Supporting the independent education community

Principal Focus: Monica Fitzalan

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Meet Monica Fitzalan, Principal of St Patrick’s Primary School, Blacktown.


A great passion for learning and being at the heart of her community is central to what makes St Patrick’s Primary School Principal Monica Fitzalan tick.


“When I joined the IEU in 1991, I had a strong belief that good people were involved in the union and were working to support us, so I jumped on board and have remained committed,” Fitzalan said.


In a ‘small world’ moment, former NSW/ACT Branch Secretary John Quessy's daughter attended the first primary school at which Fitzalan taught.


“Throughout my 30-year teaching career, it has been a great security to know there is a professional team advocating for the rights and equity of teachers,” Fitzalan said of the IEU.


“To know there is a team ready to provide information, advice and representation if needed provides great peace of mind. 


The IEU speaks for all of us with one voice and allows each person to be represented.”


Fitzalan says her advice to all school staff is to join your union. “Their purpose is to serve you and advocate for you,” she said. Then there are the many member benefits on offer, from Teachers' Health Insurance to travel and retail discounts.


“The IEU's top priority is our employment and work conditions, and I am thankful for the work they do to make me feel valued in my teaching career,” Fitzalan said.


“I have always appreciated the connection we have with the IEU and the relationship we have with the representatives of our schools. It enables staff to feel protected, valued and cared for.” 


Fitzalan says she has always loved teaching and making a difference in the lives of the children in her care, and knowing that the union was there for her in turn if she needed it was a great support. 


“As a principal, I love not only supporting our beautiful students but also nurturing and supporting the fabulous staff I am blessed to work with every day,” she said.


“Do I feel supported? Yes. Do I feel that someone is advocating for us collectively? Yes. Will I continue to support our union so that they can support staff in schools? Absolutely.” 


Fitzalan adds a note of support for her colleagues. “Congratulations to all my peers and fellow staff for the outstanding work you do every day for our students – the future of our society. You make a big difference every day.”  


Read Monica Fitzalan in the Sydney Morning Herald: A desire to help others and a bank of interesting facts: How I connect with my students, Monica Fitzalan, 18 February 2022.



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