AEU ACT President
We are now well and truly into the swing of the school year, and as the dust of term one settles, I hope you’re able find some time to recharge and prepare yourself for the next round.
As educators and as unionists, we’re in for a big and busy year. We’ll be bargaining three enterprise agreements simultaneously, and we’ve recently launched our new school funding campaign, Fair Funding Now – the successor to the I Give a Gonski campaign. I know how difficult it can be for those in our profession to find extra time and energy, but I encourage you to throw your support behind these efforts as much as you can.
At all times, but especially at times like this, we should take every opportunity to unwind and celebrate what we do as public educators. Public Education Week is coming up this term from 20-25 May, and there is no better chance than this to do both of those things. Aside from a much-deserved week of recognition for the valuable work we do every day, Public Education Week, of course, also means our annual Public Education Celebratory dinner.
This year’s dinner will be held at the Hyatt Hotel. It’s a wonderful chance to get dressed up (if you are so inclined!) and share a few drinks and laughs with your colleagues. Comedian and actor Denise Scott will be our MC, and we’re incredibly lucky to have as our guest speaker this year Sally McManus, Secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions. Sally is the 10th elected ACTU Secretary in the organisation’s 90-year history and the first woman to hold the position. Some of you may have heard her address at the National Press Club last month where she spoke of the shameful growing inequality in Australia that drives the Change the Rules campaign, behind which the AEU proudly stands. She’s an inspirational figure to many in the union movement, and hearing her speak about the value of public education will no doubt be worth the ticket price alone.
It’s also the night that we present our Public Education Awards. Nominations are open now for the Public Education Award, the Friend of Public Education Award and the Reconciliation Award. If you know of a deserving colleague, please take the time to nominate them.
If you haven’t bought your tickets to the dinner yet, contact the AEU office to make sure you don’t miss out. It’s always a great night out – I look forward to seeing you there.