You’ll need to update your browser so you can continue to log on to your online banking from 28th February. Update now.


Media Release

CommBank survey reveals Aussies’ favourite teachers are to thank for their career choice

CBA survey reveals favourite teachers inspire career

A survey commissioned by Commonwealth Bank reveals one in two Aussies choose their career path based on a favourite teacher.

CommBank survey reveals Aussies’ favourite teachers are to thank for their career choice

Friday, 28 October 2016: A new survey commissioned by Commonwealth Bank has revealed many Aussies are likely to choose their career based on the subjects taught by great teachers, with one in two (49 per cent) saying their favourite teacher inspired their career. 

With two thirds (65 per cent) of Australians believing teachers had one of the most significant impacts on their development, Commonwealth Bank has partnered with education not-for-profit Schools Plus to recognise great educators through the newly established Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards.

The Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards will offer twelve Fellowships of $45,000 for teachers and school leaders who are inspiring and transforming the lives of their students and school communities. 

Each Fellowship includes $10,000 for the recipient’s professional development and $5,000 for participation in a 12-month fellowship program that includes a study tour to Singapore. In addition, each winner’s school will receive $30,000 to fund a project designed to improve student performance and wellbeing. 

Kylie Macfarlane, General Manager Corporate Responsibility, Commonwealth Bank, said; “With Australian kids spending hundreds of hours at school during their lifetime, it was no surprise that almost half (46 per cent) say a great teacher motivated them to succeed.

“But what we also found was that the majority (78 per cent) of Aussies say great teachers are shaping the future of our country, and as we believe teachers are one of our most valuable resources, we couldn’t agree more.

“The Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards recognise that high-quality teaching is the greatest in-school influence on student engagement and outcomes.”

The national survey was undertaken ahead of the Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards launch and highlighted the lasting impact of great teaching. The survey found 87 per cent of Aussies believe teachers have the power to improve a student’s future, with more than one in four (27 per cent) crediting their success to a teacher.

Many Australians particularly felt the impact of their teachers in their final years at school, as nearly all Aussies said their favourite teachers taught them in Year 10 (31 per cent), Year 11 (29 per cent) or Year 12 (28 per cent). 

Rosemary Conn, CEO, Schools Plus added; “The Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards are an excellent way for all Australians to recognise their most inspiring teachers, and give back to the exceptional teachers that make a big difference to students and the community.” 

Teachers and school leaders from all sectors of the Australian schools system – government, Catholic and Independent – can apply or be nominated for the Awards.

Applications for the Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards are open until Wednesday, November 30. For more information on the Teaching Awards or to nominate for an Award visit  


Further insights from the research included:

  • Almost half of Aussies say their teachers inspired their future careers (49 per cent)
  • Depending on which state you went to school in, then your teacher would’ve inspired your future career:
    • NSW/ ACT – 43 per cent
    • VIC/ TAS – 50 per cent
    • QLD – 54 per cent
    • SA/ NT – 53 per cent
    • WA – 55 per cent
  • Generational impact of teachers on a student’s future career:
    • Gen Y – 46 per cent
    • Gen X – 48 per cent
    • Baby Boomers – 46 per cent
    • Grey – 58 per cent
  • Almost half of Aussies surveyed (49 per cent) say extra attention from teachers was the key to their success.
  • Aussies’ favourite teachers were English, Mathematics and Science teachers (41 per cent).
  • Teachers that were least likely to be selected were Geography (1 per cent), History (2 per cent), Business/ Economics (2 per cent), Technologies (4 per cent) and Languages (4 per cent).
  • Gen Ys favoured the Arts above the national average (8 per cent vs. 5 per cent) and also had a stronger representation across elective units including humanities and health / PE (both at 6 per cent).
  • SA/ NT favourite teachers taught Science (18 per cent)
  • QLD and NSW/ ACT favourite teachers taught English (18 per cent)
  • WA favourite teachers taught Maths (13 per cent) 
  • English teachers were the clear favourite across the generations
    • Gen Y 20 per cent
    • Gen X 18 per cent
    • Baby Boomers 13 per cent 
    • Greys 15 per cent 
  • Two thirds (65 per cent) of Australians say teachers had one of the most significant impacts on their development
    • More than three quarters of Greys said teachers had one of the biggest impacts on their development (76 per cent)
    • TV/ Media personalities were not a strong influence when compared to teachers across the generations – Gen Y (7 per cent v 60 per cent), Gen X (6 per cent v 61 per cent), Baby Boomers (2 per cent v 65 per cent), Grey (2 per cent v 76 per cent) 

    About Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards

    The Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards are run in partnership with Schools Plus, a not-for-profit organisation established in 2013 to increase philanthropy for the schools that most need support. The Awards will recognise and reward 12 teachers across Australia with a $45,000 Teaching Fellowship. The majority of the recipients will be teachers or school leaders working in schools in disadvantaged communities. 

    The Awards form part of CommBank’s 25-year commitment to improving Australian education outcomes. CommBank has established these because it believes great teachers help children reach their potential. By celebrating the achievements of great teachers, CommBank hopes to elevate the teaching profession and inspire Australian teachers.  

    For more information on the Teaching Awards or to nominate for an Award visit  

    About Opportunity Initiatives 

    As one of Australia’s largest companies, we are committed to making a positive contribution to our customers, communities and the economies in which we operate. Opportunity Initiatives is our corporate responsibility plan to drive positive, lasting change through education, innovation and good business practices. Visit us at to find out more.

    About Schools Plus

    Schools Plus is a national charity that delivers high-impact philanthropic support for schools in disadvantaged communities, to give students the opportunities they need to fulfil their potential. It was established in 2013, bringing to life a recommendation in the 2011 Review of Funding for Schooling (Gonski Review). More than 4,600 schools across Australia are eligible for tax-deductible donations through Schools Plus. 

    About this research

    • This study was conducted online among a representative sample of Australians aged 18 or older.
    • Quotas were set to ensure the data was nationally representative by sex, age and region to reflect the latest ABS population estimates.
    • The sample was 1,020 respondents, distributed throughout Australia including both capital city and non- capital city areas. 
    • Fieldwork commenced on Tuesday 11 October and was completed on Monday, 17 October.