Here are the words the Director General sent in to be read out at my retirement function last Tuesday evening.
I will post some photos of the function and give links to the video of the speeches when they become available.
Thanks for all the messages and cards.
Yes I will be making political comments here in the future.
On the occasion of Maralyn Parker’s retirement
Apologies from Dr Michele Bruniges AM, Director-General of Education and Communities
Michele Bruniges is unable to be here tonight as she is on her way to Moree so she can get up in the morning and drive to visit two of the schools in the Department’s new Connected Communities strategy – Boggabilla and Toomelah. She has asked that this message be read out.
Maralyn, I am sorry I cannot be with you tonight to celebrate your many achievements and wish you all the very best on your retirement.
As the Director-General of public schools in NSW I obviously have a firm belief in the powers and value of public education in this State. If there was a ‘public education commitment metre’, however, Maralyn would win the top award! Once cannot fault Maralyn’s advocacy for the importance, value and quality of public education anywhere – but particularly in NSW.
She has made a great contribution to the general public’s awareness of what the local public school can do for anyone’s kids. I am sure, even in her retirement, Maralyn will find a way to continue to be one of the state’s best advocates for public education – in fact I’m banking on it!
One cannot be such a strong advocate for public education, and make such a public impact if you don’t understand education. I have always found Maralyn to be highly intelligent and well informed on international, national and state education policy issues. This has meant her articles have been both well-grounded and highly topical on the important education issues of the day. It has also meant she has had the respect and credibility of the education profession, including myself and those Directors-General that have gone before me.
As someone who has a lot to do with the media, in all my dealings with Maralyn she has been highly professional and ethical. I have been confident that when we were ‘on the record’ I would be correctly quoted, and when we were ‘off the record’ I wouldn’t read about it the next day!
Being such a strong media voice for public education meant that Maralyn ‘told it like it was’ – even when it wasn’t such a good news story for us. I was very grateful I never received Maralyn’s famous ‘dunce’ award. Teachers and public servants across NSW would live in fear each Thursday morning as the daily media clips came in to see if they had done something to not live up to the ‘Maralyn standard’ for public education in NSW.
Maralyn, I have highly valued and appreciated your professional integrity – and I thank and admire you for that. You are a great advocate for public education and a great role model for other journalists who come after you. I wish you all the very best in your retirement.
I trust you will enjoy much well-deserved celebrations tonight for a career well done.
Director-General of Education and Communities