Win sums up Woo

RIGHT EQUATION: Cherrybrook Technology High School's head mathematics teacher and YouTube sensation Edward Woo was named 2018 NSW Local Hero. Picture: Geoff Jones
RIGHT EQUATION: Cherrybrook Technology High School's head mathematics teacher and YouTube sensation Edward Woo was named 2018 NSW Local Hero. Picture: Geoff Jones

Like all heroes, Edward Woo lives a double life.

By day, he is the head mathematics teacher at Cherrybrook Technology High. 

But by night, he is a YouTube sensation sharing his lessons across the globe. 

It is his dedication to equitable and accessible education which cemented Mr Woo as the recipient of the 2018 NSW Local Hero award as part of the NSW Australian of the Year.

The father-of-three said he was completely humbled to be recognised in the awards. 

“I'm not sure if it’s sunk in yet but it is an incredible honour. I am incredibly grateful for this recognition,” Mr Woo said.

“I honestly couldn’t even believe I was nominated and then my name was called, and I was completely unprepared.

“It is an immense honour to represent all teachers in an award like this.”

His YouTube page, Wootube, which provides engaging videos to explain mathematics, recently passed 100,000 subscribers and seven million views.

Initially, Mr Woo started the channel in 2012 for a student who had cancer and was missing a lot of school. 

"I think one of the hardest things about education, despite being mandatory, is there are still incredible barriers,” Mr Woo said. 

“I deeply believe, which is one of the reasons I will always offer my videos for free, everyone should be able to access them - no matter who they are or where they come from.

“I am delighted that it has become so valuable to people.” 

Outside the classroom, Mr Woo is a volunteer facilitator with the University of Sydney's Widening Participation and Outreach program and has motivated more than 1400 students from disadvantaged backgrounds. 

Mr Woo said he hoped his channel would teach people about the importance of mathematics in everyday life.

“I hope this would give me an opportunity to tell people what mathematics really is,” Mr Woo said. “It can be a beautiful symphony with incredible connections which enriches your life and the world around you.”

Mr Woo was named NSW Australian of the Year in the local hero category at a ceremony at the Museum of Contemporary Art.