Teachers' Union History Details 100 Years of Fighting for Public Education

September 26th 2018 is the 100th anniversary of the formation of the NSW Teachers Federation, the trade union that supports teachers in NSW public schools, TAFE colleges and Corrective Services.

As part of its centenary celebrations, the union is hosting a free, public exhibition on the ground floor of Federation Auditorium on 37 Reservoir St, Surry Hills, NSW.

The exhibition “Unity! Strength! Justice! 100 years of the NSW Teachers Federation”, tells the story of a century of struggle on behalf of NSW public education students and teachers, fighting for improvements in salaries and conditions for teachers, as well as the state of classrooms and school grounds, class sizes, support for students with specific needs, and more.

As part of the exhibition there are regular screenings of naa muru gurung: to see a path for children, a documentary outlining the history of Aboriginal education in NSW and the union’s role in campaigning for improved access and equality.

“We are a magnificent union. A union based on the voices of teachers, with a robust democratic decision-making philosophy,” General Secretary John Dixon said. “This exhibition shows the scope and scale of what has been achieved for public education through the commitment and hard work of our members over the past 100 years.

“While the centenary marks an important milestone for Federation, it is not the end point. It is a reminder of all that we strive for, and of the work that lies ahead of us for the next 100 years.”

The exhibition also features a schedule of presentations about key aspects of union history, including a video presentation by Jennie George, Federation’s first woman General Secretary and first woman president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, who went on to a successful career in federal politics.

Federation President Maurie Mulheron will also be presenting a concert of folk songs and discussing their role in union history.

The exhibition was curated by Susan Charlton, who also recently curated the Museum of Love & Protest, an exhibition celebrating 40 years of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

The exhibition is open to the public until Tuesday, 16 October.

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