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Local teachers honoured for five decades in NSW public education

NSW Department of Education 2 mins read

Media release


Thursday 16 November 2023


Local teachers honoured for five decades in NSW public education


Leo Hudson from Toronto High School, Graham Hudson of Dungog High School, Kathleen Prudence from Singleton High School and Ann Barry from Cessnock West Public School will be among 59 people honoured for their dedication to the teaching profession at the inaugural Department of Education Service Recognition Dinner.


This evening’s awards night will shine a light on some of the most committed and hard-working public educators in the state, recognised for 50 years’ service with the Department.


Graham Hudson started with the Department in 1970, and his brother Leo Hudson will mark his fiftieth anniversary in a few weeks. Kathleen Prudence started teaching in 1969, and Ann Barry’s first teaching role was at Muswellbrook South Public School in 1965.


Graham Hudson began teaching but was conscripted to serve in peacekeeping forces in Singapore and Malaya. On his return he taught at a number of Hunter high schools. He received a standing ovation from students when he passed his 50 year milestone in June 2020.


His brother Leo started teaching at Hunter Girls’ High in 1974, transferred to Newcastle Technology High later that year and Toronto High the following year where he is still working. During his career he has led excursions to New Caledonia and Japan, and taught a student who became a surgeon in Canada, now a Professor of Anaesthesiology at Toronto University Teaching Hospital.


Kathleen Prudence is a Head Teacher Mathematics and began her teaching career at Manildra Central School. She taught in Mullumbimby and Quirindi before taking up positions in the Hunter from 1979. From 2001 to 2006 she worked at the Board of Studies as a liaison officer, and in 2006 received a NSW Premier’s Teacher Scholarship to study Realistic Mathematics Education in the UK.


Assistant Principal Ann Barry has now worked at public schools for more than 57 and a half years, 52 of them at Cessnock West. After teaching at Muswellbrook South Public School for four years, Ms Barry was offered a position at Cessnock West, her former primary school.


She said going from being a student to a teacher at her former school felt odd, but exciting, and that being a teacher has been a rewarding experience no other job could compare to.


Deputy Premier and Minister for Education and Early Learning Prue Car said:


“To log 50 years or more of service with the one organisation is an exceptional achievement, but to do it in public education elevates it to the extraordinary.


“We’re incredibly thankful to the Hudson brothers, Kathleen Prudence and Ann Barry for their outstanding service over such a long period of time.”


NSW Department of Education Secretary Murat Dizdar said:


“During a year in which we’ve marked 175 years of public education in NSW, it’s fitting that we now celebrate significant individual milestones from people who have given so significantly to public education in this state. 


“So much passion and sacrifice goes into the teaching profession and many other roles within public education and I’d like to personally acknowledge and congratulate Leo, Graham and Kathleen for their service.”

Contact details:

Sven Wright, Department of Education media officer 02 7814 0069

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