Future teachers show there’s power in a union

“The union is an undimmable light and voice of reason in an everchanging educational and political landscape,” said University of NSW student and winner of a Future Teachers Scholarship Stuart Hansen.

Federation has awarded a range of $4000 Future Teacher Scholarships to students enrolled in NESA-accredited initial teacher education programs in NSW. This is part of its ongoing commitment to the teaching profession in public schools and supporting the next generation of activists. The scholarship awardees can use their money to assist with educational expenses directly related to teacher training, such as a laptop, textbooks, computer software and stationery.

All applicants for the scholarships, who must be student members of the union, were asked to demonstrate an understanding of the value of public education and the value of unions to society as part of their applications.

The awardees shared their appreciation for our union and trade unionism in their responses.

“I am particularly impressed by the union’s values of equity and democracy and commitment to teachers’ working rights,” said Georgina Di Camillo, who is studying at Macquarie University.

“I relish being part of a strong, dynamic union,” University of New England student Aaron Jory said.

“Guiding our future students through their education can be taxing and challenging for public school teachers … Federation gives NSW teachers the support required to give the best education possible,” said Ellise Breust, a University of Wollongong student.

“My parents and grandparents have been members for over 60 years and I understand the voice that a collective can have to ensure the rights of workers are being heard,” said Adam Hart, who is studying at the University of Newcastle.

“We couldn’t have a robust public education system without a strong union,” Macquarie University student Alexandra King said.

“Trade unionism is as relevant today as it was previously and should be celebrated as part of a society that values equity and fairness,” said Tracy Main, a University of Newcastle student.

“Unions give balance to the unequal relationship between employers and employees,” said Joshua Mills, who is studying at the University of Wollongong.

“I commit to … valuing public education and upholding the value of the union to society,” Charles Sturt University student Elise Thornthwate said.

“I wholeheartedly support the work of the NSW Teachers Federation as they continue to advocate for teachers, which ensures that students receive the best possible education,” said Maryam Johnson, a University of New England student.

Scholarship winners expressed the importance of public education, including John Kaye Memorial Scholarship winner Miroslav Sandev, a student at the University of New England, who wrote: “Public education … can be a stepping stone for people from disadvantaged backgrounds into new opportunities, otherwise closed off to them.”

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