In writing this article I started to think about words starting with A, M and C that would describe one of the largest maths competitions in Australia.
If you want to be analytical, be a mathematician and be creative all at the same time then the AMC is the competition for you. It provides an opportunity to be all of these and more.
I was introduced to the AMC as a student teacher in 1984. In the same year, I attended my first AMC State Directors Meeting in Adelaide, and since then it has been a privilege to serve as AMC State Director in two states for a total of 22 years. In that time I have seen the AMC go from strength to strength. The quality and the variety of problems have always been of a very high standard, and it always amazes me how creative and original the problems are. This is the AMC’s greatest strength and its reputation has been built on this. Once you start a problem it is hard to put it down until you have solved it. The students, teachers and parents just love doing the problems.
In the time I have been associated with the Trust here are some of my observations/changes that have happened.
- The competition was renamed from Australian Mathematics Competition for the Westpac Awards to Australian Mathematics Competition
- All the staff and volunteers I have worked within my time with AMT have always been very supportive and made me feel very welcome and valued
- The style of marking schemes has changed. One of the most significant changes is that students no longer incur a penalty for answering questions incorrectly
- The competition has expanded to included students from Years 4 to 6
- The AMF (Australian Mathematics Foundation) was formed
- The AMT was formed
- Neither the Westpac Bank nor the Commonwealth Bank sponsors the competition
- There was a TV commercial promoting the competition (in the 90’s I think)
- The AMC and AMT Offices have been in three different locations
- Three logos have been created
- There have only been four CEOs, a testament to the stability of the AMT
The things I love about the AMC
- The innovative problems.
- The people that the competition reaches across Australia and internationally. It is very inclusive as it is written in large print, braille, French, English and Chinese. Students in 42 countries have access to it.
- The competition allows you to develop both your critical thinking and creative skills.
- The problems are accessible and non-threatening, which draws people in to do have a go.
- The opportunity to work with different mathematicians from Australia and other parts of the world.
It has allowed me to grow as a teacher and become a better teacher. I love being part of the AMT family and why I will always passionately support the Trust and its activities to the best of my abilities. We are on the same page.
I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to past staff and present staff for all you do. I look forward to working with you all in the years ahead.
AMC State Director of Victoria