Graeme Bridge - Thames Valley / Western Bay of Plenty region
School: Aquinas College
Teaching Subjects: HOF Arts and teaching Visual Art
Why did you stand for election to PPTA Executive? There are times, the moments when all is well with the world. Then there are times when the slope is too steep and going in directions that have the potential to not end well. Good or bad I believe we are here to make a difference. I am a firm believer in the power of our collective voice. A voice that matters.
I have been actively involved in PPTA my entire teaching career. Getting off the fence to become a branch chair in my second year of teaching. Over the years I have been a branch chair in several schools, a regional chair, a regional treasurer, a member of the bargaining team for the STCA (twice), on the national executive as I am now and an advocate for all things PPTA.
The advantage of being in the classroom for so long means that I know what it is that matters. I have endeavored always to be that reasoned voice. To cut through the rhetoric and passing fads. To ask the tough questions. To seek justice, to empower, to enlighten and to look forward. But not to be so future focused that we drop the ball in the present. Adding my voice to the power that we have collectively.
PPTA is the voice of our profession. Our advocate both as an association and industrially. Change may not happen as quickly as we would like at times but it does happen. Through my involvement in collective bargaining and as a member of the executive I have seen firsthand the power of that collectivism. It inspires me to be there to protect and not just persevere our collective. To move forward into a brighter future.
I know that we make the difference that matters for education in Aotearoa. It is the reason I am a committed member of the PPTA whānau.