Anna Bay Teacher Joy Lawrence retires after 38 years

Joy Lawrence is a committed public school advocate.   Photo by Jo Finn
Joy Lawrence is a committed public school advocate. Photo by Jo Finn

The end of the year is a time of mixed emotions and new beginnings.

That is certainly the case for Anna Bay teacher Joy Lawrence who retired after 38 years as a committed teacher and public school advocate.

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Mrs Lawrence’s parting message at Anna Bay Public School’s Presentation Day was a heartfelt one.

She urged those in attendance to stay committed to Gonski.

The message couldn’t have been clearer. “It’s for your child’s future,” she said.

Authored by David Gonski, the review recommended that funding be allocated in relation to the needs of students in order to level the playing field for children with educational barriers including social disadvantage and complex needs.

According to the NSW Teachers Federation, the review “found that too many children were being denied the education they needed due to a lack of resources.”

But implementation has been a political hot potato with Federal Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham last month arguing for a “new, simpler distribution model” to ensure equitable funding allocation.

For Joy Lawrence, public education and the diversity found in public schools is part of her “upbringing and personality” following her own attendance at a one-teacher country school and her introduction to a teaching career in the small rural town of Denman.

Mrs Lawrence also taught in the Sydney suburb of Blacktown before finally settling in “The Bay” where she originally taught at Nelson Bay (now Tomaree Public School) before starting a 20-year stint at Anna Bay Public School.

Anna Bay Public School students, parents and teachers farewell a teacher who has tirelessly promoted inter-school sporting activities. “Let them play” is a motto that she has continually fostered.

Mrs Lawrence will be remembered for her self-deprecating nature, her willingness to participate in school plays and her hilarious songs that heralded the grand finale of sports carnivals.


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