Life membership honour for former Parkes High School teacher

SPECIAL HONOUR: Central West NSW Teachers Federation organiser Tim Danaher, deputy president NSW Teachers Federation and Parkes life member Joan Lemaire, president Parkes Teachers Association Kim Robinson, life member of both Parkes Teachers Association and NSW Teachers Federation Mick Craft. Photo: Jenny Kingham
SPECIAL HONOUR: Central West NSW Teachers Federation organiser Tim Danaher, deputy president NSW Teachers Federation and Parkes life member Joan Lemaire, president Parkes Teachers Association Kim Robinson, life member of both Parkes Teachers Association and NSW Teachers Federation Mick Craft. Photo: Jenny Kingham

A former Parkes High School teacher, who for more than three decades has represented the best interests of her fellow teachers, has been given the honour of life membership of the Parkes Teachers Association (TA).

The Parkes TA held a meeting at the Parkes Hotel on November 14 where Joan Lemaire, now deputy president of the NSW Teachers Federation, was awarded her honorary life membership award.

Joan's first appointment was to Parkes High School in 1984, where she taught English-History until 1987.

Fellow life member of Parkes TA and a NSW Teachers Federation life member, Mick Craft, spoke of Joan's achievements and congratulated her on her life membership.

"Members of the Parkes Teachers Association are very proud of Joan's achievements on our collective behalf as a teacher here in Parkes, as a representative of our association, and as a Federation officer, culminating in the leadership roles of senior vice president and deputy president," Mick said.

"We are pleased and honoured to confer honorary life membership of the Parkes Teachers Association upon Joan Lemaire at this meeting here tonight."

Joan attended Rylstone Public School and Kandos High School, before graduating from the University of New England and working as a casual teacher in Kandos and Grenfell.

Joan was appointed as permanent teacher to Parkes High School in 1984.

"She became active in the Parkes TA and was involved in the development of a campaign that achieved a range of incentives for rural teachers including the transfer points system and better teacher housing," Mick said.

"It was an important lesson about the power of local action.

"In 1987 Joan was encouraged by Parkes Association activists, such as Sue French, as well as the Federation organiser of the time Cathy Cussan, to stand and was elected as a Federation relief officer."

Joan was elected a welfare officer by 1988, beginning a distinguished career as a NSW Teachers Federation officer which included holding office as the women's coordinator and then as an industrial officer.

In 2009 Joan was elected a senior officer of the Federation, becoming the senior vice president and in 2017 she became the deputy president of the NSW Teachers Federation.

Joan now resides in Sydney.

Joan was presented a pin and invited to address the meeting.

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