Mayor pays tribute to Mascot Public School Principal Annette McKeown

Published on 05 September 2013

Mayor pays tribute to Annette McKeown

I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the traditional people of the land on which we meet, the Bidegal and Gadigal people who traditionally occupied the Sydney Coast and to pay my respects to Aboriginal Elders, both past and present

I also would like begin by thanking Ms Annette McKeown. Ms McKeown has made an enormous contribution to the teaching profession and I feel privileged to have the opportunity to acknowledge that contribution this evening.

I’d like to acknowledge Ms McKeown’s family who are in attendance this evening. I acknowledge also Ms McKeown’s colleagues from Mascot Public School, as well as those from our other local schools and the Department of Education.

“What office is there which involves more responsibility, which requires more qualifications, and which ought, therefore, to be more honourable than that of teaching?” – Harriet Martineau

There is no profession like teaching.

Teaching has alternatively been described as a vocation and a calling but to me it looks like a lot of hard work!

There is no profession of who so much is asked and so little provided in return.   

Teachers hold the future of our nation in their hands. They help to guide and instruct entire generations of young Australians.

The task of a school principal is similarly vital.

Principals guide teachers’ professional development.

Principals are leaders in education, working to stay across the latest trends and developments in schools and academia.

Principals are administrators, in a role which rivals any in the private sector in complexity and the ever-growing need for corporate compliance.

Principals are community leaders, supporting and helping parents, colleagues and students through difficult times and the role of the Principal continues to grow and expand.

Each year parents, departments, colleagues and governments ask more and more of school principals. And each year Principals shoulder their increasing burden and work to deliver for their students, their colleagues and their communities.

Annette McKeown’s tenure at Mascot Public school came after a long and varied career teaching throughout NSW and even overseas.

Ms McKeown began her career working at Bass Hill Public School but quickly made the transition to primary schooling. Since then she has taught at a variety of high schools and primary schools in NSW and in Africa.

From 1985 to 1987 Ms McKeown worked overseas teaching in Liberia.

Ms McKeown has also spent time in Western NSW and in the Riverina, teaching in towns as varied as Tambarumba and Balranald.

During her time at Mascot Public School Ms McKeown has seen the school transform – updating infrastructure, introducing new school uniforms and enriching the school’s culture.

Ms McKeown was instrumental in managing the use of the BER funding which resulted in a new school hall. Anne has also overseen improvements to the gardens, painting of the school and installation of new signage.

Ms McKeown has helped to forge relationship with the diverse communities who make up Mascot Public School. As Principal she has establish strong ties with the local Greek and Bangladeshi communities and increased parental involvement in the school for all parents.