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Thursday, 1 March 2012
Page: 2557

Mr HUSIC (ChifleyGovernment Whip) (09:33): I want to take the brief opportunity to acknowledge and pay tribute to an energetic and passionate educator in the Chifley electorate who was recently made a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia. Since 1997, Christine Cawsey has been the Principal of Rooty Hill High School, but her contribution to public education goes far beyond her current tenure. Before coming to Rooty Hill Christine served as head teacher and deputy principal at St Marys Senior High School for six years, and before that was head teacher of girls' welfare at Jamison High School, both of which are in the electorate of my colleague the member for Lindsay.

Christine's connection with the Chifley electorate goes back as far as 1979 when she spent the best part of a decade teaching at what was then Bidwill High School, a school that has had its fair share of challenges but has also had its fair share of gems and great students. Christine has devoted her professional life to teaching. She has provided outstanding leadership in what would be considered high-challenge schools, which has given her a strong perspective on equity, social justice and the importance of supporting public education in our area.

Christine has been a driving force behind the establishment of a range of professional associations and professional learning programs. Since 2010, Christine has been the President of the New South Wales Secondary Principals' Council, and for four years before that was its deputy president. She is also the New South Wales delegate to the Australian Secondary Principals' Association. She has been recognised many times for her dedication to her profession. Between 2000 and 2005, Christine was a member of the Premier's Council for Women. In 2007, she received a national award for quality schooling for excellence by a principal from the Australian Council for Educational Research. In 2009, it was announced that the Australian Council for Educational Leaders had awarded Christine the Hedley Beare Award for educational writing.

If the job of high school principal was not busy enough, Christine co-authored a book entitled Learning for Leadership: Building a School of Professional Practice. Christine is a lecturer at the University of Western Sydney and, on top of that, a board member of her greater Western Sydney Giants AFL club, which has been making great strides in advancing AFL in Western Sydney. I have always appreciated Christine's counsel and advice. As I said at the outset of this contribution, her passion for public education in our area is a credit to her and a great reflection of her contribution to our local community in advancing education and self-improvement in our part of the world.