Support Staff Week 2020: 24-28 August

Support Staff: Essential for Learning

‘Support Staff – Essential for Learning’ is the theme for the 2020 Support Staff Week, which acknowledges School Services Officers (SSOs), Early Childhood Workers (ECWs) and Aboriginal Education Workers (AEWs). We know that sites could not function without you and everything you do helps support young people to achieve their potential.

It’s a week when we celebrate, but it’s also a week when we take action to improve the working lives of our support staff colleagues. ‘One Staff – One Union’ is more than just a slogan – it’s the way members at a site should operate to ensure all members are heard and all members work together to achieve the best outcomes.

Member actions will vary, depending on where your sub-branch or member group is at in your activism and support for SSOs, ECWs and AEWs. It’s all about taking the next step in increasing membership, ensuring consultation and building union power at your site.

Make sure support staff members are represented

Ensuring you have a member as non-teaching rep on the PAC and having an SSO contact person who attends your workplace organising committee or sub-branch meetings to make sure SSO matters are on the agenda might be your next step. If you’re an SSO, ECW or AEW, find out who your reps and other members are and how you can engage with the sub-branch or member group and get support staff matters on the agenda.

Make the new entitlements happen

As well as outcomes that benefitted all members, there are several key wins for support staff in the 2020 Enterprise Agreement. Your action in Support Staff Week might focus on ensuring that they are implemented. Winning entitlements is one step; working with your member colleagues to make them happen comes next. 

How to celebrate and acknowledge support staff


There are many ways you can celebrate the essential role of SSO, ECW and AEW/AECO members at your site:

  • a morning tea or a shared lunch;
  • presentation of certificates of appreciation (see template below);
  • awards at assembly, from staff or children/students;
  • cards made by staff, classes and students;
  • photos for display with positive comments, thank you notes and shout outs;
  • schools and preschools post thank you notes or acknowledgements on their Facebook pages (with necessary permissions);
  • articles in school and preschool newsletters and online platforms;
  • special treats such as chocolates, biscuits, home made goodies or flowers;
  • teachers, leaders and other staff take on a role to give support staff members a break for celebrations; and
  • support staff share something about their role and an achievement.

Members will need to consider COVID-9 restrictions at the time when planning events and celebrations

Please send photos of your celebrations and acknowledgements to the AEU at aeusa@aeusa.asn.au for use in an upcoming Journal and on our social media pages.

Certificate of appreciation

Presentation of Certificates of Appreciation to support staff is a popular activity during Support Staff Week.

Download the template here .