Two of our 2017 Alumni Award winners tell us about the teachers who inspired them during their time at the University and encouraged them to go on to do incredible things.
Eddie Woo (BEd(Second)(Math)(Hons) '08) picked up the prestigious 2017 Alumni Award for Outstanding Achievement. Eddie cites Associate Professor Judy Anderson (pictured below), who at the time was his Curriculum Coordinator for secondary mathematics, as one of the driving forces behind his success.
"She was an inspiration for numerous reasons, but most memorably because she conveyed an unwavering connection to the mind-set of a student and to the authentic work of learning as it took place in a high school classroom. She has always had an uncanny ability to simultaneously process big picture issues alongside their implications on a day-to-day level. But even more importantly, I value her ability to hope. She has a wealth of experience, and is still bright and positive about what can be achieved through education, refusing to give in to the easy cynicism that I've seen in so many career educators.
"Judy pushes us to continue labouring in schools, to imagine new ways of teaching students in this brave new world, and to remember that we have the privilege of making a real difference in the lives of kids."
"I was delighted to hear Eddie had received recognition for his achievements as an alumnus of the University – as always, he was humble and honoured, and willing to share the accolade with those who had influenced him. There is no arrogance but a sense of ‘we are all in this together and we can all learn from each other’. That is the sign of a true teacher and educator – one who never stops learning!"
Annabelle Chauncy's (BA '07 LLB '10) work to transform the lives of African communities led to her winning the 2017 University of Sydney Alumni Award for Service to Humanity. One of her inspirational teachers who helped her discover what she wanted to do along the way was Emeritus Professor Peter Butt from the Law School.
"Peter Butt taught me Real Property. He's such a passionate and knowledgeable teacher and knows every small detail of every case. He is an inspiration and has gone on to support my School for Life Foundation."
"A happy by-product of teaching law at the University of Sydney is that you get to meet many outstanding students. It took a visit to Africa for Annabelle to find her true calling. But having found it, there was no holding back. She could have gone on to a stellar career here in Australia in law or business, but instead chose a better and selfless path, to provide schooling for desperately poor African children.
"In just a few years, she has built schools, trained teachers, and helped parents and communities to develop sustainable skills. I’ve watched as her first tentative steps – a small school for a small number of students – have blossomed into full-scale primary and secondary schooling for many hundreds of Ugandan children. Her achievements are astonishing. And she continues to build and grow. Go to the School for Life website and you’ll see what I mean. It’s inspirational!"
Feeling inspired about a University almunus? Registrations of interest are now open for the 2018 Alumni Awards.