'Education is what my entire life is about': Eddie Woo to deliver the Australia Day address

Eddie Woo's dream of taking maths to the masses is becoming a reality.

The maths teacher is not only a global YouTube sensation with his maths channel WooTube - which has more than 160,000 subscribers - but the 32-year-old is also in the running for a $US1 million global teaching award.

The head teacher at Cherrybrook Technology High will also give this year's Australia Day address in NSW - the first time a classroom teacher has been asked to give the high profile speech.

Mr Woo, a former James Ruse High School student, said he was honoured to be given the opportunity.

"My whole first paragraph [of my speech] is about 'what am I doing here'," Mr Woo said.

Mr Woo was born in Australia to Malaysian parents. His grandparents fled China in the 1920s.

He said Australians often forget how lucky they are to have universal access to education, and its importance cannot be underestimated.

"Education is the key to the future of the human race, and I am not exaggerating when I say that," Mr Woo said.

"As a mathematics teacher, maths is often misunderstood and most people's view of maths is negative and they tend to say 'thank goodness I survived that'.

"But when you learn a musical instrument, you have to learn scales and be schooled in music theory, and maths is no different. I just think most people don't know what maths is really about."

Despite his high profile, which will also be further boosted by a new ABC TV series he is featured in called Teenage Boss, which aims to teach young people how to manage their money, Mr Woo says his life will always be in teaching.

"I always want to be working with students, that's what I love about my job," Mr Woo said.

"Seeing students learn but also learn about themselves and utterly transform the way they view themselves is incredible."

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said Mr Woo's "innovative and dynamic methods" had transformed the way students related to mathematics.

"Through his unique ability to engage with young people, Eddie Woo has helped countless students to overcome a fear of maths and nurture a love of learning," said Ms Berejiklian.

"Eddie's passion and dedication to teaching and his personal story is truly inspiring."

Mr Woo is a finalist in the Global Teacher Prize, which will be announced in Dubai in March.

This story 'Education is what my entire life is about': Eddie Woo to deliver the Australia Day address first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.