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Teachers thanked for the work they do

Archbishop Bathersby and David Hutton congratulate (from left)
Jillian Martin-Doyle, John Jensen, Michael Beard, Keith McCourt,
John Edwards and Dot Schwenke on 40 years service to education 

ARCHBISHOP John Bathersby of Brisbane presented seven teachers with Long Service Awards for 40 years of dedicated and committed service to education on World Teachers Day.

Archbishop Bathersby joined Executive Director of Catholic Education David Hutton in thanking Michael Beard from Guardian Angels’ School, Ashmore; John Jensen from Marymount Primary School, Burleigh Waters; Lorraine Low from San Sisto College, Carina; Jill Martin-Doyle from St Martin’s School, Carina and Keith McCourt and Dot Schwenke from Southern Cross Catholic College, Scarborough, for the work they did.

John Edwards said students were at the centre of what he did as a teacher.

“When I was going off to become a teacher, the Christian Brother principal at the time asked what I was going to teach?” he said.

“I said I don’t know, probably Math.

“He said ‘no, no, no, John, you’re going off to teach kids’.

“It was from that moment on I realised teaching’s all about building relationships, how you deal with students, parents, other staff members and your own family.”

“I think the archbishop touched on it today when he said ‘ you don’t have to be the best teacher in the world but if the students value the experience then you’ve touched their lives’.”

He said a lot of people saw teaching as “a very easy job”.

“But a good teacher spends many, many more hours than the time in a classroom with students and builds good relations with parents and fellow staff members, sometimes at a cost to their own family.

John said he had seen a lot of changes since he began teaching 42 years ago.

His advice to teachers starting out was to “be yourself, recognise your strengths and weaknesses and love teaching kids”.

Mr Hutton said World Teachers Day was a chance for school communities to recognise the important role teachers played within the wider community and to celebrate the work they did to educate children across the globe.

He said it was important to both honour the dedication and commitment of teachers and affirm their role in providing a quality education - encouraging curiosity, and an openness of mind and heart.

This year’s theme for World Teachers Day focused on “Building The Future” – seeking to celebrate the contribution, value, and impact that great teachers had on the future.

Mr Hutton said teachers had a pivotal role in creating the right conditions and opportunities to encourage learning.

“Teachers build a future by providing opportunities for positive outcomes in the lives of young people today.

“Through honest and open engagement every teacher participates in laying the foundations for the future,” he said.


Brisbane Catholic Education Office

243 Gladstone Road, Dutton Park Q 4102

GPO Box 1201 Brisbane 4001 Australia

Phone: (07) 3033 7000

Fax: (07) 3844 5101