Kirrawee High School's music coordinator has been selected to appear in a national campaign that aims to showcase the value and importance of teachers, and encourages young people to consider a career where they can change someone's life for the better.
Kerri-Ann Lacey leads the music ensemble at the school, and fronts the Be That Teacher campaign - a joint state and federal government initiative.
Teachers across Australia shared why they chose to teach and shared their inspirational stories about the lasting effects they have had on their students.
The event was launched at the school recently, with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese there to congratulate Mrs Lacey on being selected.
She is one of eight teachers across the nation chosen for the campaign. The teacher of 34 years - at Kirrawee High since 2012, was encouraged by one of her former year 7 students to apply for the campaign, which will appear on social media, billboards, bus stops and other outdoor sites until April 2024.
The campaign is one of the actions underway from the National Teacher Workforce Action Plan, developed to address Australia's national teacher workforce challenge. The profession is losing its experienced teachers and in the past decade, there has been a steady decline in the number of people pursuing teaching careers.
Only half of those who commence a teaching degree manage to complete it. Among the graduates, 20 per cent opt to leave the profession within three years of starting their teaching journey.
Mrs Lacey trained in QLD. A talented bassoon player, she got a job with the National Chamber Orchestra and has been head teacher at Kirrawee High since 2000.
"When the student who nominated me said I should apply because I would have a hundred stories to tell, I thought 'I probably have,'" she said.
"What makes a good teacher is somebody who likes to see growth in others and likes to facilitate that. What used to be about just teaching content, is now teaching skills."
Australians are also asked to remember a teacher who changed their lives.
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