Education & Learning

"Sometimes the paths we take are long and hard, but remember those are often the ones that lead to the most beautiful views. Have the courage to make that journey."


"We save paradise by an intense education program where you get people that you can trust to talk sanely about the environment and hope that the message will get through. "


"Throughout high school, I wish I had known the importance of noticing others and allowing their experiences to enrich my own life. Other people's stories and experiences will inspire you to learn, to change and to evolve."


"When I was in high school I wish I had known that there are many ways to learn, and being at school was just one way. Often it is the lessons we learn outside the school room that are the most valuable"


"Australia must prioritise education spending. It is not a question of whether or not we have the money, it is a question of how we choose to spend it. "


"...begun as a girl from a little country town in central western Queensland, inspired by noble ideas of justice, about fairness, about making the world a better place."

QUENTIN, BRYCE - speech to the University of Melbourne class of 2013, on her own journey

"Graduation day was a milestone in the most important journey of all - to the centre of oneself."

QUENTIN, BRYCE - recalling her graduation from the University of Queensland with degrees in arts and law

"I played to win. When I was a child, my brothers and I played cowboys and Indians in the park, and I was always an Indian who got captured. That was a learning experience; they were showing me that as a woman I was going to be captured. But in a metaphorical sense, I think I did eventually become a cowboy."

ITA, BUTTROSE - on competitiveness

"We can't act if we can't think and, in my opinion, we can't think if we don't read."


"The more you learn, the more you realize you need to learn. "


"Education doesn't give you the answers, but enables you to ask the questions! "


"It's nothing to be ashamed of. There comes a time in everything when you don't know something."

BRYCE, COURTENAY - The Power of One

"From time to time it has struck me that as a writer, I've somehow managed to live my life as I had long ago dreamt of doing, based on the Tintin paradigm: on my toes, travelling, senses attentuated, everything just adventure and exploration, curiosity and problem-solving."


"For the Tintin books were my emotional universe. To read them felt quite simply like being loved: in advance and by an entire world of pure possibility, my future. But to write to the author was to reach out for the lover. Even today, the power of reading one remains visceral: each book acts as a form of transportation, not just to the emotional landscape of this first literary love affair but to very specific memories."


"Behaviour unchallenged is behaviour encouraged. "


"Get out of bed, go to school, stick at school. Make it happen for yourself because those opportunities are waiting. "


"The language of gardening fuels the senses: talk with your hands, observe with your ears and listen with your eyes."


"It's not just about facts, information and technical know how... Gardens are about time, observation and intuition."


"Get growing. Back yourself and make mistakes. It's your mistakes and observations that are your greatest tutors. "


"I think this feeling that I have for people and the importance of behaving in a way which is respectful to people of all colours, shapes, sizes and religions goes back a very long way... possibly to my mother and father in very early stages of childhood."


"I believe that education is all about being excited about something. Seeing passion and enthusiasm helps push an educational message. "


"It is a gift when someone can challenge you and open your mind to new ideas."

TERRI, IRWIN - Steve & Me

"The extent of unrecognised and untapped talent in the working class remains the great unknown in Australian education."

BARRY, JONES - Sleepers, Wake!, 1982

"IQ testing appears to be an objective endorsement of what is instinctively believed by many teachers, educational administrators and politicians - i.e. that the working class is largely ineducable at higher levels (and by inference, that the middle class are intellectually superior)."

BARRY, JONES - Sleepers, Wake!, 1982

"Despite the exponential increases in public education and access to information in the past century, the quality of debate appears to have become increasingly unsophisticated, appealing to the lowest common denominator of understanding."


"Will Australia have the intelligence, energy or guts to impose democratic and pluralist forms on the new technology, or will its ambiguities all be resolved in favour of the rich, the powerful and the status quo? Our timorous social history, the feeble grasp of complex matters exhibited by too many of our leaders, the low level of intellectual vitality, a lack of national self-confidence, our natural tendency towards bureaucracy, conformity, obedience and fatalism, the mediocrity of the business and academic establishment do not give us much ground for optimism."

BARRY, JONES - Sleepers, Wake!, 1982

"It was disconcerting for the novel to seem so different when I re-read it. Of course we are a different person each time we open a book to read it again; we can never really experience it in the same way, just as we can never step into the same stream twice."

RAMONA, KOVAL - By the Book

"That's what reading was for my mother, and became for me - a way to escape, a private time machine, a place that began with moral instruction but soon morphed into empathy and imagination."

RAMONA, KOVAL - By the Book

"Not only does art imitate life but life imitates art. Perhaps we not only learn about life from stories, perhaps we make our lives through the stories we tell ourselves about the things that happen to us."

RAMONA, KOVAL - By the Book

"I learned that books could be collected, that they were important enough to keep and that a story that seemed to be over could be part of a bigger one."

RAMONA, KOVAL - By the Book

"But, in the end, the books that surround me are the books that made me, through my reading (and misreading) of them; they fall in piles on my desk, they stack behind me on my shelves, they surprise me every time I look for one and find ten more I had forgotten about. I love their covers, their weight and their substance. And like the child I was, with the key to the world that reading gave me, it is still exciting for me to find a new book, open it at the first page and plunge in, head first, heart deep."

RAMONA, KOVAL - By the Book

"I realised that reading was the key that opened the door to secret lands, strange places and the worlds behind other people's eyes."

RAMONA, KOVAL - By the Book

"Can we really be friends with those who don't love the books that we do? Of course we can, but can we really be friends with those who don't love any books? I'm not so sure of that."

RAMONA, KOVAL - By the Book

"True browsing means that we discover shelves and subjects that we could not have anticipated when we started. And the books we read introduce us to other books, as if we are at a magnificent party of the mind, being ever welcomed by new friends to join in the conversation."

RAMONA, KOVAL - By the Book

"Books that recount ordeals are precious because an ordeal is what we most fear, and the stories that tell us how to survive them reassure us about what a human being is capable of, as we survive our own lives every day, our own mysterious journeys."

RAMONA, KOVAL - By the Book

"That's what is so precious in reading this way - you can plumb the depths of another's experience while sitting still with a book in your hands."

RAMONA, KOVAL - By the Book

"We read to find out what the world is like, to experience lots of lives, not just the one we live. If it is true that our lives are chaotic and we crave a shape, stories are the shapes that we put on experience, containing all the wisdom in the world. We can even choose what kind of wisdom suits us."

RAMONA, KOVAL - By the Book

"When the ground opens beneath a child's feet somebody must catch their hand or they will fall."

PETER, LALOR - Barassi The Biography

"Data isn't information; information isn't knowledge; knowledge isn't wisdom."


"My headmaster chastised me with a diabolical instrument a leather strap tacked to a piece of wood but he taught me with such villainous success that I am now Prime Minister."


"The best hope for Australia is the ballot box and good education. "


"The most important thing to do as an artist is to get out of your comfort zone and work with different people: people who can't read a note of music, people who have incredible classical skills, blues and jazz musicians, pop artists, visual artists, dancers and actors. Learn from people who are creative in a different way to you and you'll keep evolving."

KATIE, NOONAN - on collaborations

"My mum's an opera singer: I grew up watching her get swept up in music and transform herself into characters. She taught me that music is a lifelong journey, and that with every day and every song and every gig you learn something new."

KATIE, NOONAN - on music

"Barry Jones once said that Australia is the only country where the word 'academic' is a pejorative. The academic sector has a vibrant and practical role to play in this complex world of ours. Higher education and research are worthy of your much closer attention. Yes, we can be and should be the clever country. Our progress can be within the highest ethical and moral framework. But this will only happen if we place appropriate emphasis on education, research and innovation within a truly international framework."


"My theory is that if we don't connect to nature, mentally, physically or spiritually, we're lost. Teaching children to photograph an animal is to understand its behaviour, its habitat and why that habitat must be preserved. In a nation of city dwellers with an ever expanding migrant population, it's crucial to plug people in, give them respect and connection to their natural environment. "


"Educating others was my primary objective in starting the company. It wasn't just about taking spectacular images, although that is extremely rewarding, too. It was about promoting an understanding for the importance of nature. The first step has to be to light a fire in someone - inspire them to learn more, inspire them to genuinely become one with nature, urge them to connect with it and to celebrate its beauty and diversity. Then let's talk about saving it. "


"I immediately cotton on to the fact that intelligence thus lightly used, and one-upmanshipishly displayed, is a birthmark giving me a two-coloured face, is a goitre, a hump on the back, webbed toes, and makes me stink like the night-man. Once again I learn what I knew on my very first day at Kensington School, and have carelessly forgotten, that it is more intelligent to appear less intelligent. I henceforth rein myself in, and publicly give back only what I have been given - fifty-six for seven- eights."

HAL, PORTER - The Watcher on the Cast Iron Balcony

"Education is both a tool of social justice as well as a fundamental driver of economic development."


"Ignore the disciplinary boundaries as much as you can. Pursue the questions that excite you, and don't be afraid of asking big questions."


"A wise lady once showed me life shouldn't be so much about who you are, but realizing who you can be."


"Learning is not about reading something in a book; learning is about doing it."


"Keep kids in classrooms and OUT of courtrooms. "

LES, TWENTYMAN - on truancy

"Why are teachers as important as doctors? Doctors save lives where teachers help make lives better!"


"You see it in schools all over... the concept that 'I'll be somewhat less than my best in order to make those around me feel more comfortable' is alive and well... I'm very keen that they understand that if they make themselves a little less than they can be, it is a one-way street to mediocrity."

PROFESSOR FIONA, WOOD - 1960-2010 Australians of the Year, Wendy Lewis

"My father's saying, 'The harder you work, the luckier you get.'"


"My mother's great line was, 'Grasp the nettle with two hands, girl, because if you don't somebody else will.'"


"Sport teaches life's lessons. But there's no substitute, in my book, for education, because that gives you choice."


"I have always believed and promoted the fact that education and access to the knowledge society involves lifelong learning."

KEN, WYATT - First Speech, 29 September 2010