27 January 2015:

The Public Education Foundation has hailed the appointment of its founding chair, Jenni Neary, as a Member of the General Division of the Order of Australia, in the Australia Day Honours list. The award has been made to recognize her significant service to public education.

The Foundation has grown from strength to strength since it was established in 2008. It focuses on awarding scholarships to public school students that will extend and enhance their opportunities through education. Last year the Foundation awarded 109 scholarships enabling students at all levels of schooling to continue their education. It also was able, thanks to the Harvard Club of Australia and other sponsors, to provide Harvard study grants to six principals who had demonstrated their excellence as educational leaders in their schools.

The citation recognises Jenni’s long term commitment to public education, commencing as a high school Mathematics teacher. She then became involved in the national Disadvantaged Schools Program, and has also been a long time member of the NSW Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards. Jenni has, for many years, taken active roles that serve to increase the quality of public education, believing that education is the cornerstone of a prosperous and just society.

Her contribution to the Public Education Foundation has been immeasurable and the Foundation’s Board of Directors and management are proud that her work has been recognised in this way.