Last month Maitland local resident John McFarland and his colleague Brian Adamthwaite, representatives of the Maitland teachers association, were acknowledged by the NSW Teachers Federation with lifetime membership awards. John McFarland's work in the public education sector began in 1980 and his fundamental belief in trade unionism compelled him to contribute to the Maitland Teachers Association. As a teacher and a unionist, John worked to improve the quality of public education. This is to be highly commended, as is his work to provide disadvantaged students with an education that is comprehensive, non-discriminatory and equal to any other in the State. I congratulate John and Brian on their efforts to maintain high quality public education for all students within the Maitland area.