Teacher's hard work recognised

SOME teachers leave lasting impressions on students and colleagues and Neil Locker is one of those special people.

Having assisted thousands of students over the years in his capacity as Careers Adviser at both Taree and Chatham High School, Neil’s hard work has been recognised by his peers at the Lower Mid North Coast CAA.

At the recent Careers Advisers Association (CAA) Conference in Sydney Neil was honoured to be this year’s recipient of the Hilary Bolin Award, an accolade handed out every year to one Careers Adviser in NSW or the ACT.

The Hilary Bolin Award was created by the executive of the Careers Advisers Association (CAA) in 1988 to honour Hilary Bolin, following her death while she was the Careers Adviser at Carlingford High School. 

Hilary was also assistant secretary of the CAA, a position she held for many years. 

She was committed to the development and extension of career education in its many guises and was known as a quiet achiever who worked diligently both in her own school and behind the scenes at many a careers event.

The Hilary Bolin Award is given each year at the annual CAA Conference and is the CAA’s chance to acknowledge their own. 

Neil was chosen for the award for many reasons including for lending his skills to develop an understanding and knowledge in career education with students, teachers, community members and support agencies.

As well as for his involvement on a professional level outside the school for services to other careers advisers and to the CAA; and for his selfless approach and committment to hours beyond normal expectations to ensure that outcomes for students and teachers are worthwhile.

Recipients are nominated by their colleagues via a written submission and a modest Neil admits to having been “very chuffed” when he found out he had been chosen as the 2013 recipient.

“I got a bit of a shock, I had no idea,” he said.

Neil was originally a HSIE teacher but later completed a Careers Adviser’s course and was placed at Taree High School in 1980, where he stayed until transferring to Chatham High School in 1993.

“I really love what I do,” said Neil, who has seen many changes in his sector over the years.

“It’s grown so much and there’s so many more opportunities now,” he explained.

“Technology has been a major addition but the biggest and by far the best change has been the decrease in sexism in the workforce.

“When I first started, girls were so limited with what courses were available to them and essentially we were only using half our available workforce, but now girls can do anything and that’s really great.”

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