Australian of the Year: Annie Fogarty, supporting young people #AOTY2020 #ausoftheyear

Australian of the Year: Annie Fogarty, supporting young people #AOTY2020 #ausoftheyear


I believe that education is at the heart of our society. Every child deserves a great education. Unfortunately, not every child in Australia is reaching even minimal
educational outcomes. I’m still amazed after
nearly 20 years of working in the education
and community sectors at the amount of disadvantage
and dysfunction there is in a wealthy
country like ours. I visit schools where the
teachers are working so hard to help the children overcome
the challenges that they face. To get those kids to school, to feed them,
sometimes to clothe them, to deal with poverty and domestic violence, before they can even sit them down and start with the
foundations of learning. Even though these children
are facing quite serious challenges, the school itself can make such
a difference in their lives. There’s nothing better
than talking to a child who said
‘I used to hate coming to school but now I really enjoy it. I really like maths or English
or I love doing phys ed.’ You know that that child’s life
is going to be better because he’s going to be
engaged in his learning and he’s going to have so
many more opportunities in life. I think we need to relook at education
right across the spectrum. We are living in a rapidly changing, digital world and education has to be
delivered differently, and we think that it’s essential that every child knows something
about computer programming. So we looked around the world
and we found CoderDojos and started them
in Western Australia. So these dojos are free, fun,
learning clubs. It doesn’t teach them how to code,
but it enables them to teach themselves how to code. So that’s bringing in a whole
range of other capabilities like self directed learning,
peer collaboration, communication,
critical thinking. These are things that will take
them forward in life and make them be able to be competitive
on the world stage. If every child has the opportunity
to access quality education that they deserve, their lives will be better and our
whole community will thrive.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *