacy. Literacy and numeracy instructions
still lie as foundational from preschool to post school. As well, 21st century students need
to think creatively and innovatively. With strong critical thinking,
problem-solving, communication, and collaboration skills
and capabilities. It was the American
philosopher-psychologist and educational reformer, John Dewey,
who over a century ago said if we teach like we taught yesterday,
we rob our children of tomorrow. Not only are our schools committed
to learning for students, our formal staff processes
encourage ongoing learning to improve our capacity as teachers through performance
and development and planning which aligns our own development
to the needs of the students as articulated through
the school’s strategic planning and individual faculty plans. Performance management and
development is an essential element in the creation
of an organisational culture which promotes high quality
performance and the individuals acceptance
of responsibility and accountability commensurate with that individual’s
position and role. It was Henry Ford, the car maker, who said anyone who stops learning
is old. Whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning
stays young. We all need to accept
our responsibilities and embrace the challenges of an
attitude of continuous improvement at all levels
of our statewide system. There is, however, another critical
element for successful teaching that our minister referred to. We will soon hear from Geordie Brown
and Joseph Anderson, two exceptional students
from Tamworth, and their teacher,
Mrs Robyn Inglis, these outstanding young men
will admirably demonstrate, through their wonderful
acknowledgement of Mrs Inglis, that even as the strong practitioner
that Mrs Inglis is, it is her positive and supportive
relationships with her students that inspires them. Leonardo Da Vinci started work
on a large canvass in his studio, for a while he worked on it, choosing the subject,
planning the perspective, sketching the outline, applying
the colours with his own genius. Then suddenly, he ceased
the painting, still unfinished and summoned one of his students,
inviting him to complete the work. The student protested
that he was both unworthy and unable to complete the great painting
which his master had begun. But Da Vinci silenced him and said, “Will not what I have done
inspire you to do your best?” Mrs Inglis is one
of our many Da Vinci. Ultimately our purpose
in NSW public schools is to ensure that each student
at the end of Year 12 reaches the destination
of their choice with the skills and capabilities
they need for that pathway to their future. The quality of our teaching embedded
in our relationships with students, will encourage lifelong learning as an integral dimension
of a balanced life. Thank you. Thank you, Mr Potter. It gives me great pleasure to introduce our next group
of performers, who represent a number of schools
in the Tamworth area. The North West Dance Company formed at the New England
dance camp in March, where their dance skills were
developed in the contemporary style under expert guidance. They were proudly perform at the
State Dance Festival in Sydney in September, but a selection of these students
are excited to perform for you today. Would you please welcome these
dancers to the Tamworth stage with their piece entitled ‘Drought’. (MUSIC PLAYS) # This river earth # What fruit it bears # This river earth # And if my life is like the dust # That hides the glow of a rose # What good am I # Heaven only knows # This little earth can be so cold # And this little earth # Can be so bitter # After all Thank you, dancers.
(APPLAUSE) That was amazing. It’s great to see such talent
from Tamworth High School, Oxley High School, Duval High School,
and Peel High School. We wish you all the best
at the State Dance Festival. We are delighted to now welcome
to the Tamworth stage, our Education Week student
and teacher representatives. Joseph Anderson, Year 6 student,
from Tamworth South Public School, Geordie Brown, Year 12 student
from Oxley High School, and Robyn Inglis, teacher from
Tamworth South Public School, to deliver the keynote address. I’ve been gifted
with many learning opportunities as a student
at Tamworth South Public School. These new experiences have
challenged and motivated me to strive to do my best. I am discovering my true potential by being exposed to a variety
of rich and memorable experiences. This has changed the way
I look at education. Education is now a passion for me. Mrs Inglis got me involved
in debating. At the time, I knew very little
about debating. But with her help,
I’ve gained confidence in articulating an opinion
and justifying it with facts. This led to me being involved in the multicultural
public speaking challenge that has pushed me
to work hard and study. Without my debating experience, I wouldn’t have been involved in
multicultural public speaking and these experiences have broadened
my understanding of global issues. This is just one example
of how learning in one subject can lead you towards other areas
of interest. Another opportunity I was gifted
with was the night of the notables. This was a long-term project where
I learnt about Cristiano Ronaldo. After a term of work,
it all came together in one night of shared education
and fun with my fellow classmates. I didn’t just learn about Ronaldo. During the study period
and on the night, I also learnt about Thomas Edison,
Canada, Archimedes and Harry Potter. My teachers have provided me
with enriched and diverse learning experiences, which safely encouraged me
to take such risks. With the rich foundation
of opportunities and support of my teachers and
parents, I was inspired to learn. Through this inspiration,
I found a spark. This spark has given me a drive
to become an astrophysicist. I’m only in Year 6 and have many more
years of learning and knowledge to acquire. Another six years
and I will be in Year 12. Like Geordie. Thanks, Joseph. I’m Geordie Brown
and this is my educational story. In January 2010, I was in Year 5 and
just about to start at a new school. I had just met my new teacher,
Mrs Inglis, and was about to embark on a journey which would lead to opportunities
I could never have imagined. I have always had a passion
for speaking up. Speaking up to defend
what I thought was right. But also speaking up to combat
the issues which lay in front of me. I’m filled with a sense
of gratitude and pride when I reflect on the education
I have been given. And this is particularly the case
when I think back to Years 5 and 6, where the quality of education
allowed me to discover not only about the world,
but about myself. The key to this personal growth
was knowledge and understanding. The knowledge
which would guide me to logic and the understanding
of how lucky I am to be living in such a thriving
and diverse community. This was followed by a spark, a spark of inspiration and curiosity. Two things which lead to a positive,
enriched outlook, and an eagerness, a burning desire,
to want to make a change. By having a teacher
who could balance the importance of both academia and inspiration, I was led to my final step
in my journey, a sense of creativity. Now, creativity is not always
an artistic thing. It is the ability that we have
to come up with new ideas to make changes positively. And this skill is so essential
for us to progress as a society, and that is why we need to give
students knowledge and understanding, which will then lead them
to become curious and inspired about what lies in front of them. What I value most about my time
at school is the relationships
which I have built with my teachers, the friendships which I’ve built
on trust, the sort of trust which allows
a student the freedom to dream, to experiment and to make mistakes
and learn from them. I was lucky enough to have a teacher
who did just this, a teacher who said it was OK
to be different. A teacher who said it was OK
to dream big. To want more,
and to hope for a better future. So much of the knowledge
that we are given as children is empowered
by a sense of inspiration. And once that is taken away,
knowledge becomes sterile. This is why it is so important that
teachers continue to inspire the next generations. Great teachers, like Mrs Inglis,
become role models for their students so they can reach for
their true potential. They make an investment
into their students so that they can lay a foundation
on which we build the future. But this is not always an easy task. And that is why teachers are
deserving of our utmost gratitude. So with this,
I would like to say thank you. Thank you to Mrs Inglis. And thank you to any teacher
who may be watching this today. Because without you,
where would any of us be? It is now with great pleasure
that I get to introduce my teacher, and my friend, Mrs Inglis. (APPLAUSE) Thank you, Geordie,
and thank you, Joseph. As educators,
we aim to inspire our students to be the best that they can be. We facilitate their learning by
providing them with rich experiences. And then we guide and support
them towards their journey of achieving their short-
and long-term goals. We strive to develop
21st century learners, who are equipped
with the necessary skills to make positive and productive
contributions to society. Through the morals and values
we instill, we encourage them to continually strive to make
a difference through their vision, ideals, and ethics. But above all, we hope that each individual will realise
their true potential and will capitalise
on their unique gifts and talents so that they may become responsible,
active citizens and the leaders of the future. When a teacher witnesses giftedness
in students in their formative years, it is imperative that we provide
multiple opportunities to foster and grow these talents. It is also important
to cater for diverse learning styles. To encourage robust discussions,
creative and critical thinking, and provide open-ended
problem-solving tasks. I am a strong advocate
for student voice and for developing responsible,
lifelong learners. I believe in providing rich,
authentic tasks where learning goals are clear and students have a choice in the
direction that their learning takes. This enhances engagement and results
in deeper knowledge and understanding. Challenging students beyond
their comfort zone, maintaining high expectations, and providing timely
and specific feedback refine the learning process. Showcasing and celebrating student
success is also invaluable. It is wonderful to see Geordie
living his dreams, following his passions. He has the maturity, the confidence,
and the vision to pursue strong partnerships
with the community and the business sector to enable his dreams and aspirations
to become reality. I often show my students
Geordie’s first movie that he made when he was in Year 5, about
his future goals and aspirations, and we discuss his success story. He inspires us all
to follow our dreams. Because if we are truly passionate
about our future goals, and we reach for the stars,
then magic will happen. I am constantly in search
of the next Geordie so that I may foster
their brilliant career. Joseph may be little,
but he has a big voice. He is a visionary who thrives
on discussing global issues. Joseph is our next generation
who cares. He knows how to capture an audience. He thinks creatively and critically. And at a tender age of 11,
he is mastering the mechanics of public speaking and debating. Joseph’s wit, gift of language,
autonomy and vision for the future are inspirational. I am proud
that he is our school captain as he is a born leader
and possibly a future politician. With more students like Joseph, our
future is certainly in good hands. Thank you. (APPLAUSE) My teacher inspires me by giving us
different ways to learn, which makes the learning fun. They think you’re going to do
the best so you actually want to do
the best you can. Sometimes they would come over me
and just start explaining without me having to ask and that is
just really, really nice. He supports us.
He cheers us on. If we don’t understand, he teaches us
again and teaches us a new method, which is amazing
and it’s easy to understand. Teacher inspires me by
the way he challenges us by all different activities. Matt helped me conquer my fears
about the heights. The school is just really cosy. Coming from a small school,
there’s a tight-knit community between teachers and students. If we are struggling with something,
they give us motivational quotes and things just to keep us going and to push us to our full potential
and beyond our potential, as one of our teachers
likes to state. They inspire me through
the hard work and dedication that they put in to teaching me. They are so enthusiastic
and passionate about teaching, that it inspires me to listen
and then to give back to them. I feel like they really care
about us here and I know that even after school, we will be able to come back and
have a good relationship with them. It has been terrific to share today
between both Sydney and Tamworth as we have joined forces in celebrating
the Education Week launch. Would you now please join me
in welcoming to the stage, the Secretary of the NSW Department
of Education, Mark Scott, to deliver his closing remarks. (MUSIC PLAYS) Ladies and gentlemen,
what a spectacular morning. And what a tremendous series
of performances and speeches we have heard today, and it is just my opportunity to
acknowledge and thank a few people. I also want to acknowledge the
traditional owners of the land in which we meet, both here
and up in the northern tablelands, and pay my respect to all elders
past and present. But also I want to acknowledge
as well the community leaders who are with us today. Tanya Davies, the local MP
and Minister for Mental Health, is here with us. Senior representatives
of the NSW Teachers Federation, the Primary and Secondary
Principals’ Associations and the Parents and Citizens’, all of these leaders
are with us today. I think we get a clear sense that public education
doesn’t just happen in our schools, but it’s a community effort. It’s a community event
and it takes place and it is so great because of the engagement
of all community members who come around
and support our schools. I want to thank the premier,
Gladys Berejiklian, for her welcome and her commitment
to public education an also our minister, Rob Stokes, who is with us today
and spoke to us earlier. The Minister is a strong, passionate
supporter of public education and a great belief in our schools,
a commitment in what is happening in our schools today
and a commitment to their future. And I’m sure you saw that
and heard that when he spoke. I want to thank our student comperes,
Josh and Georgia, Rory and Emilia, for their flawless performance at
the microphone and the lectern today and they have done a tremendous job,
as have the student performers that we have seen in both locations, how extraordinary is their work,
how extraordinary is their talent, and how great is the work of the
teachers who have worked with them to identify that talent
and to cultivate that talent to a level that we could see such
wonderful, professional performances for them today. One of the things I reflect on today
when we look at outstanding leaders and student leaders,
we look at outstanding performers, is a sense that that’s just
the tip of the iceberg of what is in evidence
in our NSW public schools. As we have heard today,
there are 800,000 students learning in NSW public schools today.
800,000. Every now and then,
I try to get my head around how many students
800,000 students is. I think of the big stadium
out at Homebush, where they held the Olympics
and they hold the State of Origin, I think you fill that and you
empty it, and you fill it again, and you empty it and you fill it
again, and you empty it, and you do it 10 times over. That’s how many students we have working in our government
schools today. And you could even fill it with
the teachers and the support staff who are working in our schools today. So many students.
So much talent. So much commitment
to public education. And didn’t we get
a strong sense of that when we heard those wonderful
speakers from Tamworth, Joseph and Geordie, talking
about their teacher, Robyn Inglis. I was amused when Joseph said that he was developing
public speaking skills. Joseph, we could see it! How impressive you were,
how accomplished you were at the age of 11, and how we will follow your career
with interest, and Geordie, we look forward to you
continuing to cultivate your talent and to Robyn Inglis, we say
keep doing what you’re doing. What remarkable teaching.
What remarkable leadership. What remarkable development
of talent is taking place there. Just that there’s remarkable work
taking place here at Glenmore Park High School. I want to thank Lisette Gorick,
the principal here, and her staff and students
who have been our hosts this morning supported by the Macarthur
Public Schools NSW Director, Christine Tasker and her team. I want to thank the team
in Tamworth as well. Daniel Wilson, and his staff and
students supported by Ruythe Dufty, the Tamworth Public Schools
NSW Director, and the Tamworth
regional office team. You know, Education Week
is just one week of the year. But it takes a long time
to plan all of these activities that will take place
across the state this week. The Education Week advisory committee
have been planning this event for months, and I want to thank them
for their foresight, their energy, and their ambition. When they first said to me we
are going to do it in two places, we’re going to do it
in Western Sydney and we are going to do it
in Tamworth and link up with technology,
I said “Are you sure?” That sounded a little risky to me.
That sounded a little complex to me, but they assured me
that they had it under control and it has work so wonderfully well
for us here in Sydney and I know it has worked well
for the team in Tamworth there as well. So I want to thank people from
all over the Department of Education that have made today possible. The Arts unit, Learning Systems,
ITD, Rural and Distance Education, and DART Connections and the
Communication and Engagement team, and I want to thank those teams
that did those wonderful videos that we have seen this morning that we’ll put up on the web
and social media and they will find
much bigger audiences than those who have even seen them
this morning. So, what a memorable morning
it’s been. I’m sure for those
who have spoken to us, the students,
and the students who performed, they will never forget
this opportunity. They will never forget this moment
to launch Education Week for students all across NSW. As you’ve heard this morning,
a number of times, we have a commitment
in NSW public education. And it’s not just a commitment
to provide opportunities. There are lots of opportunities
available in our schools. It goes further than that. It’s a commitment to really
delivering for every student in every school, that every student will improve
every year at school. That every teacher will improve.
That every leader will improve. That every school will improve. That we are delivering a world class
education for 800,000 children in our care every day. What a wonderful week it is
to celebrate all that’s great in public education. A week where we celebrate
what each of us are learning. What I learn.
What we learn. Our commitment to public education
and every young person in our care. Thank you for being part of this
event today here at Glenmore Park. Thanks for being part of it
in Tamworth. And thanks for your continuing
commitment to all that’s great in public education. (APPLAUSE) Thank you, Mr Scott. And all of our guest speakers
and school representatives who have shared their thoughts
and stories so generously with us today. What a fantastic celebration
of public education it has been. We would now like to conclude
with a final item showcasing featured artists who will appear
on the Schools Spectacular stage on 24th and 25th of November. These performers range
from 12-18 years of age and represent 13 schools across NSW. With a piece strongly characterised
by identity, culture and the collective spirit
of adventure and ambition, would you please welcome
to the Sydney stage, the Schools Spectacular performers with their performance,
‘We Know The Way’. (SINGING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE) (SINGING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE) (SINGING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE) (SINGING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE) (CALLING) (CHANTING, CALLING) (SINGING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE) (SINGING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE) # We read the wind and the sky
when the sun is high # We sail the length of the seas
on the ocean breeze # At night we name every star,
we know where we are # We know who we are,
who we are # Aue, aue,
we set a course to find # A brand-new island
everywhere we roam # Aue, aue,
we keep our island in our mind # And when it’s time to find home,
we know the way # Aue, aue,
we are explorers reading every sign # We tell the stories of our elders
in a never-ending chain # Aue, aue… # (SINGING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE) # We know the way! # (APPLAUSE) Thank you to all
of our audience members, presenters and performers in both Sydney
and Tamworth. And a special shout-out
to the incredible team who put this dual-site
launch together. Happy Education Week, everybody. See you next year! # Aue, aue,
we set a course to find # A brand-new island
everywhere we roam # Aue, aue,
we keep our island in our mind # And when it’s time to find home,
we know the way # Aue, aue,
we are explorers reading every sign # We tell the stories of our elders
in a never-ending chain # Aue, aue… #

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