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Vale Kylie Dawson
In moving a condolence motion at Federation’s February Council meeting, General Secretary John Dixon described the passing of Kylie Dawson as a tragic loss to Federation and public education.
Kylie, who died on 25 January, aged 43, was a Federation Councillor, a member of the union’s Executive and a timekeeper.
“A timekeeper who liked to bring the General Secretary lollies and liked my coloured socks,” Mr Dixon told Council. “Kylie Dawson was a great teacher and leader but she would not see herself that way.
“She was a very humble person and felt that all she did, was what needed to be done. She was embarrassed by praise.
“She did not want to trouble, or worry others and did not tell people just how ill she was. Nor did she let it stop her in her work at school, the Federation and in her community.”
Kylie’s first permanent appointment was to Broken Hill in 1997, and later transferred to Gulgong and was then taken on as an Assistant Principal at Lavington in Albury.
Mr Dixon said Kylie believed that through teaching and her union activism she was able to empower herself and others to fight for justice and equality.
“She valued both research and practical experience in teaching,” Mr Dixon said. “She valued what she learnt from, and with, her colleagues and her students.
“This made her a powerful advocate for students, teachers and public education. She was tenacious but would only engage in debate when she was confident she could make a sound contribution.”
In her various roles in the Association and as Fed Rep, her passion, hard work and organisational skills engaged and encouraged others in their activism. She was elected as a Councillor for Albury in 2009 and to Executive in 2015 and was a key member of the Women’s Committee and Caucus.
Kylie gave voice to the concerns of public school teachers, particularly those from the country.
“She was driven by her commitment to social justice with a clear focus on the needs of students,” Mr Dixon said. “She believed her best work was in the classroom and she chose not to apply for a principal’s position or union officer because she wanted to remain a classroom teacher.
“Her leadership and activism has changed, empowered and supported everyone connected with her - friends, comrades, colleagues and most importantly her kids.”