Centenary Exhibition

‘Teachers will no longer place confidence in any promises; they will no longer be deceived by flattering comments on their importance in the community; they are now a united body many thousands strong, and they will obtain through open courts a fair deal from the public, as they will also return to the public in repayment a faithful and honest service.’
Education journal editorial, 1920.

As World War I was drawing to a close 100 years ago and an influenza epidemic was the new international threat on the horizon, a group of determined women and men from several New South Wales teachers’ associations gathered together in Sydney and confirmed their intention to become the one union.

On 26 September 1918, classroom teachers officially united with head mistresses and headmasters to become the NSW Public School Teachers’ Federation. Together they recognised that with unity comes strength in the fight for social justice on behalf of their students, schools, communities and teaching profession. The campaigning continues.

Today the NSW Teachers Federation is nearly 60 000 strong and still stands for the same principles it has fought for over the last 100 years — support for the essential work of teachers in society, funding justice for public schools, international peace and solidarity, and equality for all.

Unity! Strength! Justice! draws from the NSW Teachers Federation’s rich archival collections to celebrate the Federation’s achievements, preserve its history for future generations, and engage its members and the public in contemporary issues that teachers and schools face today.

Read more about how the Unity! Strength! Justice! exhibition is coming together from the June issue of Education.

The exhibition is presented in partnership with NSW State Archives and features fascinating images from its holdings of school photographs from the 1870s until the late 1950s.


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