Part 2. Educators, parents and community supporters across Australia are working tirelessly on the Fair Funding Now! campaign. Five activists tell us what drives them.
HSIE teacher, Moruya High School, Moruya, NSW
David Reynolds advocates for the Fair Funding Now! campaign with his colleagues every Saturday at a stall in the local town market, taking what he calls a “soft-sell” approach.
“I’m the NSW Teachers Federation representative at my school and they needed someone to fill in at the market, so I put my hand up.
“It’s our main activity and we get great engagement from the local community. We invite people to talk with us and hand out information – letters and brochures.
Our latest material outlines how much funding each local school will lose or is losing under the current arrangement, compared to how it would be under Labor.
“It’s a very soft-sell approach, because we have to be sensitive to the market – people shopping don’t want us getting in their faces. And we’re aware that by just being there, we’re an advertisement for the teaching profession.
“When they ask what we’re selling, we jokingly say: Edutopia, the educational dream. But it’s just a fantasy.
“Another part of my advocacy is being president of the Moruya Teachers’ Association, which includes Moruya High School, Moruya Public School and Broulee Public School. Those schools could all do with more funding, particularly for more support staff.
“We have a lot of kids, and half are in the disability area. They require a lot of support, and if funding gets cut, they really suffer.
“This year we’re going to the markets each month, especially once the election is called. I’m really committed to it because just by
being there I’m basically a talking billboard. If people want to ask a question they can.”