Today I’m a radical!

I wouldn’t have thought I was a radical but recent events have made me question myself. I will admit that I’m passionate, I’m excitable, I’m enthusiastic, I’m a fighter and I’m determined.

Today I’m also adding the word radical to that description as I’m taking industrial action and am on strike for 24 hours due to the NSW State Government deciding to outsource education provision to external providers.  This was announced in May 2016 and I have written a few posts on this topic, as well as TV and radio interviews and Buzz Feed interviews.

It’s funny that throughout my years of blogging I have had a rule not to talk about my job as an educator in a correctional centre. Since the announcement in May I have relaxed my view on talking about my job and have gone in boots and all, mainly to educate others to what’s happening in our state’s gaols and to support my colleagues. It also helps me cope with what’s happening.

To bring you up to speed – fully qualified teachers are currently employed in our state’s gaols to educate inmates prior to them being released.  This reform aims to remove those teachers and replace them with clerical staff who will not require any education qualifications or teaching experience. The bulk of education will then be outsourced  to external providers.  This is wrong on so many levels and you can go to my other posts to read more if you are interested. By the end of this year we will be gone along with all our experience, in my case 22 years.

I’m continuing the fight on principle and the concern that this reform could be the harbinger of future changes to teaching in other institutions.  Just think if ‘someone’ decides that school teachers don’t really need to be so highly qualified, where will we be then?

So what does a radical educator of 22 years experience do on her day of industrial action? Well I’m glad you asked.  She sits around in her Doctor Who onesie, drinking cups of tea, listening to colleagues being interviewed on radio, sending tweets, facebook posts, blogging and tuning into the protest rally at the prescribed hour, all while watching the rain tumbling down outside.  Unfortunately I’m 600km away from the rally in Sydney so can’t make it in person, but I’ll be there in spirit.

So if that sounds like a radical person to you, then I’ve now joined the radical ranks.


(I’m also the Vice President of Corrective Services Teachers Association and Teachers Federation Union rep for my centre)

Other posts you might like:

Education beats crime every day 

Partners in crime

Jailhouse Blues

What price Education?

This post is written in response to the very timely and highly suitable Daily Post prompt of the day – Radical




  One thought on “Today I’m a radical!

  1. September 14, 2016 at 10:36 am

    Keep up the fight.

    Liked by 2 people

    • September 14, 2016 at 10:38 am

      Thanks I intend to! It’s getting down to the wire now but we will wait and see what comes of it all.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. September 14, 2016 at 11:16 am

    What is happening is enough to radicalise pretty much anyone. I’m not even in Australia, and it still makes me angry. Mainly because I have seen how prison education CAN make a difference. Kia Kaha.

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 16, 2016 at 10:08 pm

      Thanks for your words of support Su, it makes me very angry.

      Liked by 1 person

      • September 17, 2016 at 6:06 am

        It’s just so wrong, however you look at it. Short-sighted “savings” from one budget which will inevitably be absorbed into others, dealing with the terrible fallout of the change. And that’s without even thinking about the real issue of denying prisoners a chance to change their lives. Oops, I think this is called preaching to the converted. Sorry. But hugs and support from across the ditch anyway.

        Liked by 1 person

        • September 17, 2016 at 7:56 am

          You say it so well Su!! Thanks for understanding the issues and for your support.
          We’re on our way over the ditch in November to ride the Otago rail trail and spend time in Queenstown, Dunedin and that area. Looking forward to it as we’ve never been there before.


          • September 17, 2016 at 9:30 am

            Thanks Debbie. I hope you have a fantastic time in the South Island. Friends of ours have ridden the rail trail a couple of times and rave about it. Sounds like you really need some relaxation with all that is going on.

            Liked by 1 person

            • September 17, 2016 at 6:32 pm

              Thanks Su, I am really looking forward to it. Some rest and relaxation away from the awful situation might be just what I need, although cycling may not be classified as ‘rest’.

              Liked by 1 person

              • September 18, 2016 at 10:03 am

                Hm. Perhaps not, but perhaps having to turn your focus to the ride will be a kind of relaxation. I hope so anyway. 🙂

                Liked by 1 person

  3. September 14, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    Drinking tea in a Dr Who onesie puts you into the radical group Deb, never mind your protest action!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 14, 2016 at 1:15 pm

      I’m so glad someone appreciates my true radical nature! It was Chai tea so that makes it extra radical. 😜

      Liked by 1 person

      • September 14, 2016 at 1:43 pm

        That’s the sign of a true radical … chai tea!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. September 14, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    Strong voices will eventually make a difference. Don’t give up. We need more people in our world using their voices for things that matter. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 14, 2016 at 3:18 pm

      Thanks for the message of support. You’re right some things are worth fighting for.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. September 14, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    Go Deb! Shoulder to shoulder into the fray.

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 15, 2016 at 6:19 am

      Thanks Louise, it’s an ongoing battle.


  6. September 14, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    I think it’s time we found a way to outsource our politicians, corporate leaders, and administrations who come up with these stupid, short-sighted ideas.
    I’m pretty sure that we could find a low cost alternative that can do their job?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. September 16, 2016 at 7:14 am

    Hugs Debbie. It really sucks. I hope the strike makes the pollies take a bit more notice and review their decision.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. September 17, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    It sounds like you have good cause to be radical. I hope the action is successful in changing minds.

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 17, 2016 at 6:34 pm

      THankyou for the support. I am not sure about changing minds but it was good to publicise and show the Government how we are feeling. It’s a great cause and I’m a passionate teacher who can see the real need for qualified teachers in this environment.

      Liked by 1 person

      • September 17, 2016 at 6:54 pm

        Well good luck with it. Having qualified people doing the job is clearly best for everybody.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. September 18, 2016 at 11:12 pm

    Good on you Deb. I really admire your efforts and determination , whatever it takes to raise awareness … hope it all helps to make a difference.

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 19, 2016 at 6:06 pm

      I don’t know if it will make a difference but I’m glad to be doing something positive and getting involved. Thanks again.

      Liked by 1 person

      • September 19, 2016 at 6:11 pm

        Absolutely. At least you’re doing something. All the best!

        Liked by 1 person

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