Published on 6 December 2013
Employment opportunities for teachers in rural and remote Queensland are being snapped up by University of the Sunshine Coast Education graduates, thanks to some innovative programs and financial backing from the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation (TFFF).
Forty-eight USC Education students this year took part in USC’s Rural and Remote Education Programs, which are supported by TFFF bursaries to provide supervised professional experiences at schools.
And a further 24 students participated in a TFFF-funded Coast to Country initiative, which this year involved a week-long tour of rural school communities in Roma, Miles, Drillham and Chinchilla.
TFFF founder Tim Fairfax AM, a passionate advocate for encouraging greater educational opportunities for rural communities, attended a special ceremony at USC this week to congratulate and present certificates to all bursary recipients.
USC Senior Lecturer and Professional Learning Manager Dr Anne Drabble thanked Mr Fairfax for his support and said the TFFF Rural and Remote Education bursaries had clearly boosted the employment opportunities of USC’s Education graduates.
“More than 70 per cent of students who received these bursaries during the past three years have received employment in rural areas,” she said. “It has been pleasing to note the number of students with families who have completed rural placements and subsequently moved, with their families, to take up employment.
“The TFFF bursaries for rural and remote placements provide students with financial support to undertake their placements. In turn, they are able to develop a strong pedagogical and psychological fit that allows them to transition seamlessly into the teaching profession and rural community.”
Dr Drabble said the Coast to Country initiative had been particularly valuable for students who were previously uncertain about teaching in rural locations.
“It is a week-long opportunity to engage with staff and students in rural schools and gain first-hand experiences about teaching in these locations and the living in the community,” she said.
— Jessica Halls