I know nothing about the teachers mentioned in the articles below.
They seem to me to be very decent people.
And their awards seem to be well-deserved.
But these teachers need to be aware that their award may, may, have come with some difficult strings.
My own observation over the past fifteen years has led me to believe that the awards system is being abused in Queensland.
My personal experience has led me to conclude that in Queensland -
- Principals who falsify a classroom teacher's official records seem to be celebrated and given awards in the Parliament House Annex.
- Principals who are investigated and are found to have been involved in 'turning a blind eye' to the falsification of official records, etc. seem to be immediately nominated for a community award and long, positive articles about them are run in the local paper.
- Male principals who hit children seem to be investigated, found to be guilty of hitting the child, given a minor talking-to and then immediately given a national award and celebrated on 'Australian Story'.
And the child who has been hit does not feature in the Australian Story.
- Students who have been 'quoted' criticising a teacher in falsified records seem to be nominated for community awards.
(I suspect that this is so that, if the falsified records were investigated, it would put these students in a difficult position.
It would be hard for a student to say "the principal who nominated me for an award falsified their records of our conversation".)
- District Office Staff who write 'Briefings For The Minister' that significantly 'spin' a situation, editing out the falsification of the official records, the incompetence, their own significant Conflict of Interest in the situation, the significant conflict of Interest of several other people involved in the situation, etc. seem to be given an Australia Day Award.
- And other public servants and responsible persons, who fail to give a teacher proper advice on how to deal with incompetence and corruption, or who repeatedly "cannot find" or refuse to search for documents under Freedom of Information seem to be given Australia Day awards.
So, based, on my own experience, I would advise any decent Queensland teacher who is nominated for any sort of award to be very, very wary.
Will this award trap you - will you feel obliged to say something that is not true, or do something that you would rather not do, because of this award?
Late Bloomers, Susan Johnson, QW, The Courier-Mail, 24-25 October 2015.