Teachers ferry into fresh school year

More than 200 NSW public school teachers cast off the new school year by embarking on a race across Sydney Harbour. Sophie Lambert reports.

A group of people standing at the wharf in Sydney Harbour A group of people standing at the wharf in Sydney Harbour
Image: Racing into the start of 2024 school year: Staff from Verona School participated in the Sydney Harbour Ferrython on Australia Day.

Hundreds of teachers and school staff yesterday took part in Sydney’s iconic Ferrython for Australia Day.

Held each year since 1977, this crowd-pleaser sees ferries race around Sydney Harbour in a unique spectacle.

Verona School principal Carla Scott said she could see the incredible value of encouraging her staff to take part.

“I’m extremely proud that a team of teachers and support staff from Verona School participated in Ferrython this year,” Ms Scott said.

“We support nearly 100 students with behaviour disorders, emotional disturbances, mental health and autism across two campuses.

“Some days my incredible staff are cooks and other days personal trainers. They wear many different hats in addition to being phenomenal teachers and unwavering advocates for students.

“Being able to take some time out together and enjoy something as special as Australia Day on Sydney Harbour is a great way to connect without the daily pressures of school.”

Epping West Public School Support Teacher Liza West said she was grateful to have the opportunity to participate in her first Ferrython.

“What better way to celebrate an event than enjoying Sydney Harbour, and even better, aboard one of the ferries,” Ms West said.

“I’ll relay the experience to my students and use it as a ‘starter’ in class to discuss things like boats, transportation and what students did themselves during the holidays.”

Manly West Public School Teacher Librarian Ellen Lo Swick said she was excited to have been able to join the race across Sydney Harbour with her fellow educators.

“As Teacher Librarian, I enjoy connecting students to books from First Nations Dreamtime stories to May Gibbs' gumnut babies to texts of today.

“Racing on the May Gibbs with other teachers will be thrilling. I can't wait to share the experience with my school community and start the term on a high note.”

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