1 September 2023

Awards bring state recognition to Jerrabomberra's education community

| Claire Sams
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Two women hold bouquets of flowers and glass awards

Kylie Prescott (L) and Chris Hunt (R) pose with their awards and their flowers on their night of wins in August. Photo: Supplied.

Two stalwarts of Jerrabomberra Public School’s community have been recognised in recent state-wide awards.

At the P&C Federation of NSW’s Annual Conference and Awards Ceremony on 26 August, Principal Chris Hunter and P&C Association President Kylie Prescott won in their categories.

Both travelled to Sydney for the ceremony with their fellow shortlisted nominees, where Ms Hunter was named inaugural Principal of the Year and Ms Prescott took home P&C Association Member of the Year.

For Ms Hunter, receiving the gong felt like recognition of her work in shaping the culture at Jerrabomberra Public School.

“I’ve been able to set up the tone of the school,” she said.

“We’re a big school with a small school feel, where there’s interaction between older kids and younger kids.

“There’s all sorts of things that you’d find in a smaller school but implemented in a larger school, all so the kids feel more comfortable.”

She has worked in education for 50 years, including 21 years as principal of Jerrabomberra Public School.

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Ms Prescott said receiving her award was a shock, but also a chance to reflect on her hard work.

“When they announced that I was a winner, I remember feeling surprised and excited a little bit of disbelief, but also grateful for the opportunity to thank the people that had helped me do my work on the P&C [Association].”

“We’ve had an enormous 18 months or so, so to have all that work recognised with the nomination – and to win that category – I feel quite grateful.”

Ms Prescott was a dual winner in her category, alongside Rachel Garner from Waratah Public School P&C Association in Newcastle.

She received the prize for her role as president of Jerrabomberra Public School’s P&C Association, but she also serves as vice-president of Jerrabomberra High School’s P&C Association.

Ms Hunter said she worked closely with the school’s P&C Association at the school during her tenure.

“Working with the P&C is not just about raising money,” she said.

“It’s about building that strength in communication between your parent body and the school, having them feel confident enough or raise issues and then talk them through.”

In recent months, Jerrabomberra Public School’s P&C Association has worked on a successful campaign against the rezoning of Jerrabomberra schools.

For students, they also raised money to cover installing interactive whiteboards in classes, providing laptops for students, the creation of a performing arts room and more.

“There are all of these extra facilities that actually support learning and programmes, that have actually been built and supported by our P&C [Association],” Ms Hunter said.

“These are extra educational resources for our school that we would not normally have.”

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Ms Prescott said there are also benefits for parents and the wider school community in getting involved in their local P&C Association.

“I think the role of president is challenging, rewarding and enjoyable,” she said.

“Being part of the P&C [Association] is something that I would encourage people to think about.

“Even if they can’t attend a meeting once a month, attending when they can or opting to volunteer for events and activities as they arise is a great way to connect with other parents and an easy way to contribute to the community.”

Ms Prescott said there was a lot of meaning that she took home the award alongside Ms Hunter.

“She has been an amazing principal at Jerrabomberra Public School, so to be nominated for an award in the same year as her was a real pleasure,” she said.

“For both of us to win in the same year was an enormous privilege.”

It is significant that representatives of regional schools like Jerrabomberra Public School won their categories, Ms Hunter said.

“I think it is really nice that somebody west of the Great Dividing Range was a recipient of the award,” she said.

“Quite often when these awards happen, there seems to be people on the coastline who tend to be able to take part in these things easier, so that two people in a regional area were the recipients was a bonus.”

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