My Father’s Order of Australia Award for Services to Education- and progressive causes.
Thanks to all who have shown support by congratulating my father, Malcolm Skilbeck, on his Order of Australia award for services to education in Australia and internationally (Australia Day 2014 award). As my internet and phone service is so poor I only received the news today, and have now exchanged messages with my father who expresses that what pleases him is the pleasure taken by family and friends and colleagues in his award and that this shows there is a shared sense of the value of the public sphere of education. But he also expresses his hope that this sense of value also extends to the efforts he, along with many others, have made to advance progressive causes, since many of these progressive causes are being resisted or ignored by governments (regardless of which party is in power), the media, business and perhaps even the community in general. He urges that this is an opportunity to once again raise the flag, if only in a small way. So I am passing on this message to family and colleagues here.
My father has always supported my own small efforts to advance the causes of refugees, writers and human rights, and feminism, in my academic publication in journals, and in my research. I thank him for this, and his enormous contribution to public education as an inspired and dedicated teacher, educator and author, in Australia and internationally.
The world needs more such dedicated teachers and educators and authors, to support public education and progressive causes, in many fields. We must speak up and out and continue to support the causes that are ignored by governments, media, big business, and even increasingly it seems, the community which turns a blind eye to what is happening in the world, the wars and destruction, in the name of profit for a few.