Media Statements

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20/07/18: Tenders open for school energy program

JOINT STATEMENT

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy
The Honourable Dr Anthony Lynham

Solar panels will start to be installed on Queensland state schools over the summer holidays, with tenders now open for the Government’s $97 million Advancing Clean Energy Schools program.

Education Minister Grace Grace said the Palaszczuk Government’s ACES program would help more than 800 Queensland state schools to reduce energy costs.

“We know that Queensland’s state schools are one of our largest energy users, spending more than $67 million each year on their energy bills,” Ms Grace said.

“That’s why our Government is committing $97 million over the next three years to install solar panels and other energy saving devices in our schools.

“The program includes $40 million for new solar systems and $57 million to install energy efficiency measures such as LED lighting and timers on hot water systems.”

Ms Grace said the ACES program would be rolled-out in three stages, with the first phase to start in the summer holidays in up to 210 state schools across Queensland.

“In the first stage, up to 30 schools in each Department of Education region will benefit from this program and these schools will named during Term 4,” she said.

“Stages two and three will be rolling out in remaining schools during 2019 and 2020.

“Right now we’re calling for tenders to establish a Pre-Qualified Panel of lead contractors to implement the ACES program and companies qualifying for this panel will announced during Term 4.

“The ACES program is to be delivered under a partnership model with the lead contractors who will design, supply, install, operate and maintain solar and energy solutions across participating state schools.

“We know this program will have flow on effects for local economies as the contractors we employ will maximise local employment opportunities.

“This project will support quality jobs and increase opportunities for apprentices and trainees as well as Indigenous employment and supplier participation.”

Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the ACES program supported the Palaszczuk Government’s target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030.

“ACES is expected to deliver an approximate 20 per cent reduction in total energy costs across Queensland’s state schools.”

Details of the Invitation to Offer (ITO) are available on the Qtenders website: https://www.hpw.qld.gov.au/qtenders/


19/07/18: Drumroll please… Fanfare 2018 grand finalists revealed

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Education Minister Grace Grace has announced the Fanfare 2018 grand finalists, who will compete for the top gong on 13 and 14 August at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Ms Grace made the announcement today at The Gap State High School, one of the ten schools in the grand final. 

“I congratulate the five primary and five secondary state school ensembles which have made it through the gruelling regional rounds to reach the decider,” Ms Grace said.

“This year the regional competitions saw more than 30,000 students from 1,143 ensembles compete.”

Ms Grace said the biennial Fanfare program began in 1985, providing students with valuable performance experience and the chance to hone their skills.

“We all know there’s a huge pool of creative talent in our Queensland state schools,” she said.

“The Palaszczuk Government is a passionate supporter of fostering creative talent in our schools and that’s why we’re investing $14.4 million over the next four years to hire more music teachers.”

Ms Grace said Fanfare had attracted an estimated 190,000 students since the program began.

“The winning secondary ensemble will receive the Erica Brindley Memorial Trophy,” she said.

“This trophy is named after Erica Brindley, a dedicated state school instrumental music teacher who was killed in a tragic accident at Carnarvon Gorge in 2002.

“The memorial trophy honours Erica’s life and her commitment to music education in Queensland.”

Fanfare program partner AEG Ogden has sponsored the program since 2012. Tickets to the Fanfare 2018 primary or secondary grand final concert can be purchased directly through Ticketek (external site), by calling 132 849 or online.

More information on Fanfare 2018 is also available here http://education.qld.gov.au/community/fanfare/index.html

A list of the Fanfare 2018 grand finalists is available below.

Primary

The Willows State School Concert Band

Conductor: Ruby Johnson

Ashgrove State School String Orchestra

Conductor: Keith Sharp

Ironside State School Chamber Strings

Conductor: Trudy Weekes

Banksia Beach State School Senior Concert Band

Conductor: Martin O'Callaghan

Varsity College String Orchestra

Conductor: Michelle Wilson

 

Secondary

Cairns State High School Symphony Orchestra

Conductor: Jon Christodoulis

Stretton College Symphonic Band

Conductor: Adam Hornagold

The Gap State High School Asymmetry Percussion Ensemble

Director: Jeff Jarrott

Brisbane State High School Symphonic Band

Conductor: Brad Ruben

Centenary Heights State High School String Orchestra

Conductor: Jessica Johansen


18/07/18: Get comfy and stay in your pyjamas this Friday

JOINT STATEMENT

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Di Farmer

Staying in your pyjamas all day sounds too good to be true, but two Queensland Ministers are encouraging all Queenslanders to do just that to support The Pyjama Foundation on Friday 20 July.

Minister for Child Safety Di Farmer today teamed up with Minister for Education Grace Grace to put the call out for everyone to do their bit on National Pyjama Day.

“The Pyjama Foundation does incredible work in our communities, helping vulnerable children learn to love learning and reading and this is such an easy way you can support them,” Ms Farmer said.

“It’s so easy, and comfy! All you have to do is wear your favourite pair of pyjamas to school, work or out and about and make a donation to The Pyjama Foundation.

“All of the funding raised helps support the Pyjama Foundation including the Love of Learning program which encourages children to read and helps the foundation to recruit, train and support Pyjama Angels who visit children in foster and kinship care.”

Education Minister Grace Grace said the work of Pyjama Foundation volunteers was nothing short of inspiring.

“These amazing people give up their own time to help vulnerable children with reading, literacy and other skills,” Ms Grace said.

“By doing this, the volunteers encourage children to love learning.

“We want every child in Queensland to have equal opportunities and a bright future, and the work of the Pyjama Angels is helping us to achieve this.”

This year, the State Government is providing significant funding to The Pyjama Foundation in to deliver the Love of Learning Program.

The Department of Child Safety provides annual funding of $346,964, which will continue until December 2022.

The Department of education provided $180,000 in one-off funding to support the program in 2018, and today Ms Grace announced a further $100,000 in funding for 2019.

“This funding will further enhance the Love of Learning program, which is the only service of its type supporting children in care with evidence-based literacy and numeracy programs in an out-of-school environment here in Australia,” Ms Farmer said.

“It’s vital that we continue to support The Pyjama Foundation and volunteers who are screened, trained, recruited and matched with a child in care.”

The Pyjama Foundation founder Bronwyn Sheehan said children in care needed extra support and empowerment to help them towards a brighter future.

“Many children in care bounce from home to home and to different schools, which greatly hinders their learning,” Ms Sheehan said.

“At The Pyjama Foundation we recruit, screen and train volunteer mentors, and then carefully match them with a child in care.

“Together, they focus on learning-based activities and games, with the aim of improving the child’s educational outcomes and confidence.”

Funds raised from Pyjama Day will go towards the recruitment and training of more Pyjama Angels as well as learning resources for the children including books, puzzles and educational games.

Last year more than 1,700 participants donned their Pyjamas and raised a total $250,000.

The Foundation hopes to grow this number and help more children in care receive the educational support they urgently need.

To get involved in National Pyjama Day visit http://thepyjamafoundation.com


16/07/18: Inner City North State College principal revealed

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Education Minister and Member for McConnel Grace Grace has announced the foundation principal at Brisbane’s Inner City North State Secondary College.

Ms Grace said Sharon Barker has been chosen for the significant role and will start work on September 3.

“Ms Barker has been in the teaching profession for nearly 30 years,” Ms Grace said.

“She brings a wealth of education experience, having served as principal of Highfields State Secondary College in Toowoomba for the last four years.

“Ms Barker previously held principal, acting principal and deputy positions at Tara Shire State College and Stanthorpe and Harristown State High Schools.

“I congratulate Ms Barker on her new role and I have every confidence that she will do a great job.

“One of Ms Barker’s first tasks will be to work with the future school community to develop the catchment and enrolment policy of the school.”

Inner City North State Secondary College in Fortitude Valley is the first state high school to be built in Brisbane’s inner city in more than 50 years, and the first vertical secondary school to be built in Queensland.

The successful tenderer to build the new school is expected to be announced in the coming months.

Ms Grace said the school will be a masterpiece once complete in 2020.

“Not only will Inner City North State Secondary College look impressive, it will be a future-focused school, supported by excellence in teaching through a partnership with QUT,” Ms Grace said.

Ms Barker said she was thrilled to get the call up for the new position.

“It is an absolute privilege to have been selected as principal of this new school,” Ms Barker said.

“I am looking forward to working closely with staff and the community to sculpt the school into a place of positive culture and strong values where every student is given the opportunity to succeed.”

Ms Grace said the Palaszczuk Government is investing more than $800 million in the Building Future Schools Fund to support growing communities across the state.

“We are delivering a state-wide infrastructure investment program valued at more than $923 million in 2018-19,” Ms Grace said.

Design concepts of the school are available here: http://advancingeducation.qld.gov.au/building-future-schools/Pages/default.aspx


15/07/18: Revamped uniform policy gives girls more choice

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Education Minister Grace Grace has announced all Queensland state schools must offer more uniform choices for girls, including shorts and pants, from 2019.

Ms Grace today released the Department of Education’s updated Student Dress Code procedure, following an extensive review and consultation with stakeholders.

“We know around 60 per cent of state schools are already offering these uniform options for girls, but we found that some schools had not updated their student dress codes in many years,” Ms Grace said.

“All Queensland girls should be able to engage in active play and classroom activities or ride their bikes to and from school without being restricted by what they’re wearing.

“At the beginning of the year, I heard loud and clear from students, parents and carers that it was time for a change to reflect community expectations.

“I asked the Department to update the uniform policy to ensure we have 100 per cent of state schools offering the full range of options, including pants and shorts for girls.”

Ms Grace said state schools, together with their parent community, would now review their current dress code ahead of the 2019 school year.

“I’m happy to leave it to schools to decide what design, colour or style of uniforms should be introduced in consultation with their communities, including P&Cs,” she said.

“I’m sure all schools will come up with new uniform options that best meet the needs of their students.”

Executive Principal of Stretton State College Jan Maresca has already introduced changes to the school’s uniform policy to include greater choice for girls.

“Following consultation with our whole school community, we found that around half of our primary school girls did not want to wear a skirt to school,” Ms Maresca said.

“We listened to our girls and made changes so they can be comfortable in their uniforms.

“Come into our school now and you’ll see girls kicking a football, playing handball, lying under tree reading a book and hanging from monkey bars unrestricted.

“The changes to our dress code have been fully supported by our school community and the girls themselves were heavily involved in the process.”

Key stakeholders were involved in the statewide policy review, including P&Cs Qld, principals associations, Girls’ Uniform Agenda and the Queensland Teachers’ Union, and fully support the change.

The revised Student dress code procedure is available on the Department of Education’s online Policy and Procedure Register.

Photos of Stretton State College students can be found here.


13/07/18: Statement from IR Minister Grace Grace

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Today’s story about leave arrangements is grossly misleading.

This is not a new directive – it’s been in place since 2009 in response to the global swine flu pandemic at the time.

Thankfully, these arrangements were not used then and they have not been needed since.

A pandemic is a serious outbreak of an infectious disease, which is only activated during a Public Health Emergency declaration under the Public Health Act 2005.

New South Wales has similar leave arrangements and the same leave arrangements were in place in Queensland when Jarrod Bleijie was the IR Minister.


13/07/18: Lights, camera, action at CGEN 2018

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

More than 1,800 Queensland state school students are set to wow audiences at the 14th annual Creative Generation – State Schools Onstage (CGEN).

Education Minister Grace Grace said the two-day extravaganza kicks off today at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.  

“CGEN gives Queensland students the chance to express themselves on stage, showcasing their talents in drama, song and dance,” Ms Grace said.

“The 2018 production features a 76-piece symphony orchestra, a 500-voice choir, 700 dancers and more than 35 featured soloists.

“It involves students from kindy to year 12 and is a highlight on our performing arts calendar.”

Ms Grace said one of the best parts about CGEN is the opportunity for students to learn from the best in the business.

“Students have been working alongside Australia’s leading artists, including James Morrison AM, and composer and conductor Sean O’Boyle AM, inspiring them to pursue a career in the arts,” Ms Grace said.

“We want every student involved to know that believing in their talents and dreaming big can lead to incredible opportunities.”

Ms Grace said plenty of hard work has gone into producing the performances.

“Students, teachers and volunteers around the state have spent hundreds of hours rehearsing in the lead up to CGEN,” Ms Grace said.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved, especially parents and volunteers behind the scenes, for making the production come to life.

“I am really looking forward to seeing the show.”

Ms Grace acknowledged the support of CGEN’s two principal partners - QUT and international venue management group AEG Ogden, for helping to nurture the talents of the students.

Other CGEN supporters this year included major partner The Courier-Mail, broadcast partner Network Ten, event partner Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Radio partner Nova 106.9 and Program Partner QSuper as well as Creative Partners, Bangarra Dance Theatre, Capezio, Drum Camp, Flipside Circus, Vocal Manoeuvres, Rockit Productions and Rapid Displays.

The public will have the opportunity to watch the production on Network Ten on Saturday 27 October 2018 at 1.30 pm.

Creative Generation – State Schools Onstage 2018 is presented by the Department of Education.


03/07/18: Steady progress in closing Indigenous education gap

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Queensland’s state schools are successfully closing the gap in the classroom, with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student retention rate continuing to rise.

Education Minister Grace Grace today heard of the great work teachers and educators were doing to increase student attendance at the two-day Excellence through innovation Indigenous Education Conference.

Minister Grace expressed her gratitude to the 300 state school educators who have come together at the Royal International Convention Centre in Brisbane.

“I’m so proud of our teachers and educators’ commitment to improving the attendance, retention and Year 12 attainment rate of Indigenous students,” Minister Grace said.

“Since 2012, the Year 10-12 apparent retention rate for Indigenous state school students has continued to improve, rising at a faster pace than for non-Indigenous students.

“In 2017, the Year 10-12 apparent retention rate gap fell to 16.1 percentage points, down from a high of 21.4 per cent in 2012.

“This shows that we are making gains towards closing the gap for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

“In addition, last year 97.2 per cent of Indigenous state school students across Queensland achieved Year 12 certification, compared to 98.1 per cent of non-Indigenous students.

“Also, nearly two thirds (63.8 per cent) of OP eligible Indigenous state school students across Queensland achieved an OP 1-15 in 2017, up one percentage point from 2016.”

Minister Grace said Queensland was home to close to one third of Australia’s Indigenous student population, with 29.9 per cent of the total number of full-time Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander school students enrolled in Queensland schools in 2017.

“It’s only right that Queensland should lead the way in putting strategies into action to ensure these students have every opportunity to achieve success,” she said.

“Improvements are being made, some of them gradual, some of them quite remarkable.

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to continuing to build on these improvements well into the future.”

The conference attracted highly respected keynote speakers, including University of Melbourne Indigenous Health Equity Unit Director Professor Kerry Arabena, University of Waikato Emeritus Professor for Maori Education Russell Bishop and award-winning Indigenous novelist Alexis Wright.


02/07/18: Safe Work and Return to Work Award nominations close soon

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Time is running out for Queensland workplaces to enter the 2018 Safe Work and Return to Work Awards, with nominations closing on Friday 6 July.

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said the awards recognised those workplaces which go above and beyond to prevent workplace injuries and help workers with injury rehab.   

“Queenslanders lead the way in work health and safety, rehabilitation and return to work,” Ms Grace said.

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to recognise and share examples of organisations or individuals doing great things in this space.

“I encourage workers and workplaces making difference to nominate for the 2018 Safe Work and Return to Work Awards.”

Ms Grace said the awards acknowledged a range of achievements, from the best workplace health and wellbeing initiative to best leadership.

“I strongly encourage Queensland workplaces to consider entering, as winners can collect up to $2000 in prize money.”

Queensland Safety Ambassador Shane Webcke will be on hand to announce the winners at a gala awards ceremony in Brisbane on Tuesday 2 October.

The Safe Work and Return to Work Awards are broken into 10 categories:

  •          Category one – Best solution to an identified health and safety issue
  •          Category two – Best individual contribution to work health and safety
  •          Category three – Best solution to an identified electrical safety issue
  •          Category four – Most significant improvement to work health and safety performance
  •          Category five – Best workplace health and wellbeing initiative
  •          Category six – Best demonstrated leadership in work health and safety (entrants for this category are chosen by the judges from categories one to five)
  •          Category seven – Injured worker achievement award
  •          Category eight – Best rehabilitation and return to work system
  •          Category nine – Best individual contribution to rehabilitation and return to work
  •          Category ten – Best demonstrated leadership in return to work (entrants for this category are chosen by the judges from categories seven to nine).

To enter or nominate someone else for the 2018 Safe Work and Return to Work Awards, visit www.worksafe.qld.gov.au. Examples of previous winning initiatives are also available online.


30/06/18: Turnbull can still stop severe penalty rate cuts

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

More than 160,000 Queenslanders working in the retail, accommodation and food service industries are facing severe new penalty rate cuts from this Sunday (1 July).

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace has called on the Prime Minister to get behind hardworking Australians and protect penalty rates for low-paid workers.

“Hardworking Queenslanders in our vital hospitality and retail sectors are once again facing harsh cuts to their take-home pay, with the next round of penalty rates set to kick in from this Sunday,” Ms Grace said.

“This year’s penalty rate cuts will be between 10-15%, on top of the 5% cuts from last year.

“We know that many of these low-paid workers often rely on Sunday and public holiday rates to make ends meet and to provide some compensation for missing out on family time on weekends.

“But thanks to the Turnbull Government they’re now staring down the barrel of even more penalty rate cuts.

“By the end of 2019-20, the total penalty rate cuts for these workers will be between 25-50%.

“And make no mistake, this is money that will be ripped out of local and regional Queensland economies.” 

Ms Grace said more than 160,000 Queenslanders currently work on Sundays and rely on penalty rates.

“That equates to more than 7,500 Cairns workers, 8,200 in Wide Bay and 13,200 on the Sunshine Coast – just to name a few of the regions which will be affected,” she said.

“Federal Labor has recently introduced a private member’s bill to restore and protect penalty rates for around 700,000 low paid Australian workers affected by the cuts.

“Malcolm Turnbull still has an opportunity to do the right thing here by supporting Labor’s bill – these cuts can be stopped.

“We know he refused to support a similar bill to protect penalty rates last year – he now has a second chance to redeem himself.

“These cuts will devastate family budgets and reduce spending on local goods and services – affecting the very businesses the cuts are purported to benefit.

“At a time when wages growth is at record lows, low paid workers need a pay rise, not a pay cut.

“The LNP in Queensland also needs to come clean on where they stand – will they get their mates in Canberra to fix this or will they just stand by as another round of penalty rate cuts destroys regional communities.”


29/06/18: Review gives Queensland workers’ compensation scheme big thumbs up

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

An independent review of Queensland’s workers’ compensation scheme, tabled in Parliament today, has found the scheme is performing well and does not require major reform. 

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said the review by Griffith University’s Professor David Peetz found the scheme is financially sound and provides fair treatment for both employers and injured workers.

“With the scheme found to be running smoothly, there are no recommendations for major reform, but Professor Peetz has identified some opportunities to improve the process and experience for injured workers,” Ms Grace said.

“Professor Peetz also explored emerging trends such as the gig economy and the changing face of employment and workers’ compensation coverage for these workers.

“Written submissions were received from a broad range of stakeholders including trade unions, employer groups, legal representatives, medical and allied health associations and insurers.

“The Government will now consider all 57 of Professor Peetz’s recommendations and all stakeholders will be consulted regarding any proposed improvements.”

Under the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (the Act), the Minister must ensure the scheme is reviewed at least once every five years. Under this year’s review Professor Peetz has suggested:

  • extending workers’ compensation coverage to ensure workers employed within the rapidly expanding ‘gig’ economy are not disadvantaged
  • adopting the principles of the national Best Practice Framework for the Management of Psychological Claims in the Australian Workers’ Compensation Sector
  • providing greater support to rehabilitation and return to work coordinators at the workplace and ensuring they are appropriately qualified and identifiable to insurers and the Regulator.

“I’d like to thank Professor Peetz for his time and effort on this important project to put Queensland’s workers’ compensation scheme under the microscope,” Ms Grace said.

“In the meantime, our workers’ compensation scheme continues to provide nation-leading coverage to workers at the lowest possible cost to business.

“As I recently announced, WorkCover Queensland is maintaining the average premium rate for the next financial year at $1.20 per $100 in wages paid.

“That means WorkCover is delivering the best possible return to work outcomes for more than 66,000 injured workers at the lowest cost for almost 160,000 Queensland employers and that makes it the best workers’ compensation provider in Australia.

“In addition to the low premium rates, Queensland businesses have saved more than $61 million in premium discounts with WorkCover Queensland, with these savings set to continue in the 2018-19 financial year.”

Premium discounts are offered to small and medium sized businesses employing apprentices and for all businesses which pay their premiums early. For more information visit https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/

To read the report, click here


29/06/18: Queensland school excellence on show in state school awards

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Education Minister Grace Grace today congratulated regional winners in Queensland’s annual Showcase Awards for Excellence in Schools.

In total there are 50 regional winners, and 40 regional commended recipients for demonstrating excellence in education, innovation and leadership.

“The Showcase Awards are the most prestigious educational awards in Queensland and it is incredibly significant for these schools to be recognised for their contribution,” the Minister said.

“The quality of submissions for 2018 was very high and made the task of selecting award winners extremely difficult for the regional judging teams.”

“More than 70,000 state school students were involved in the 118 programs submitted for consideration. 

“I am continually impressed with the commitment of our regional and metropolitan state schools to improve learning outcomes for Queensland students.

“It is clear our educators are passionate about implementing the highest standards of innovative teaching and learning practices,” the Minister said.

Each regional award winner will receive a $1000 development grant and each regional commendation recipient will receive a $500 grant which will further support the delivery of programs and initiatives.

The Minister has also thanked the major sponsors supporting the prize pool -Education Queensland International, Griffith University, Network Ten, Remserv, QSuper, QUT, Queensland Teachers’ Union, Teachers Health, Teachers Mutual Bank and University of Southern Queensland.

“It is important that we recognise the great work that our educators are doing day to day to ensure that Queensland continues to be at the forefront of new education practices,” Minister Grace said.

“I wish the regional award winners well as they compete in the next round of the Showcase Awards and potentially become state finalists.”

State finalists will be announced on 30 July 2018 and state award winners will be announced at the Showcase Awards Gala Dinner in Brisbane on Friday 26 October 2018, coinciding with Queensland’s celebration of World Teachers’ Day.

Further information about the Showcase Awards for Excellence in Schools, including the full list of regional winners and commendations, is available at: www.qld.gov.au/ShowcaseAwards 

2018 Showcase Awards for Excellence in Schools regional award winner list:

Central Queensland region:

The Network Ten Showcase Award for Excellence in the Early and Primary Years

Commendation: Northview State School, Improving student reading across the curriculum

The QUT Showcase Award for Excellence in Inclusive Education

Winner: Rosella Park School, A journey from restrictive practice to inclusion

Commendation: Eidsvold State School, Yumbin means all of us

Commendation: Park Avenue State School, Access, engagement, celebration!

The Queensland Teachers’ Union Showcase Award for Excellence in Indigenous Education

Commendation: Fitzgerald State School, Closing the Indigenous reading gap

The University of Southern Queensland Showcase Award for Excellence in Rural and Remote Education

Commendation: Ambrose State School, Ambrose All Stars — Early Preneur Program

The Teachers Health Showcase Award for Teacher of the Year

Winner: Michelle Stokes, Park Avenue State School

The Griffith University Jack Pizzey Award for Principal of the Year

Winner: Martyn Price, Farleigh State School

The Teachers Mutual Bank Showcase Award for State School of the Year

Commendation: Toolooa State High School, Going the distance — the continuous improvement journey

 

Darling Downs South West region:

The Network Ten Showcase Award for Excellence in the Early and Primary Years

Winner: Darling Down South West Region iAIM Action Schools: Dalby State School, Charleville School of Distance Education, Nanango State School, Roma State College, Vale View State School, iAIM 100KM Club — five DDSWR iAIM action schools

Commendation: Glen Aplin State School, Collaborate to make writing great at Glen Aplin

Commendation: Vale View State School, The pathway to success in a digital age

The QSuper Showcase Award for Excellence in the Secondary Years

Winner: Goondiwindi State High School, How do we make the teaching of writing everyone's responsibility?

The QUT Showcase Award for Excellence in Inclusive Education

Winner: Vale View State School, 1–12 program

Commendation: Warwick Central State School, Inclusivity RULES (Respect, Understanding, Learning, Effort, Safety)

The RemServ Showcase Award for Excellence in Community Engagement

Winner: Laidley District State School, Connecting community together

Commendation: Harlaxton State School, City Village — partnering for success

Commendation: Newtown State School, Improving student learning through connection and engagement

The Education Queensland International Showcase Award for Excellence in Global Engagement

Winner: Darling Heights State School, Grow with knowledge, many paths, many futures — moving literacy forward

Commendation: Warwick West State School, Excellence in global engagement: A focus on languages and intercultural understanding

The Queensland Teachers’ Union Showcase Award for Excellence in Indigenous Education

Winner: Goondiwindi State School, Culturally responsive teaching through a community driven approach

The University of Southern Queensland Showcase Award for Excellence in Rural and Remote Education

Winner: Dalby State High School — Bunya Campus, Bunya Campus: Creating Rural Futures

Winner: Surat State School, Digital technologies

Commendation: Kingaroy State High School, STEM: I can do this!

Commendation: Dalby State School, Innovative, creative thinkers = an optimistic future

The Teachers Health Showcase Award for Teacher of the Year

Winner: Kym McLean, Tambo State School

The Griffith University Jack Pizzey Award for Principal of the Year

Winner: Murray Johnston, Coolabunia State School

Commendation: Matt Samson, Charleville State High School

The Teachers Mutual Bank Showcase Award for State School of the Year

Winner: Dalby State School, Improvement through leading to learn

 

Far North Queensland region:

The Network Ten Showcase Award for Excellence in the Early and Primary Years

Winner: Mossman State School, Improving writing PLT project

The QSuper Showcase Award for Excellence in the Secondary Years

Winner: Tropical North Learning Academy — Smithfield State High School, Write to succeed:  Smithfield State High School's whole school strategy to improve student outcomes in writing

The QUT Showcase Award for Excellence in Inclusive Education

Winner: Kuranda District State College, Unity in diversity

Commendation: Woree State School, From gate to classroom

The RemServ Showcase Award for Excellence in Community Engagement

Winner: Mount Molloy State School, Growing our community

Commendation: McDonnell Creek State School, Nurturing through nature

The Showcase Award for Excellence in Industry Partnerships

Winner: Atherton State High School, Reach for the stars — Online College of Advanced STEM

The Queensland Teachers’ Union Showcase Award for Excellence in Indigenous Education

Winner: Balaclava State School, Highway to success though A,B,Cs — Indigenous kids striving for positive futures

Commendation: Innisfail State College, Elders in residence: Identity, Values, Attitude, Action and Reality (IVAAR) initiative

The Teachers Health Showcase Award for Teacher of the Year

Winner: Carly Sopronick, Atherton State High School

The Griffith University Jack Pizzey Award for Principal of the Year

Winner: Bruce Houghton, Woree State High School

The Teachers Mutual Bank Showcase Award for State School of the Year

Winner: Woree State School, We discover, strive and shine!

 

Metropolitan region:

The Network Ten Showcase Award for Excellence in the Early and Primary Years

Winner: Durack State School, Project to practice

The QSuper Showcase Award for Excellence in the Secondary Years

Winner: Cavendish Road State High School, The Academy of Ideas — creating a culture of thinking

The QUT Showcase Award for Excellence in Inclusive Education

Winner: Queensland Virtual STEM Academy: Queensland Academy for Science Mathematics and Technology, Thuringowa State High School, Tropical North Learning Academy — Smithfield State High School, Breaching the disadvantage of distance: Lifting the outcomes and engagement of our top performing regional, rural and remote students in STEM

The RemServ Showcase Award for Excellence in Community Engagement

Winner: Hilder Road State School, Fish Creek 4061 — Keeping learning local

Commendation: Moreton Bay Environmental Education Centre, Inspiring curiousity through Theatre-in-Education

The Showcase Award for Excellence in Industry Partnerships

Winner: Corinda State High School, Game, set and match

The Education Queensland International Showcase Award for Excellence in Global Engagement

Winner: Wellers Hill State School, Nuturing students for a global future

The Teachers Health Showcase Award for Teacher of the Year

Winner: Louise Kliese, Indooroopilly State School

The Griffith University Jack Pizzey Award for Principal of the Year

Winner: Yolanda Tognini, Wishart State School

Commendation: Judy Menary, Brisbane School of Distance Education

The Teachers Mutual Bank Showcase Award for State School of the Year

Winner: Indooroopilly State School, Visible Teaching, Growing Learning

Commendation: Yeronga State High School, Embracing linguistic diversity with educational innovation

Commendation: WoodLinks State School, Building an expert teaching team to lead the strategic agenda

 

North Coast region:

The Network Ten Showcase Award for Excellence in the Early and Primary Years

Winner: Meridan State College, Supporting successful Prep transitions — our Meridan way

Commendation: Agnes Water State School, CREATE the school you want

Commendation: Jinibara State School, The Jinibara Early Years Strategy for Reading

Commendation: Bribie Island State School, Creating language rich and dialogic classrooms

The QSuper Showcase Award for Excellence in the Secondary Years

Winner: Kawana Waters State College, Future Proofing Senior Students for Success

Commendation: Sunshine Beach State High School, Leading from the middle

Commendation: Bray Park State High School, Growth and achievement — a supportive, innovative community of learners

The QUT Showcase Award for Excellence in Inclusive Education

Winner: Nambour Special School, Lifting literacy for every learner!

Commendation: Maryborough Special School, Multiple Intelligence teaching through the arts

The RemServ Showcase Award for Excellence in Community Engagement

Winner: Isis District State High School, Childers Read to Me Day

Winner: Bribie Island State School, It takes the island to raise a ahild

The Education Queensland International Showcase Award for Excellence in Global Engagement

Winner: Sunshine Beach State High School, Creating global citizens

The Queensland Teachers’ Union Showcase Award for Excellence in Indigenous Education

Winner: Caboolture State School, Ngara

The Teachers Health Showcase Award for Teacher of the Year

Winner: Judith Stutchbury, Kalkie State School

Commendation: Rosa Curcuruto, Kurwongbah State School

The Griffith University Jack Pizzey Award for Principal of the Year

Winner: Michael Kiss, Avoca State School

Commendation: David Burns, Tinana State School

Commendation: Trevor Buchanan, Agnes Water State School

The Teachers Mutual Bank Showcase Award for State School of the Year

Winner: Brightwater State School, School improvement — the main game

Commendation: Sunshine Beach State High School, Use the group to change the group

 

North Queensland region:
The Network Ten Showcase Award for Excellence in the Early and Primary Years

Winner: Mundingburra State School, Improvement through collaboration

The QUT Showcase Award for Excellence in Inclusive Education

Commendation: Thuringowa State High School, Whole-school inclusive reform

The Showcase Award for Excellence in Industry Partnerships

Winner: Thuringowa State High School, Advancing education for a global tropics future

The Griffith University Jack Pizzey Award for Principal of the Year

Winner: Vaunessa Parker, Camooweal State School

The Teachers Mutual Bank Showcase Award for State School of the Year

Winner: Aitkenvale State School, State school of the year

 

South East region:

The Network Ten Showcase Award for Excellence in the Early and Primary Years

Commendation: Woongoolba State School, New learning at Woongoolba

The QSuper Showcase Award for Excellence in the Secondary Years

Winner: Beenleigh State High School, Operation comMANdo

The QUT Showcase Award for Excellence in Inclusive Education

Winner: South East Region Special School Master Teacher Cluster: Beenleigh Special School, Logan City Special School, Redland District Special School, Mudgeeraba Special School, Every student has a right to write

Commendation: Pimpama State School, Pimpama State School Diamond of Inclusivity

Commendation: Norfolk Village State School, Flourishing: wellbeing and positive behaviour for learning

The RemServ Showcase Award for Excellence in Community Engagement

Winner: Mabel Park State High School, Health Training Hub

Commendation: Vienna Woods State School, PL+US — Positive Learning and Us

The Griffith University Jack Pizzey Award for Principal of the Year

Commendation: Samantha Donovan, Norfolk Village State School

The Teachers Mutual Bank Showcase Award for State School of the Year

Winner: Marsden State High School, Make a difference — the Marsden way

Commendation: Norfolk Village State School, Neuroeducation

Commendation: Pimpama State School, The best school


28/06/18: Exploring Queensland through the student’s lens

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Photographs taken by Queensland school students as part of a competition will be used to attract new teachers to the state.

Education Minister Grace Grace said students had captured the beauty of stunning rural and remote locations as well as images of students and schools.

“They are powerful pictures and will help to persuade interstate and international teachers to consider moving to Queensland,” Ms Grace said.

“I would say they are pretty much irresistible.

“The students have mesmerised judges with the quality of their entries in the Teach Queensland Style student photo competition and have perfectly captured the uniqueness and beauty of their school communities.”

Ms Grace announced the winners of the competition today at the formal opening ceremony of Baringa State Primary School near Caloundra – winner of one of the categories.

“The competition was open to all state school students in Prep to Year 12, with students from Prep to Year 6 entering as a class or group, while students in Year 7 and above entered individually,” Ms Grace said.

“The winning photos encompassed the themes of family, emotion (surprise), environment and friendship, which perfectly sums up life in our schools and wider school communities.”

 The winners in the four categories are:  

  •          Early Years - Tagai State College Prep class
  •          Primary Years - Baringa State Primary School Year 3/4B students
  •          Junior Secondary - Jarlee Sambo from Doomadgee State School
  •          Senior Secondary - Hannah Costello from Cloncurry State School

“I congratulate all the winners and runners-up, and applaud the efforts of all the students from the 26 schools who entered the competition,” Ms Grace said.

“Prizes include a Canon EOS 1300DKB digital SLR camera, GoPro Hero 6, Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 polaroid cameras, book vouchers and printed canvases, a prize pool worth almost $5,000.

“Other entries covered themes including multiculturalism, Indigenous lifestyles, belonging, work, science and technology, and the outback.”

The competition aimed to shine a spotlight on what it’s like to live and work in our schools, especially in rural and remote parts of Queensland.

“These colourful, wonderful photographs tell stories about human relationships and life and I strongly encourage everyone to take the opportunity to view all the entries which are available online,” Ms Grace said.

“We designed the competition to provide an insight into the communities and state schools where our teachers make a difference every day, and I am delighted to say the breadth of photographs we received certainly does that.”

The photos will be considered for use in recruitment marketing activities, which will promote Queensland as a ‘teaching destination’ to local, interstate and international teacher audiences.  

To view the winning photograph in the Primary Years category, click here (external site)

If you would like to view all photographs submitted for the competition you can do so via the online gallery follow this link: https://www.e-award.com.au/2018/teachqldstyle/gallery/index.php (external site)

People looking to teach in a Queensland state school are encouraged to visit the Teach Queensland website and apply today: www.teach.qld.gov.au

List of winners and runners-up for the Teach Queensland Style Student Photo Competition:

Early Years

  •          First place – Tagai State College (Prep class)
  •          Runner-up – Peregian Springs State School (Prep class)
  •          Runner-up - Runcorn Heights State School (Class 1K)

Primary Years

  •          First place – Baringa State Primary School (Year 3/4B)
  •          Runner-up – Sprinbrook State School (Years 3-6)
  •          Runner-up – Veresdale Scrub State School (Years 3-5)

Junior Secondary

  •          First place – Jarlee Sambo from Doomadgee State School
  •          Runner-up - Szonja Meszaros from North Lakes State College

Senior Secondary

  •          First place – Hannah Costello from Cloncurry State School
  •          Runner-up – Anna Martin from Toowoomba State High School

21/06/18: Farm safety calendar competition drawing to a close

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Primary school students in rural and regional Queensland are reminded to enter the Queensland farm safety calendar competition before it closes on 29 June.

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said the annual drawing competition and calendar helped raise awareness about the hazards on farms and rural properties.

“This competition gets youngsters thinking about dangers around the farm,” Ms Grace said.

“The winning entries are then selected to be featured in a farm safety calendar, which helps to remind Queenslanders of all ages to work and play safely on the land.

“Sadly, around 20 Australian children lose their lives in farms accidents every year and many more are hospitalised with injuries.

“The calendar competition is an engaging and informative way to get our future farmers thinking about the extra care needed around the farm.”

Ms Grace said budding young artists can use their imaginations and drawing talents to bring attention to a range of farm and safety issues.

“Students can choose to illustrate issues such as quad bike safety, being sun safe, animal handling and swimming in dams and creeks,” she said.

“The 12 winning entrants will not only have the honour of having their picture illustrate a month in the 2019 calendar, they also receive a $250 voucher for themselves and a $500 voucher for their school.”

Entries in the 2019 Workplace Health and Safety Queensland farm safety calendar competition must be lodged online by 29 June.

Winners will be announced in October, with the next edition of the calendar distributed soon after.

Details on how to enter the competition and previous winning entries are available at worksafe.qld.gov.au

A full list of safety topics to illustrate can be found below.

Farm safety calendar – topics

Quad bikes, motorbikes and machinery

o   Look out for machinery and vehicles as the driver may not see you.

o   Quad bikes are a great tool, but they are not a toy. Ride ready – wear a helmet, never double, kids only use a kid-sized bike and stick to well-known tracks.

o   Look up and live – powerlines and machinery don’t mix.

Animal handling

o   Animals can give diseases to people. Always wash your hands after touching them.

o   Cattle can be unpredictable and dangerous. Keep well clear if you are unfamiliar with them.

o   When a horse gets a fright, they can become dangerous. Only ride horses that you have the experience to handle and always wear a helmet.

Sun safety and healthy lifestyle

o   A healthy lifestyle means eating properly, exercising and getting plenty of sleep.

o   Take regular breaks in the shade and drink lots of water when you’re working outside.

o   Protect yourself from the sun. Always wear a hat, long sleeves and sunscreen.

Kids on farms

o   Swimming in dams and rivers is fun, but always have an adult there to supervise.

o   Stay clear of flood water – it moves fast and can hide logs, barbed wire and other hazards.

o   A fenced yard for young kids and toddlers to play in will keep them away from many farm dangers.

o   Make sure an adult always knows where you’re going and what you’ll be doing on the farm.


21/06/18: $1 million in grant funding available for education research

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

A $1 million Queensland grant scheme for research projects on early childhood and school education is now open for 2018 applications.

Education Minister Grace Grace said the Education Horizon grants reflected the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to providing Queensland students with a world-class education.

“The Education Horizon grants provide up to $100,000 in funding for researchers to carry out important education studies,” Ms Grace said.

“We’re looking for researchers who can support effective, evidence-based programs and services in early childhood education and care and schooling.

“We also want to direct funding to research that will result in positive change in classrooms throughout the state.”

Ms Grace said the research grants funded high-quality local research that aligned with the Palaszczuk Government’s education priorities.

“This year’s grants program supports the delivery of Our Future State: Advancing Queensland’s Priorities, which were announced by the Premier last week,” she said.

“This program will encourage researchers to work directly with our teachers and educators to deliver the best learning environments to give our children a great start, as well as creating job growth and a strong economy.” 

Ms Grace said Queensland researchers with a Queensland-based sponsor organisation were eligible to apply.

Last year’s funded projects were spread between researchers at the University of Queensland, the Queensland University of Technology, Central Queensland University, Griffith University and TAFE Queensland.

Applications for the 2018 Education Horizon Grants will close on 31 July 2018.

For details visit http://education.qld.gov.au/corporate/research/education-horizon.html. Grant categories are listed below.

2018 grant categories, funding available and duration of grant:

  • Early childhood education and care: Children engaged in quality early years programs and making positive transitions - $100,000 (up to 18 months)
  • Schooling: Students engaged in learning, achieving and successfully transitioning to further education, training and work - $100,000 (up to 18 months)
  • Cross-category: Research projects that span the above categories - $100,000 (Up to 18 months)
  • Open: Suitable for larger innovative and collaborative programs of research that have demonstrated significant benefit - $100,000 per year (up to two years)

[N.B. The 'Open' category is only open to previous Education Horizon grant recipients to build on their previous research, partnerships and investments]


18/06/18: You Can fight cancer at new hub at RBWH

JOINT STATEMENT
Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
The Honourable Steven Miles

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Queensland’s largest hospital will soon be home to the state’s only public specialised adolescent and young adult cancer centre thanks to the collaborative efforts of Sony Foundation and Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will today announce the centre is set to open in early 2019 thanks to a $1.8 million donation from Sony Foundation and a $500,000 funding commitment from the Palaszczuk Government Health to support adolescents and young adults aged 15 to 25 undergoing cancer treatment.

“This state-of-the-art purpose-built centre will benefit youth cancer patients, and act as a hub for clinical research to advance treatment and increase survival rates,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

“It will also address a gap in care and support that can sometimes exist when a patient is too old for paediatric services, but too young to be treated alongside adult patients.

“Being in an environment with people their own age and who also understand the physical and emotional issues they are facing will give them the best possible chance to respond to their diagnosis and treatment.”

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles said one of RBWH’s largest, and most prestigious services, was its Cancer Care Service.

“The cancer care service is home to the largest bone marrow transplant program in Australia, and is staffed by some of our country’s best doctors, nurses, researchers, physiotherapists, dieticians, pharmacists, wardies and everyone in between,” Mr Miles said.

“I know the dedication the Royal Cancer Care team have for their patients, and I know the time and effort that has gone into making this centre a possibility.”

Member for McConnel Grace Grace said the dedicated centre would be a social hub where teenagers and young adults can hang out in age-appropriate relaxation spaces with the latest technology.

“Teenagers these days have a lot on their plate, whether it’s dealing with study, work and social activities. Fighting cancer just adds to these many challenges,” Ms Grace said.

“I am pleased this new centre will be a place of solitude, comfort and comradery for these young patients to enjoy activities together and support each other.”

The youth cancer care service at RBWH is delivered in partnership with Children’s Health Queensland’s state-wide Queensland Youth Cancer Service.

In 2010, Sony Foundation established ‘You Can’, a youth cancer program to fund specialised youth cancer centres and services around Australia to address the current gap in the system.

CEO of Sony Foundation Sophie Ryan said to date, over $8 million has been donated by Sony Foundation to fund youth cancer initiatives including You Can Centres in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney, cancer research and support services.

“Today is a significant milestone on our journey to improve the overall experience from treatment to survivorship for young cancer patients,” Ms Ryan said.

“For too long our young people have fallen through the gap, too old for children’s hospitals, yet too young to be alongside the elderly in adult wards. Sony Foundation’s ‘You Can’ campaign is committed to ensuring they are treated in age-appropriate environments.”

RBWH Executive Director of Cancer Care Services Associate Professor Glen Kennedy said the centre would be life-changing for young patients battling cancer, but it would also advance treatment and research.

“This will allow us to grow our service as we pursue clinical research to advance treatment and survival outcomes,” Assoc Prof Kennedy said.

“Here at RBWH we are unique in that we treat patients from all over Queensland.

“In every way possible this is a massive step forwards and we are so incredibly proud of the dedication and work that has gone into making this a reality for our patients.”

Sony Foundation will hold a major fundraising event, Brissy4Ward, on August 2 to raise much needed funds for the Brisbane You Can Centre.

For more information about You Can or to donate, please visit www.sonyfoundation.org (external site)

Background

  • Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital Cancer Care Service is one of the largest in Australia.
  • In 2016, RBWH provided more than 160,000 cancer care treatments, consultations, procedures and other services.
  • The service treats around 140 people each year between the ages of 15 and 24 years.
  • The service is also a quaternary referral centre for complex paediatric cancer cases.
  • The service provides the largest bone marrow transplant program in Australia and quaternary and tertiary services in medical oncology, radiotherapy/brachytherapy, and malignant and non-malignant haematology.
  • $1.8 million donated by Sony Foundation will transform some of the existing hospital space and construct a new social hub dedicated to adolescent and young adult cancer patients.
  • The centre will be built in unused space on the roof of RBWH, with construction starting later this year.
  • From 1984 to 2014, there was an increase of 54 per cent in the number of new cancer cases among 15 to 24-year-old Queensland residents, largely driven by the rising population.
  • By the end of 2014, 783 people in that age range were living with cancer. There has been virtually no improvement in survival rates for this age group over the last 25 years despite advances in almost every other demographic.
  • 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of Sony Foundation, the charity arm of the Sony group of companies, and has raised more than $30 million for youth causes since inception.

14/06/18: Labour hire licence applications closing soon

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Labour hire providers have until tomorrow (Friday 15 June) to apply for a licence, under the Palaszczuk Government’s new labour hire laws.

Industrial Relations Minister said more than 2300 applications for a labour hire licence had already been lodged and more than 350 had been granted since the new labour hire licensing laws started on 16 April 2018.

“I urge all labour hire providers which operate in Queensland to sign up before tomorrow’s deadline,” Ms Grace said.

“Our labour hire licensing laws are aimed at protecting vulnerable workers and improving the integrity of the industry.

“Existing labour hire providers had a 60-day transitional period to apply for a labour hire licence – but time is almost up.

“As long as their application is in by 15 June, operators can continue operating while it is being processed.

“But if operators miss this deadline to apply they must cease operation until a licence has been granted.

“The application process is really simple, with one provider who recently lodged an application described the application process as ‘straightforward and user-friendly’.”

Ms Grace said any new labour hire business would also need to obtain a licence before they could operate in Queensland.

“Labour hire providers in this state need to be licensed under our mandatory laws and that includes those operators based interstate or overseas which supply workers in Queensland,” she said.

“Importantly, if a Queensland business needs to hire labour, it must only be through a licensed provider.

“Our pioneering scheme is good for workers who have been exploited in the past and good for labour hire providers and other employers who are doing the right thing.

“It’s great to see the Queensland Government taking a hard line against providers who aren’t doing the right thing by workers.”

Ms Grace said Queensland’s Labour Hire Licensing Compliance team was now fully up and running.

“Operators who offer labour hire services without a licence, or those who try to avoid their responsibilities to workers, will risk having their licence suspended or cancelled,” she said.

“Dodgy operators and unlicensed operators could face a hefty fine or up to three year’s jail time. If you don’t follow the rules, then you can expect a visit from our compliance unit.

For more information on Queensland’s Labour Hire Licensing Scheme or to check if a business is licensed go to www.labourhire.qld.gov.au


14/06/18: LNP turns back on air-conditioning promise within 30 minutes

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Education Minister Grace Grace has slammed the Opposition Leader for doing a complete about-face on her unfunded promise to air-condition all Queensland classrooms.

“In her Budget Reply speech today, Deb Frecklington promised that she would air-condition all Queensland classrooms, if she were the Premier,” Ms Grace said.

“But within minutes of leaving the Chamber, she tweeted that her promise only applied to state schools.

“What a slap in the face to the students, teachers and staff in our Independent and Catholic schools across the state.”

Ms Grace called on the LNP Leader to reveal how she would fund the promise.

“There are more than 32,000 classrooms at 1240 state schools and in Queensland,” she said.

“When the LNP were in office they rejected any proposal to fully fund air-conditioning in all Queensland state schools, due to the cost.

“The then-Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek said it would cost $2 billion to install air-conditioning in all Queensland state schools, plus $50 million annually for maintenance.

“At the time, he said there was ‘limited money’ and they had to ‘try to balance a budget’.

“Now the LNP is saying they will fully fund air-conditioning in our schools, but where would they get the money to do that?

“We know the LNP loves cuts – what would they cut to fund their air-con promise?

“A cost of $2 billion is more than double the entire annual infrastructure budget for state schools, which funds the delivery of the new classrooms and classroom buildings Queensland needs for the future.

“How can the LNP leader be so obsessed with the State debt level one minute, then promise to double the education infrastructure budget the next?”

Ms Grace said more than 380 state schools in the hottest and most humid parts of our state were already air-conditioned through the Cooler Schools program.

“I acknowledge that heat management during the Summer months is an important issue for many school communities outside of the Cooler Schools Zone,” she said.

“That’s why our Government is partnering with schools across the state to help them reduce air-conditioning running costs through our Advancing Clean Energy Schools (ACES) program.

“We also work with schools and P&Cs to find ways to install air-conditioning outside the Cooler Schools Zone.

“State schools are among the Government’s largest energy users – with an annual energy bill of more than $50 million – and the ACES program will save schools around $10 million a year.”


14/06/18: Construction starts on $340 million health facility at Herston Quarter

JOINT STATEMENT

Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning
The Honourable Cameron Dick

Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
The Honourable Steven Miles

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Construction has begun on a new state-of-the-art public health facility as part of the $1.1 Billion Herston Quarter Redevelopment.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk visited the site today where work is beginning on the $340 million Surgical, Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre.

“My Government is delivering world-class healthcare to Queenslanders," the Premier said.

“The new centre will deliver specialist, rehabilitation surgery and care which will help free up hospital beds.

“That’s good news for Queensland’s largest hospital, the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, located right next door.

“This centre will be the first health building to be built as part of the $1.1 billion Herston Quarter redevelopment.

“Investing in great, public healthcare is a cornerstone of the State Budget handed down on Tuesday.

“I’m pleased to announce that an additional 50 beds will be available as a result of the careful design of clinical spaces to bring the total capacity to 184 beds to provide care for more patients and also reduce waiting lists.

“The Herston Quarter will become the centre of choice for complex rehabilitation for patients from across Queensland."

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said declaring the Herston Quarter a Priority Development Area (PDA) had enabled the accelerated development of this landmark health and knowledge precinct.

“As with the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge precinct, the Herston Quarter precinct will complement the specialised health, research and innovation activities of the adjacent health and knowledge facilities,” Mr Dick said.

“Herston Quarter will be home to some of Australia’s brightest minds in the health and research sectors for generations to come.”

“Renewal of the Herston Quarter is a prime example of the Queensland Government’s Advancing Our Cities and Regions Strategy generating jobs and growth by unlocking the potential of the underutilised government-owned land.”

Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services Steven Miles said the Herston Quarter will care for patients recovering from brain injury, trauma, stroke, burns and a range of medical conditions.

“The centre will also provide short-stay elective surgery and endoscopy as well as various outpatient services and boast seven operating theatres, three endoscopy procedure rooms and consultation spaces for a range of specialties,” said Mr Miles.

“This facility will become a world class facility supporting 900 clinical and non-clinical jobs.”

Member for McConnel Grace Grace MP said that this is another important milestone for Herston Quarter and government and the private sector working together to deliver health infrastructure.

“The Herston Quarter will be another great addition to the collaborative work in health, education and research already being delivered on the Herston Health Precinct,” Ms Grace said.

Metro North Hospital and Health Service Board Member Geoff Hardy said the Herston Quarter will complement the quality care provided at Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.

“The Herston Quarter will help meet the future healthcare demands in Queensland,” Mr Hardy said.

“Over the next ten years, Herston Quarter will be redeveloped into a world-class health and wellbeing precinct where Australia’s brightest minds can live and work onsite to further health, education and research for Queenslanders.”

Australian Unity Group Managing Director and CEO Rohan Mead said the development of the Herston Quarter will be funded by private capital funding through Australian Unity’s Healthcare Property Trust, which invests in healthcare infrastructure for Australian communities.

“This will be the first public health facility in Australia paid for by private investors in a real estate investment structure.” Mr Mead said.

“Australian Unity is pleased to be working in partnership with Metro North Hospital and Health Service to deliver a state-of-the-art facility designed to meet the increasing health needs of Queenslanders.”

Construction of the Herston Quarter on Herston Road, and the adjacent public realm, is expected to be completed by the end of 2020. The nine-level public health facility will generate approximately 250 construction jobs. Once the Herston Quarter is operational, it will support approximately 900 clinical and non-clinical jobs.


13/06/18: New Inner City North State Secondary College one step closer

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

A major milestone has been reached for the delivery of the new Inner City North State Secondary College in Fortitude Valley.

Education Minister Grace Grace said Expressions of Interest had been called for the detailed designs to be completed and for construction to get underway.

“This new secondary school is a key part of the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to plan and deliver for Queensland’s future,” Ms Grace said.

“The new school, to be built on the corner of Brookes Street and St Pauls Terrace in Fortitude Valley, is absolutely crucial in addressing significant enrolment growth in the surrounding suburbs.

“This will be the first state high school to be built Brisbane’s inner city suburbs in more than 50 years. Not only that, it will be the first vertical state school to be delivered in Queensland.

“The school is part of our Government’s $808 million Building Future Schools Fund, along with the new secondary school planned for Brisbane’s inner city south.

“The call for Expressions of Interest for the Fortitude Valley high school marks an important milestone for this game-changing project.

“This will be a flagship, future-focused school, supported by excellence in teaching through a partnership with the Queensland University of Technology.

“The school will have creative and innovative learning spaces with cutting-edge design that meets contemporary educational needs for students in the inner city.”

Ms Grace said construction would get underway onsite before the end of 2018.

“I’m pleased to say the new school is on track to welcome its foundation Year 7 students in 2020,” she said.

“The Department has also started the recruitment process for the school’s foundation Principal, with applications recently closing.

“I look forward to working with the future Principal, who will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to shape this school from the ground up and create a signature learning institution for Queensland.

“I will be hosting a meeting for interested community members on Saturday 23 June from 2pm at the Holy Trinity Church in Fortitude Valley.

“I invite anyone with an interest in the project to come along to learn more.”

EOIs for the design and construction of the new school are open to eligible pre-qualified building suppliers only – i.e. those holding a PQC3 rating, or above, through the Queensland Government’s prequalification system.


11/06/18: $250 million boost to make Queensland high schools ‘2020 Ready’

JOINT STATEMENT

Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
The Honourable Jackie Trad

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

The Palaszczuk Government will commit $250 million over two years in the State Budget to build the additional classrooms needed for a significant new era for education in Queensland from 2020.

Deputy Premier and Treasurer, Jackie Trad, said the ‘2020 Ready’ funding boost would support students in more than 60 Queensland high schools across the State.

“Our kids are our future and, as a Government, one of the most important things we can do is give Queensland students a world-class education,” Ms Trad said.

“This investment will deliver more classrooms and learning centres to provide the best possible environment for learning.

“Queensland is a fast-growing State and this investment is about planning for the future.”

Ms Trad announced the funding at Ferny Grove State High School with Education Minister Grace Grace and Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Member for Ferny Grove Mark Furner.

Ms Grace said in 2020, for the very first time in Queensland’s history, our high schools would have a full complement of students across Years 7 to 12.

“This infrastructure program is about making sure we are ‘2020 Ready’,” Ms Grace said.

“This $250 million investment will ensure our schools can accommodate the additional 17,000 students expected in our high schools from 2020 and into the future.

“It brings the total funding commitment towards increasing the capacity of state secondary schools to more than $470 million between 2017-18 and 2019-20.”

Ms Grace said the ‘2020 Ready’ program signals the next phase of Queensland’s major education reforms, which started more than a decade ago.

“In 2007, the State Labor Government gave Queensland children a Flying Start with the introduction of Prep, which we supported with additional, specialist classrooms for Preppies,” she said.

“Queensland’s first intake of Preppies were those whose birthdays were in the first half of the calendar year – so theirs has always been a much smaller cohort of students, known as the ‘half cohort’.

“Our next educational reform came in 2015, when we moved Year 7 into high school and established six years of secondary education, which was also supported with significant infrastructure investment.

“However, our smaller ‘half cohort’ has been in high school since 2015 too – meaning we have never had the full complement of students across all six year levels in our secondary schools.

“With the original Prep students set to graduate from high school at the end of 2019, we will have – for the very first time – six full year levels of students in Queensland secondary schools from 2020.

“This new $250 million investment for additional classrooms will prepare those schools identified as requiring additional capacity for the additional students expected in 2020.”

Mr Furner welcomed the ‘2020 Ready’ funding of more than $18 million for Ferny Grove SHS.

“I am so pleased Ferny Grove SHS is one of around 60 state secondary schools to benefit from this significant infrastructure investment,” Mr Furner said.

“The school will receive a new three-storey learning centre with 14 extra classrooms, a STEM learning area and four much-needed new science labs – a very welcome boost for the school.”

High schools receiving ‘2020 Ready’ projects in 2018-19 and 2019-20:

• Albany Creek SHS

• Alexandra Hills SHS

• Beenleigh SHS

• Bremer SHS

• Bribie Island SHS

• Brisbane SHS

• Caboolture SHS

• Cairns SHS

• Cavendish Road SHS

• Centenary Heights SHS

• Centenary SHS

• Chancellor State College

• Cleveland District SHS

• Coolum SHS

• Ferny Grove SHS

• Flagstone State Community College

• Forest Lake SHS

• Glenala SHS

• Harristown SHS

• Helensvale SHS

• Highfields State Secondary College

• Indooroopilly SHS

• Ipswich State High School

• James Nash SHS

• Kawana Waters State College

• Kedron SHS

• Kelvin Grove State College

• Laidley SHS

• Lowood SHS

• Mackay Northern Beaches SHS

• Mansfield SHS

• Maroochydore SHS

• Marsden SHS

• Meridan State College

• Mount Gravatt SHS

• Mountain Creek SHS

• North Lakes State College

• Ormeau Woods SHS

• Pacific Pines SHS

• Palm Beach-Currumbin SHS

• Park Ridge SHS

• Pimlico SHS

• Pimpama State Secondary College

• Proserpine SHS

• Rochedale SHS

• Southport SHS

• Springfield Central SHS

• Stretton State College

• Sunshine Beach SHS

• Tamborine Mountain SHS

• The Gap SHS

• Toolooa SHS

• Trinity Bay SHS

• Varsity College

• Windaroo Valley SHS

• Wynnum SHS

• Yeppoon SHS       

Schools which have already received new infrastructure under this program (completed in 2016-17 and 2017-18) are Coolum State High School, Dalby State High School,

Flagstone State High School, Gladstone State High School, Harristown State High School, Highfields State Secondary College, Mansfield State High School, Mountain Creek State High School, Murrumba State Secondary College and Southport State High School.


10/06/18: Savings for Queensland businesses through WorkCover’s premium discounts

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Queensland businesses have saved more than $61 million in premium discounts with WorkCover Queensland, with these savings set to continue in the 2018-19 financial year.

Small-to-medium size businesses employing apprentices have collectively saved more than $15 million in the past year on their premiums, through WorkCover’s discount for employing apprentices.

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said the introduction of this discount by WorkCover in 1 July 2017 has resulted in businesses which employ apprentices saving between 10 and 20 per cent off their premiums.

“WorkCover introduced these premium discounts last year and it’s great to see businesses reaping the benefits,” Ms Grace said.

“WorkCover also continues to offer employers who pay their annual premium before 16 September extra incentives to meet the deadline.

“With the early payment discount increasing from 3 per cent to 5 per cent, this has resulted in savings of $46 million for businesses in the 2017-18 financial year.

“For small businesses with between five and 20 workers, this early payment discount could mean more than $1,000 saved each year.”

Minister Grace said WorkCover Queensland continued to be Australia’s leading scheme, again delivering the lowest premiums in the country.

“Not only has WorkCover introduced and is continuing these new incentives for businesses, it continues to deliver the lowest premiums in the country,” she said.

“Combined with a stable financial position and positive investment yields, these factors have helped WorkCover to retain the lowest average premium rate in the country.

“For the fifth year in a row, WorkCover’s average premium rate is being maintained at $1.20 per $100 in wages paid for the financial year commencing 1 July 2018 – down from a peak of $1.45 in 2013-14.

“This is good news for more than 159,000 Queensland employers and it makes WorkCover Queensland the best workers’ compensation provider in Australia.”

For more information visit https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au


08/06/18: LNP’s ‘education plan’ completely out of touch

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Education Minister Grace Grace has slammed the LNP’s new education plan as uninspiring, unsophisticated and simply out-of-step with Queensland’s needs.

“It’s obvious Deb Frecklington has no clue about what’s happening in Queensland schools or what our students and teachers need,” Ms Grace said.

“On one hand the Opposition Leader says she wants schools to have more autonomy, but now she wants to give teachers new curriculum ‘guidelines’ to follow.

“This sounds to me like Deb Frecklington wants to tell teachers how to do their job, which is completely at odds with her cries for greater independence for Queensland schools under the IPS model.”

Ms Grace said the Palaszczuk Government had increased the number of schools in the IPS initiative from 130 schools when the LNP left office, to 250 schools in 2018.

“Our Government is committed to supporting teachers and school leaders to get on with doing their important work in classrooms across the state,” she said.

“If Deb Frecklington had a clue about education, she’d know we already have comprehensive Curriculum into the Classroom resources in place to support teachers,” she said.

“We’ve invested more than $50 million since January 2015 to roll out these materials and I know Queensland’s resources are the exemplar for other states.

“What I want to know is, which parts of the national curriculum does Deb Frecklington plan to dump?

“Will it be STEM subjects, physical education, or the creative arts on the LNP scrapheap?

“This is so typical of the LNP – always looking for things to cut, this time from our kids’ education.”

Ms Grace said the Palaszczuk Government was putting Queensland students first.

“Our Government listens to our education stakeholders, principals, teachers, parents and students and we’ll continue to do so,” she said.

“That’s what we did back in 2016 when we were developing the new ATAR system and that’s why it has the full support of stakeholders.

“The new ATAR system is more rigorous because it means students must pass English to receive a tertiary entrance score. Under the current system, you don’t even need to study senior English to get an OP.”


07/06/18: Students get the ear of the Education Minister

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Education Minister Grace Grace today (June 7) sat down with 16 secondary students from schools across Queensland, who have been appointed to provide her with a students’ perspective on key education matters.

Ms Grace said the students had been selected to be part of the 2018 Ministerial Student Advisory Council – the first of its kind in Queensland.

“Students are our most important stakeholders so it’s only natural they be given an opportunity to make their views heard,” Ms Grace said.

“I was so pleased to have the opportunity to sit down and talk with these students in Brisbane today.

“The students travelled from all over Queensland to attend our inaugural meeting, including from schools on the Gold Coast, Cairns, Longreach, Charleville and Mt Isa.

“These students will be my eyes and ears in Queensland classrooms and school grounds and I’ll be asking them ways we can improve their learning experience.

“One of their first priorities is to look at ways to address bullying and cyber bullying, which we know are insidious community issues.

“The Palaszczuk Government is determined to continue the fight against bullying and the ideas put forward by this Student Council will be progressed to the Queensland Anti-Cyberbullying Taskforce.”

The Queensland Anti-Cyberbullying Taskforce is due to recommend an anti-cyberbullying framework to the Premier by 31 August 2018, along with suggested community and government actions.

The youngest member of the Council is Year 7 Longreach State High School student Hugh Smith. Hugh plans to be a voice for rural and remote students on the unique challenges facing young people in the outback.

Another Council member, Kathleen Farrelly, is a student leader at Spinifex State College in Mount Isa where she is in Year 8. Kathleen’s long-term ambition is to have a career in science

Aspiring doctor Lev Marienbakh is a Year 9 student at Varsity College the South East Queensland while Jesleen Patel, from Cairns State High School leads the ‘We Can’ Human Rights group in her a school and is a James Cook University Languages Champion.

“I am sure that the Council members will provide valuable insights that will keep me in touch with what it is like to be a student in Queensland schools," the Minister said.

“I know they are excited about this opportunity to make their views known and I want to thank them on behalf of the Government for volunteering their time."

Students’ feedback and ideas from Ministerial Student Advisory Council meetings will help inform future government policy and program development.

2018 Ministerial Student Advisory Council Participants

Flony Anjilivelil, Year 12, Pimlico State High School (Townsville)

Lucinda Cowle, Year 12, Cavendish Road State High School (Brisbane)

Kathleen Farrelly, Year 8, Spinifex State College (Mount Isa)

Brea Frousheger, Year 12, Charleville State High School

Shadrach Getawan, Year 12, Woree State High School (Cairns)

Dyirun Johnson, Year 12, Bundaberg State High School

Lev Marienbakh, Year 9, Varsity College (Gold Coast)

Zoe Mavromatis, Year 11, John Paul College (Brisbane)

Kasey Murray, Year 11, Boonah State High School

Jesleen Patel, Year 9, Cairns State High School

Tenesha Richardson, Year 12, Balmoral State High School

Ella Scotford, Year 11, St Rita’s College (Brisbane)

Hugh Smith, Year 7, Longreach State High School

Alex Somerfield, Year 11, North Rockhampton State High School

William Tor, Year 12, Pine Rivers State High School

Tiana Wegener, Year 12, Harristown State High School (Toowoomba)


06/06/18: Queensland parents to have their say on NAPLAN

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Education Minister Grace Grace is calling on parents and caregivers to provide their views and feedback about NAPLAN as part of a state-wide evaluation of the tests.

“Since becoming Education Minister, I have been constantly approached by parents, principals and teachers about their concerns with the NAPLAN tests,” Ms Grace said.

“Just last month while we were Governing from Mackay, I had a conversation with a mother in a local café who told me she had withdrawn her daughter from this year’s test due to the unnecessary stress it had caused.

“I don’t believe that was the original intention of the tests and that is why, earlier this year, I committed to conducting a state-wide evaluation of NAPLAN.

“The timing is right to have a look at the tests to see what is working and what isn’t.

“I have also been pushing for a comprehensive, national review of the tests and we are working with our interstate and Federal colleagues to progress this work.

“In the meantime, we want to hear from Queensland parents and carers so we can gauge whether the program still meets the needs of students, parents and schools.

“I want to make sure we strike the right balance so that the right information is used for the right purposes, and any unintended consequences of the current NAPLAN program are recognised and addressed.

“We know Queensland is one of the most improved Australian jurisdictions in literacy and numeracy since the NAPLAN tests started, and we want these strong results to continue well into the future.”

Ms Grace said the evaluation was being conducted by an independent consultant, Dr Gabrielle Matters.

“Feedback is being sought from parents, members of Parents and Citizen’s Associations, and Parents and Friends’ Associations,” she said.

“Importantly, the evaluation will seek feedback from parents across all schooling sectors — state, Catholic and independent — to ensure a broad view of opinions are captured.

“To make sure as many parents as possible provide their input during the consultation period an online survey will be made available.

“I encourage all Queensland parents to have their say before the survey closes on 15 June.”

The survey is available at https://qed.qld.gov.au/programs-initiatives/naplan-2018-review.

Dr Matters will also run a series of public forums with independent reviewer Dr Robert Lake before 12 June in Emerald, Brisbane and Townsville. For bookings, please email NAPLAN@novumAVI.com.au.

Ms Grace said school leaders, school communities and other key stakeholders would be targeted in the next phase of the consultation.


01/06/18: Queensland workers win minimum wage increase

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace has welcomed today’s decision by the Fair Work Commission to lift the national minimum wage and award rates of pay by 3.5 per cent.

“This will provide a much-needed real wage increase for almost half a million low-paid private sector workers in Queensland,” she said.

“These are workers who do not enjoy the benefits of bargaining and they rely on this decision for an annual pay increase to help make ends meet.

“This is a sensible and affordable increase.

“The Commission acknowledged in its decision that business conditions remain positive, inflation and wages growth remain low, and that increases of this magnitude do not have negative impacts on employment.”

Significantly, the Fair Work Commission noted that no party was able to identify any economic indicator which demonstrated any discernible detriment arising from last year’s decision which awarded an increase of 3.3 per cent.

The Palaszczuk Government’s submission to the FWC called for an increase to the national minimum wage of 3.9 per cent and fair and reasonable increases to all other minimum award rates of pay.

“This contrasts with the Federal Government that sat on the fence in its submission and couldn’t bring itself to support any specific wage increase for low-paid workers,” Ms Grace said.

Ms Grace endorsed the Commission’s view that current low wages growth has significant economic and social consequences.

“What is even more concerning is that at a time of historically low wages growth, there are some workers who are not even getting paid what they are entitled,” she said.

“This is why the Palaszczuk Government has moved to establish a state parliamentary inquiry into the scourge of wage theft.”

The Wage Theft Inquiry is expected to commence shortly.


28/05/18: Conference promotes $4 billion international education sector

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Queensland is becoming a destination of choice for international students, with a record 5,660 international students studying in schools around the state.

Education Minister Grace Grace, speaking at the Department of Education International Conference in Brisbane today, said the International Education and Training sector contributed $4.135 billion to the Queensland economy in 2016 -17.

“Queensland’s reputation as a great place to study is growing in international markets,” Ms Grace said.

“There’s no doubt our state’s popularity as a preferred study destination is thanks to our high-quality educational offerings, safe environment, enviable weather and laidback lifestyle.

“Overall, more than 5,660 overseas students studied in Queensland’s state, independent and Catholic schools in 2017.

“There are more than 2,300 students studying International Student Programs in Queensland state schools alone.”

Ms Grace thanked conference delegates from Australia and overseas for playing an important role in promoting Queensland’s multi-billion dollar education and training sector.

“Thank you for your efforts in singing the praises of Queensland’s education system around the world,” she said.

“The Palaszczuk Government recognises the value of international education and we are absolutely committed to growing the sector.

“The best part is, our international students are giving a big thumbs up to their educational experience here in Queensland, with 96 per cent of those studying at state schools saying they would recommend our program to others.”

Ms Grace encouraged Department of Education International Conference participants to continue their support of a globalised education sector.

“The Palaszczuk Government believes that building students’ skills to become global citizens is essential for young people to succeed and for the development of our modern world,” she said.

“As the state’s largest school sector international education provider, the Department of Education aims to embed intercultural awareness and diversity within our schools and communities.

“This means giving international students the best possible experience inside and outside the classroom during their stay.”

Today’s conference included guests from as far afield as China, Malaysia, Myanmar, Taiwan, South Korea, India, Papua New Guinea, United Arab Emirates and Nauru.


25/05/18: Queensland says ‘thank you’ to our P&Cs

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

School communities across Queensland are today recognising the invaluable work of their hardworking parents and citizens’ associations (P&Cs).

Education Minister Grace Grace joined Youth Minister and Member for Bulimba Di Farmer at Bulimba State School for P&C Day celebrations.

“Our P&Cs are the heart and soul of our school communities,” Ms Grace said.

“P&C Day is all about acknowledging the invaluable work of these hard working volunteers, who do so much to support our schools to deliver a world-class education.

“This is a chance to stop and join with school communities across the state in saying ‘thank you’ to all our P&Cs for the positive difference they make in our schools.

“P&Cs enhance the life of Queensland schools and their communities in so many wonderful ways and I want to sincerely thank them for all their hard work.”

Ms Farmer praised members of the Bulimba State School P&C, acknowledging their outstanding contribution to the school community.

“The Bulimba State School P&C goes above and beyond for students and families, running the outside school hours care service and the Smart Bites tuckshop service,” Ms Farmer said.

“With Smart Bites being crowned winner of the 2017 Tuckshop of the Year award, this P&C definitely deserves a huge ‘thank you’ for its delicious meals and stellar work!”

Today’s event also marked the launch of the 2018 P&C of the Year awards, with P&Cs Qld President Gayle Walters and CEO Kevan Goodworth in attendance.

P&Cs Qld President Gayle Walters said the annual awards were another chance to recognise the great work undertaken by some 30,000 P&C volunteers in Queensland schools.

“While P&Cs can often be seen volunteering at events, raising money and working the many business operations such as tuckshops, uniform shops and after school care, most importantly P&Cs contribute to the social and education support systems for our children at state schools,” Ms Walters said.

“It is not surprising to learn that student wellbeing consistently ranks as one of the highest concerns for P&Cs. Working with principals, teachers and the broader school community to support state school children’s life-long learning is what consumes a large proportion of a P&C’s time.”

Nominations for the 2018 P&C of the Year awards are now open, with the winner to be announced at the P&Cs Qld annual state conference in Brisbane in September. Visit https://pandcsqld.com.au/whats-on/pc-year-awards/ (external site) to find out more.

P&C Day is held each year in Queensland during National Volunteer Week, which celebrates the contribution of volunteers in all fields Australia-wide from 21 May.


24/05/18: Academies boost education for Indigenous girls

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

The Palaszczuk Government is supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, with $3.4 million committed to an innovative program that helps girls stay engaged in school.

Education Minister Grace Grace said the Girls Academy program focused on mentoring and wellbeing support, which would help pave the way to a brighter future.

“The Palaszczuk Government recognises the importance of supporting Indigenous students,” Ms Grace said.

“We have committed $3.4 million over three years to deliver the Girls Academy program in seven state high schools in the wider Maryborough and Bundaberg areas.”

Ms Grace said this included Bundaberg North, Bundaberg, Kepnock, Urangan, Hervey Bay, Maryborough and Aldridge State High Schools.

Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders, attending a Girls Academy launch at Maryborough State High School today, said it was great to see students in the local community benefiting from this program.

“The Girls Academy program is open to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander female students from Year 7 to Year 12 enrolled at our participating schools,” he said.

“It aims to actively engage female Indigenous students through relationship-based, in-school mentoring and wellbeing support.

“This supportive environment helps to increase school attendance, retention rates and levels of attainment – meaning students learn and achieve more at school.”

Role Models and Leaders Australia (RMLA) is delivering the program which will benefit up to 453 female students each year over the next three years.

Ms Grace said that Queensland continued to make major gains in Year 12 completion rates and Queensland Certificate of Education or Queensland Certificate of Individual Achievement for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

“The department is also partnering with three other organisations — Netball Queensland, the Brisbane Broncos, and the Stars Foundation — to implement similar programs to target Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander female students,” she said. 

“Each year, these programs will help up to 1100 female Indigenous students in our Queensland state schools, providing them with the best possible start in their life journey.”

Ms Grace said Girls Academies had been operating in these Queensland high schools since the start of the 2018 school year.


24/05/18: Students to shine light on farm safety with calendar competition

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Education and Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace has launched the 2019 farm safety calendar competition as part of Governing from Mackay this week, with students from Eton State School.

Ms Grace said the competition, run by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, was a big hit with students in rural and regional Queensland.

“I am so pleased to join students from Eton State School at the Kinchant Outdoor Education Centre to launch the farm safety calendar competition,” Ms Grace said.

“This competition aims to raise awareness among primary school children and their communities of hazards on farms and rural properties.

“Students are encouraged to draw pictures about good health and safety practices on farms and enter their masterpieces in the hope of making it into the 2019 edition of the calendar.

“Last year, we had more than 700 entries from across the state but this year I’d like to see even more students getting involved.

“One of the successful entries from last year was Alex Neaton, a Year 3 student at Eaton State School.

“Alex’s colourful entry made it into the calendar as the image for April, depicting cattle being rounded up along with a message about not standing behind animals because of how ‘unpredictable’ they can be.”

Ms Grace said entries in the 2019 farm safety calendar competition must be lodged online by 29 June, with the winners to be announced in October.

“Each of the 12 winners will receive a $250 voucher, with an additional $500 voucher going to the school,” she said.

“This year’s safety topics are Quad bikes, motorbikes and machinery; Animal handling; Sun safety and healthy lifestyle; and Kids on farms.”

Ms Grace said while only three per cent of Queenslanders work on farms, nearly 30 per cent of work-related deaths occur in a farming environment.

“The real tragedy is just about of all of these deaths are preventable,” she said.

“This calendar competition is a fun and informative way to show our future farmers that these mishaps can be prevented with a little extra care and planning.

“We’ll print and distribute 20,000 copies of the calendar – so for those who hang one proudly in their homes or workplaces, they are a year-long reminder to be farm safe.”

Details on how to enter the competition and previous winning entries are available at www.worksafe.qld.gov.au


22/05/18: Mackay students embrace reading challenge

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Students in Mackay are joining more than 980 schools and early childhood centres across the state which have registered to take part in the 2018 Premier’s Reading Challenge.

Education Minister Grace Grace today visited Mackay Central State School to promote the initiative and to read a book with a class of enthusiastic Year 2 students.

“The Palaszczuk Government recognises the importance of supporting students to become lifelong learners,” Ms Grace said.

“Developing a passion for reading gives children a great start to their education, and builds a strong foundation for their future careers and endeavours.

“It’s great to see students here in Mackay embracing this challenge and discovering the joys of reading form a young age.

“I know that Mackay Central State School strongly supports this initiative and is aiming for a 100 per cent participation rate this year.”

Ms Grace said, for the first time, this year’s suggested book titles for the Premier’s Reading Challenge would be available in Chinese, French, German and Japanese, in addition to English.

“Students who speak English as an additional language or dialect, along with Indigenous students, may choose to read books in their first language,” she said.

“Learners with special needs or those who do not speak or read Standard Australian English at home can engage with books that support their needs, such as those in large print, braille or audio.”

Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said this was great for school communities like Mackay Central State School, where the student population represents 12 different countries.

“At this local school, nearly 40 per cent of students speak English as an additional language or dialect, including students who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander who do not speak English as their first language,” Mrs Gilbert said.

“So far, 814 schools are already registered in the challenge which runs from 14 May to 24 August 2018. Students who are home schooled are also welcome to take part.

“Even children in early childhood education can take part from 13 to 24 August, with 173 early education and care centres registered to date.

“I encourage all students in the Mackay region to embrace this challenge and get reading!”

During the Premier’s Reading Challenge, students aim to read a minimum number of books with no limit on the maximum number.

Mackay Central State School Principal Sarah Mutton said students were excited to take part in the challenge.

“Last year around 60 per cent of our students were part of the challenge and this year we are aiming for 100 per cent participation,” Mrs Mutton said.

“We actively encourage reading every day and our school community values the benefits and enjoyment that can be achieved through being avid, voracious and skilled readers.”

Ms Grace said the Palaszczuk Government also recently relaunched the Ready Reading program.

“We will be training up to 3000 volunteers to share their knowledge and time in our primary schools to help support reading,” she said.

“I encourage avid readers to register their interest with Volunteering Queensland to this great initiative.”

The 2018 Premier’s Reading Challenge is supported by QSuper, RACQ, Queensland Ballet, Booktopia and The Courier-Mail.

More information on the 2018 Premier’s Reading Challenge is available at www.education.qld.gov.au/schools/readingchallenge/.

Register to become a Queensland Ready Reading Volunteer on the Volunteering Queensland website: https://volunteeringqld.org.au/


22/05/18: New chapter for Elders as Storytellers

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Respected elders are joining together to help give our youngest learners a great start to their education, with the second phase of the Elders as Storytellers campaign launched today.

Education Minister Grace Grace visited the Mackay Children and Family Centre to unveil the videos and advertisement that will help encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families to enrol their children in kindergarten.

“The Palaszczuk Government recognises the importance of nurturing children’s learning in their early years,” Ms Grace said.

“The second phase of our Elders as Storytellers campaign is unique, as we have Elders from the Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Australian South Sea Islander communities all working together to highlight the benefits of a kindergarten participation.

“It’s great to have respected elders on board to help promote this important message.

“With celebrations for Under Eights Week underway across the state this week, now is a great opportunity to remind all Queenslanders about the value of kindy for our youngest learners.”

Ms Grace said the Elders as Storytellers campaign reflected the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to engage in early childhood education.

“We have made significant progress towards the 2018 target of 95 per cent of Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children participating in kindergarten, having reached a figure of 91.7 per cent in 2017,” she said.

“Since the first phase of this campaign began in 2017, we have reached two million Queenslanders and helped increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children enrolling in kindergarten.”

Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said the Palaszczuk Government was continuing to work with Queensland communities to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

“Everyone, including parents and carers, has a role to play in ensuring children benefit from participating in kindergarten,” Mrs Gilbert said.

“I extend my thanks to all the Elders who have worked together on phase two of this campaign, which focuses on boosting participation here in the Mackay region.”

Ms Grace thanked respected Elder and traditional descendant of the Yuibera people Uncle Philip Kemp, Torres Strait Islander Elder Aunty Lesley Sabbo, respected Elder and Yuwibara descendant Aunty Veronica Ah-wang, and Australian South Sea Islander Elder Aunty Maud Corowa from the Mackay region for working together on this important project.

“Special thanks also to respected Wiradyuri Gamilaraay woman Aunty Sharron Lindh from Ipswich, for her involvement since the beginning of the campaign and for performing the theme song she wrote for the campaign,” she said.

Uncle Philip Kemp is passionate about sharing Aboriginal culture in schools and community. 

“My parents and grandparents wanted their children to have a good education, but the opportunity wasn’t there for them. When my father went to school, his education wasn’t valued. So I say to the young parents of today, make sure the opportunity is taken up and get those kids into early education,” he said. 

The Elders as Storytellers campaign is part of the Department of Education’s broader ‘The Early Years Count’ strategy encouraging all Queensland children to benefit from early education.

The launch also coincides with ‘Under Eights Week’, led by Early Childhood Australia and sponsored by the Department of Education to deliver a range of activities across Queensland featuring early years’ ambassador Jay Laga’aia and Aunty Sharron Lindh.

For more information on Elders as Storytellers and to view the campaign videos, visit www.qld.gov.au/biglearninglife.


21/05/18: Palaszczuk Government delivering for Mackay schools

JOINT STATEMENT

Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

The Palaszczuk Government’s bumper investment in school infrastructure is set to deliver a new $12 million Performing Arts Centre for Mackay students.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Education Minister Grace Grace and member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert today visited Mackay Northern Beaches State High School to inspect works on the new facility, which will include a 500-seat theatre and multi-media classrooms.

Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said she was thrilled to see this Performing Arts Centre being delivered for the local community.

“This new facility has been a priority project for the Palaszczuk Government,” Ms Gilbert said.

“We have so many talented students here at Mackay Northern Beaches State High School and it’s great they will soon be able to perform and practice in a modern facility, with all the trimmings.

“The Performing Arts Centre will include a 500-seat theatre and related music practice rooms, multi-media classrooms and a public entry foyer with a ticket kiosk.”

Ms Palaszczuk said the new state-of-the-art centre reflected her Government’s commitment to providing students across Queensland with a world-class education.

“This new $12 million Performing Arts Centre will provide students here in Mackay with the opportunity to perform and hone their creative talents.

“I know this school has a very strong interest in the performing arts and the school community has advocated for this new facility to support its talented students.

“I’m proud my Government is delivering this $12 million facility for the Mackay Northern Beaches State High School community.”

Education Minister Grace Grace said the project would also refurbish existing temporary dance and music spaces into general classrooms, develop a 22-space car park and deliver two multi-purpose outdoor sport courts.

“Our Government is investing in school infrastructure projects across the Mackay region, including a new $7.15 million two-storey building for Years 5 & 6 students at Eimeo Road State School,” she said.

“This new building will have eight classrooms upstairs and four downstairs with a large undercover play area.

“The large play area has been designed with the future in mind and will easily be turned into four more classrooms as the school grows.

Ms Grace said there was also a $1.6 million renovation underway at Marian State School.

“This includes extensions to the school’s administration building and its library, plus a covered outdoor area and extensions to the amenities and storage block,” she said.

Ms Grace said the total investment of more than $20 million in these three local school infrastructure projects would support the creation of more 60 construction-related jobs.

The Palaszczuk Government has a state-wide school Infrastructure Investment Program valued at more than $778 million during 2017-18.

Mackay Northern Beaches State High School Principal Sian Burrows thanked the State Government for the investment in her school.

“The new Performing Arts Facility will be a great and much-needed asset for our school,” Ms Burrows said.

“Overall the new centre will, I am sure, dramatically increase our school’s capacity to develop student performance skills and strengthen our reputation for excellence in the arts and music.

“We are all looking forward to the opening of the new centre in early 2019.”


17/05/18: Strong start for Queensland's new labour hire scheme

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

The Palaszczuk Government’s new labour hire scheme is off to a flying start, with more than 1,300 applications received in its first month of operation.

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said this early uptake demonstrated labour hire operators were fully aware of their legal requirement to have a licence in Queensland and were ready to get on with business.

“Since the new laws started on 16 April 2018, we have received 1,373 applications from operators which hire out labour in Queensland, with more than 145 licences already approved to date,” Ms Grace said.

“I’m so pleased to see labour hire operators are getting on board with these new laws.

“Our new Labour Hire Licensing Act and labour hire licensing scheme are regulating a sector that has been left unregulated for too long.

“To get a licence, providers need to show – amongst other requirements – they are complying with all legal obligations and can pay their workers.

“The new laws respond to years of evidence of serious exploitation of workers in the labour hire industry, ranging from cases of wage theft to sexual harassment and systematic tax avoidance.

“These laws are good for workers and good for labour hire providers and other employers who are doing the right thing.”

Ms Grace said the Labour Hire Licensing Compliance Unit would be on the ground talking to providers and doing compliance checks from this week.

“Existing labour hire providers have until 15 June 2018 to apply for a licence and can continue to operate while their application is being processed,” she said.

Labour hire providers have described the online application as easy and user-friendly.

Following its application, Trident Trades and Labour Hire, based in Brisbane, is on track to be granted a licence by 31 May 2018. 

Director of Trident Trades and Labour Hire, Barry Hockings, said the application process was straightforward, with plenty of information available online.

“Trident Trades and Labour Hire supports the implementation of the labour hire licence scheme,” Mr Hockings said.

“It’s great to see the Queensland Government taking a hard line against providers who aren’t doing the right thing by workers.”

For more information on the Queensland’s Labour Hire Licensing Scheme go to www.labourhire.qld.gov.au


15/05/18: Best wishes for students in NAPLAN testing

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Education Minister Grace Grace has encouraged Queensland students taking part in NAPLAN (National Assessment Program — Literacy and Numeracy) this week to relax and do their best.

“NAPLAN testing will take place throughout Australia from today Tuesday 15 May,” Ms Grace said.

“I send my well wishes to the 263,000 Queensland state and non-state students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 who will be taking part in the tests this week.

“NAPLAN is one of the tools we can use for monitoring students’ progress and assessing their areas of strength and development.

“The tests can also help schools to recognise curriculum programs that are effective in improving student outcomes.

“They also assist at a system level to determine where best to target resources, so it’s important that all eligible students participate because every student counts.”

Ms Grace said parents can be confident that the great work students and teachers do every day in the classroom have prepared them well for the tests.

“Teachers work tirelessly to support the wellbeing and achievement of students, and empower them to reach their potential,” she said.

“As a result, Queensland is one of the most improved Australian jurisdictions in literacy and numeracy since the introduction of NAPLAN in 2008.”

Ms Grace thanked students for their efforts and acknowledged teachers for their work with developing children’s essential literacy and numeracy skills.

“I also thank parents, schools and the wider community for their encouragement and support,” Ms Grace said.

“NAPLAN testing encompasses reading, writing, language conventions and numeracy — skills that will benefit students for the rest of their lives.

“The test data helps governments throughout Australia channel resources and provide more targeted support.”

This year, around 15,000 students at more than 80 state and non-state schools are participating in NAPLAN Online, ahead of the scheduled full rollout by 2020.

The Education Council recently agreed to consider terms of reference for a review of NAPLAN after ten years of the tests.

For further information about the NAPLAN tests in Queensland visit the Department of Education’s website http://education.qld.gov.au/naplan/ or Facebook page 


14/05/18: Joint statement regarding Dive and Snorkelling Death Review Panel

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice
The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Any death on the reef is tragic and one too many.

We know the reef is a major drawcard for both international and domestic tourists. That is why we consulted widely with the industry last year to review the Code of Practice for the dive and snorkel industry.

It is important to note the Dive and Snorkelling Death Review Panel was a separate initiative of the Northern Coroner.

A local decision was made to disband the Dive and Snorkelling Death Review Panel. This decision was not made in consultation with the State Coroner.

The State Coroner supports the reactivation of this panel and will consult with the new Northern Coroner as she takes on responsibility for the investigation of the majority of these deaths.


11/05/18: New $5.9 million precinct for historic New Farm school

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

A New Farm school founded at the turn of the century is being supported to cater for the next generation of students, with a new $5.9 million early years’ precinct officially opened today.

Education Minister and Member for McConnel Grace Grace said the new facility would enable New Farm State School to continue its 117-year legacy of educating local students

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to providing quality education facilities for all students across Queensland,” Ms Grace said.

“It’s wonderful to see students here in Brisbane’s inner city benefiting from this commitment.

“New Farm State School has a rich history in our community, with the original school building dating back to 1901.

“This new $5.9 million early years’ precinct will provide state-of-the-art facilities for our youngest students to learn and engage, as well as helping this school cater for ongoing enrolment demand.”

Ms Grace said the new facilities were supporting this historic school to embrace the 21st Century, with seven classrooms fitted with high-tech connectivity.

“There is also a covered outdoor learning area, a purpose-built playground for Prep, extra parking spaces and secure fencing and meeting rooms,” she said.

“New Farm State School is among 35 schools in the inner city to be master-planned under the Palaszczuk Government’s Building Future Schools Fund.

“The Building Future Schools Fund is a funding boost of more than $800 million for state school infrastructure.

“This complements our investments to meet enrolment growth right across the state, with a particular focus on Brisbane’s inner city schools that have seen significant growth in the last decade.”

Principal Dr Carmel McGrath said the new facilities meant the New Farm State School’s youngest students now had their own early years’ precinct and a purpose-built play area for Prep.

“The building is also physically accessible for all students and features an amplification system to support students with hearing difficulties,” Dr McGrath said.

Dr McGrath said the classrooms also had interactive whiteboards which would help educate students with diverse learning needs for life in the 21st century.

“We are proud of our future-oriented programs designed to provide a challenging, exciting education, and help every student reach their potential,” she said.

The Palaszczuk Government has a state-wide Infrastructure Investment Program valued at more than $778 million during 2017-18.


30/04/18: Gonski reforms require appropriate Federal funding

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Education Minister Grace Grace said the Palaszczuk Government was committed to providing all Queensland students with a great start.

“The Gonski Report, released today, recommends significant reforms to improve educational excellence in Australian schools to provide every student with world-leading educational outcomes,” Ms Grace said.

“Any report which talks about assisting students to achieve their full educational potential is certainly worth discussing, not only in Queensland but also at a national level.

“I look forward to studying the report in greater detail over the next few days to understand what it could mean for Queensland students, teachers and school communities.

“We are certainly open to looking at other models because we want the best start and outcomes for all Queensland students.

“It should be noted that the Federal Government does not provide one classroom, one teacher or one school – state and territory governments are the majority funders of public schools.

“So, any genuine reform initiative will need to be supported with the appropriate Federal funding arrangements.”

Ms Grace said the Palaszczuk Government would advocate to ensure no Queensland student is disadvantaged.

“Queensland, along with all the states and territories, will have an opportunity to discuss the Gonski findings on a national level at the special Education Council meeting in Adelaide on Friday,” she said.

“Delivering a world-class education for Queensland students is a top priority for our Government and we want to ensure that any changes to education serve the best interests of our state students to reach their full potential and arrest the decline in our world standing.”

Ms Grace said the Palaszczuk Queensland was already delivering a number of major educational reforms which align to the Gonski Report.

“We are introducing a new senior assessment and tertiary entrance system and are ensuring all schools are independently and externally reviewed by experienced principals every four years,” she said.

“I also note the Gonski Report recommends improved career pathways for high quality teachers to remain in the classroom, which is something that the Palaszczuk Government is already exploring.

“Provision of universal education is staff-intensive and any reform in this area will have resourcing implications.

“So, the Turnbull Government must listen to the States, rather than unilaterally impose any additional education reforms.”

Ms Grace said the Palaszczuk Government was delivering a record Education Budget of $13 billion in 2017-18.


28/04/18: New memorials for Queenslanders lost in workplace tragedies

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

The Palaszczuk Government is honouring Queensland workers who have died as a result of work-related incidents, disease or illness, with two new memorials announced today.

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said an online honour roll had been established and a permanent memorial would be constructed in the Roma Street Forum to pay homage to those who have lost their lives at work.

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to creating and supporting safe workplaces,” Ms Grace said.

“Today, on Workers’ Memorial Day, we are reminded there is always more we can do to keep our workers safe and we acknowledge the families and friends who have lost loved ones.

“Those who have lost their lives in workplaces incidents, or from work-related disease or illness, deserve to be honoured and remembered.

“Our new permanent memorial will increase public recognition of the tragic circumstances in which lives are lost at work and encourage all Queenslanders to consider how they can contribute to safety in the workplace.

“The public memorial at the Roma Street Forum is scheduled for completion in 2019.

“We have also established the online Queensland Workers’ Honour Roll.

“This honour roll will note the names of workers who have died as a result of a work-related incident or illness in our state. It will also include tributes and personal stories by the workers’ loved ones.

“It’s our hope that both of these memorials will serve as a lasting legacy and tribute for those lives we’ve lost.”

Ms Grace said registration for the Queensland Workers’ Memorial and online Honour Roll was completely voluntary.

“The idea for a new workers’ memorial was first raised by the Interim Consultative Committee for Work-Related Fatalities and Serious Incidents,” she said.

“I established this committee so that the Government, industry and Queensland communities could benefit from the understanding and experiences of families who have had to endure workplace tragedies in their lives.

“The committee provides advice to Government on the information and support needs of people affected by work related fatalities, serious injuries and illness.”

Ms Grace said 22 Queenslanders lost their lives in workplace incidents last year.

“In an effort to help reduce the number of these kind of tragedies, last year, the Palaszczuk Government last year brought in industrial manslaughter laws,” she said.

“These laws include jail time for reckless operators convicted of breaching safety laws at the cost for someone’s life.

“These tough industrial manslaughter laws are squarely aimed at protecting Queensland workers on the job and they leave negligent employers culpable with nowhere to hide.”

For more information about the Workers Memorial and Online honour roll, call Workplace Health and Safety Queensland on 1300 362 182, email OHS.CoronialLiaison@oir.qld.gov.auor visit https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/queensland-workers-memorial.

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland and the consultative committee are working with the Department of Housing and Public Works and the Brisbane City Council to come up with a design for the new memorial at the Roma Street Forum in Brisbane.

Minister Grace was represented at today’s event in Brisbane to announce the new memorials by the Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni.


24/04/18: Top marks tipped for Queensland reading and writing

JOINT STATEMENT
Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Education Minister Grace Grace have today launched a suite of initiatives to support reading, writing and strengthen children’s literacy at Nundah State School. 

At the launch of the 2018 Premier’s Reading Challenge, the Premier confirmed the Palaszczuk Government would recommence the Queensland Ready Reading Program from this year.

“We made a commitment at the election to reintroduce this successful reading program, which was scrapped by the LNP Government in 2012,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“This program will see up to 3000 reading volunteers, trained by Volunteering Queensland, go into schools across the state to share the love of reading with students.

“My Government will invest more than $1.5 million over three years to reintroduce this important initiative.

“We’ll have Ready Reading trainers embedded across the state, benefiting students from Far North Queensland right down to the Gold Coast.”

Ms Palaszczuk said registrations to become a Ready Reading Volunteer would open from 14 May this year.

“We know literacy is a powerful tool which gives children the best start at school, but also builds a solid foundation that shapes every aspect of their lives,” she said.

“A key part of my Government’s focus is giving students a strong start in their early years and that’s one of our key priorities.

“This means we need to look at how we can improve students’ wellbeing before they start school – including their physical health and wellbeing, social skills, emotional maturity, language and cognitive experiences, as well as communication and general knowledge.”

Ms Grace joined the Premier in reading to a Year 2 class at Nundah State School today.

“I know Nundah State School has a strong reading program and regularly participates in the Premier’s Reading Challenge, now in its 13th year,” Ms Grace said.

“We want all children around the state to have a strong foundation in literacy and that’s what the Premier’s Reading Challenge and the Ready Reading Program are all about.

“Last year more than 155,000 young Queenslanders took part in the challenge, reading more than 2.16 million books.

“This included individual readers and participants from 850 schools and 410 early childhood education and care services across the state.”

Member for Nudgee Leanne Linard attended the event at Nundah State School today and encouraged all Queensland students to take part in the Premier’s Reading Challenge.

“I know there will already be plenty of youngsters from state and non-state schools, as well as home-schooled students, who will be hitting the books as part of the challenge which runs from 14 May to 24 August 2018,” Ms Linard said.

“Even children in early childhood education can take part from 13 to 24 August.

“This year for the first time, suggested book titles will be available in Chinese, French, German and Japanese as well as English. 

“Learners with special needs or those who do not speak or read Standard Australian English at home can engage with books that support their needs, such as those in large print, braille or audio.”

During the Premier’s Reading Challenge students aim to read a minimum number of books with no limit on the maximum number. The 2018 Premier’s Reading Challenge is supported by QSuper, RACQ, Queensland Ballet, Booktopia and The Courier-Mail.

More information on the 2018 Premier’s Reading Challenge is available at www.education.qld.gov.au/schools/readingchallenge/

Registrations to become a Queensland Ready Reading Volunteer will open from 14 May 2018: https://volunteeringqld.org.au/


21/04/18: Outstanding student artworks celebrated at GOMA

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Queensland secondary students are being recognised alongside some of the world’s most acclaimed visual artists, with their artworks showcased at Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) in Brisbane.

Education Minister Grace Grace today officially opened the Creative Generation Excellence Awards in Visual Art 2018 exhibition.

“This outstanding exhibition features 31 artworks by senior secondary students from state and non-state schools across Queensland,” Ms Grace said.

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to providing students with world-class educational opportunities.

“I’m so pleased our most talented senior art students, who each received Excellence Awards last year, have the opportunity to exhibit their artworks in the same gallery as internationally renowned artists.

“The artistic flair displayed in these works is very impressive and I congratulate the students on being selected to take part in this exhibition.”

Ms Grace said the exhibition explores themes such as life, cultural identity, contemporary ethical dilemmas, and relationship with nature using photography, painting, digital and mixed media, sculpture, video and installation works.

QAGOMA Director Chris Saines said the Creative Generation Excellence Awards exhibition was an opportunity for the Gallery to engage directly with some of the most talented young artists to emerge out of the state’s secondary schools.

“We always look forward to Creative Generation because the sophistication and competence of these senior students never fails to surprise,” Mr Saines said.

“It is both humbling and instructive to the see the way in which young people are prepared to tackle what are often deeply personal and difficult issues – for them and for their communities.

“It takes courage to put yourself and your ideas forward in this public way, so I have nothing but admiration for the students who have taken up the challenge of making these works and the teachers who have empowered them to do so in the best way possible.”

Trinity Bay State High School Visual Arts Head of Department Janelle Williams said the school was extremely proud of its school graduates Keely Baker and Kiara Smith, who were selected as Excellence Award winners.

“Keely’s self-reflective, emotive artwork, expressed in a beautiful, succinct way, is featured on the exhibition’s promotional material and Kiara’s work uses video, clay and traditional music to explore issues of identity,” Ms Williams said.

“The school takes its art students on excursions to relatively remote Queensland locations each year, to immerse them in an external, tactile environment where the students explore, artistically, how they relate to an isolated environment and observe how other travelling professional artists respond.

“It’s been inspirational to watch the courage of these young women who have grown not only as artists, but personally, as they come to terms with their individual life journeys and are empowered through art to communicate with wider audiences about topics that matter to them.”

Ms Grace encouraged schools and students take part in this year’s Creative Generation Excellence Awards in Visual Art.

"These awards are an excellent vehicle for both artistic and personal development and I urge students to get involved," she said.

The free Creative Generation Excellence Awards in Visual Art 2018 exhibition opens from today (21 April 2018) until 29 July 2018 at the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane. QAGOMA and QSuper are program partners for the Creative Generation Excellence Awards in Visual Art program.

The 31 winning students and their artworks can be viewed at this link or you can take a walk through a digital gallery of the works by watching this video (external site).

An online gallery of all entries, including regional winners is also available at www.e-award.com.au/2017/cgenvisualarts/gallery (external site)

Entries for the next Visual Art awards opened on 7 April 2018 and will close on 29 July 2018. For further information visit www.education.qld.gov.au/artawards


20/04/18: Nominations now open for 2018 Safe Work and Return to Work Awards

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Queenslanders leading the way in work health and safety or rehabilitation and return to work are being urged to enter the 2018 Safe Work and Return to Work Awards.

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace officially launched the 2018 Awards while visiting North Queensland today.

“Our Government is committed to promoting safe work practices and that’s what these awards are all about,” Ms Grace said.

“We’re calling for nominations from those who are helping to keep people safe at work, or getting injured workers back to meaningful work as soon as they can.

“I urge you to nominate yourself or anyone you know who’s doing a fantastic job helping their colleagues with rehab after an injury, or preventing workplace injuries in the first place.

“This is about recognising and sharing success stories of organisations and individuals who are doing great things for Queensland when it comes to work health and safety, rehabilitation and return to work.

Ms Grace said the Safe Work and Return to Work Awards recognise outstanding achievements and ingenuity in this field.

“These awards are a platform to share ideas and solutions with others so that all working Queenslanders can go home safely to their families at the end of each day,” she said.

“Last year’s winners included an alert system which prevents a truck being overloaded, a smart solution to prevent falls through stair voids on construction sites, systems for staying safe around overhead powerlines, and an individual’s tireless efforts to get injured workers back on the job in the state’s far north, despite geographical barriers.

The 2018 winners will be announced at a gala awards ceremony in Brisbane on Tuesday 2 October. Winners will be awarded up to $2000 in prize money.

The Safe Work and Return to Work Awards are broken into 10 categories:

- Category one – Best solution to an identified health and safety issue

- Category two – Best individual contribution to work health and safety

- Category three – Best solution to an identified electrical safety issue

- Category four – Most significant improvement to work health and safety performance

- Category five – Best workplace health and wellbeing initiative

- Category six – Best demonstrated leadership in work health and safety (entrants for this category are chosen from categories one to five)

- Category seven – Injured worker achievement award

- Category eight – Best rehabilitation and return to work system

- Category nine – Best individual contribution to rehabilitation and return to work

- Category ten – Best demonstrated leadership in return to work (entrants for this category are chosen from categories seven to nine).

Visit worksafe.qld.gov.au to enter or nominate someone else, and view example entries and films of previous winning initiatives. Entries close Monday 29 June.


20/04/18: Townsville’s newest school officially opened

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Education Minister Grace Grace has officially opened Townsville’s $53.9 million North Shore State School, one of Queensland’s four new schools to welcome students in 2018.

“I’m pleased to be in North Queensland today to open this wonderful new education facility,” Ms Grace said.

“North Shore State School, which has more than 260 students enrolled, opened at the start of the year to service this growing area north of Townsville.

“Across Queensland, our Government is delivering state-of-the art new schools and classrooms where they are needed most.

“The design of North Shore State School is a prime example of a modern learning facility – with classrooms arranged into clusters of innovative, flexible learning spaces called ‘learning villages’.

“Classrooms are arranged around a central ‘town square’ to encourage student learning, interaction, recreation and access by the wider school community – including the school’s special education unit which is integrated throughout the school.

“The school’s layout allows all students to come together and enjoy a strong sense of community.”

Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper said the new primary school was servicing the fast-growing area of Burdell, north of Townsville.

“The school’s facilities include an administration block, student support services, resource centre, canteen, covered central area with amenities, 21 classrooms, multi-purpose courts and a car park,” Mr Harper said.

“The environmentally-friendly design captures prevailing breezes and maximises natural cross-flow ventilation and lighting, and each classroom has direct access to beautiful gardens.”

Foundation Principal Patrick McDonnell said the new school was a welcome boost to education options in the Townsville area.  

“Our new school provides quality education in a modern, state-of-the-art facility by expert teaching staff, ensuring students have everything they need to be successful and confident learners in the 21st century,” Mr McDonnell said.

“It’s been amazing to see how the new approach to architecture has encouraged our teachers and students to ‘think outside the box’ and broaden their outlook on what constitutes a learning environment.

“Having self-contained learning villages with all facilities in easy reach is fantastic and watching the children learn and play in outdoor learning spaces, stage areas and playgrounds is wonderful.”

Ms Grace said $53.9 million had been allocated over four years to build North Shore State School, including land acquisition and construction costs over two stages, with stage two scheduled to be complete for the start of the 2020 school year.

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to delivering world-class education facilities for all Queensland students,” she said.

“In 2017-18 we are delivering a state wide Infrastructure Investment Program valued at more than $778 million.”

For more information on North Shore State School visit www.northshoress.eq.edu.au


20/04/18: Record turnout for NQ work safety conference

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

A record crowd is attending the North Queensland Injury Prevention and Return to Work Conference in Townsville today.

Opening the conference at the Ville Resort, Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said the high turnout highlighted the community’s increasing awareness of these important issues.

“I’m so pleased more than 300 people are attending this conference in North Queensland today,” Ms Grace said.

“The conference is a must for safety and return to work professionals in the state’s north.

“The Palaszczuk Government is proud to support this important event because we are committed to looking after injured Queenslanders and getting them safely back to work.

“For the first time, this year’s conference will have a specific focus on injury prevention in the workplace.

“As we know, there’s no better way to avoid the personal and financial cost of workplace tragedies, than by preventing them.”

Attending the event with Minister Grace today, Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper said workplace health safety was an important issue.

“It’s great to have the Minister in North Queensland for this event,” Mr Harper said.

“As a former paramedic, I know all too well how devastating workplace accidents and injuries can be so I encourage delegates at the conference to take their learning back to their workplaces to share with their colleagues."

Ms Grace said the conference program featured high profile keynote speakers, including Australia’s leading demographer Bernard Salt.

“Other keynote speakers include hand and plastic reconstructive surgeon Dr Cameron Mackay, organisational psychologist Simon Brown-Greaves, neuroscientist Dr Stanley Rodski, and fatigue expert Dr Matthew Thomas,” she said.

“Workers, employers, health experts and other highly credentialed professionals will highlight the latest strategies for keeping workers safe, and getting those who are injured healthy and back on the job as soon as possible.

“There will also be insights into safety leadership, musculoskeletal disorders, fatigue hazards and mental health issues.”

The conference program also included a networking event and a breakfast seminar for doctors to look at managing work-related psychological conditions.

For more information visit worksafe.qld.gov.au


19/04/18: Students’ voices take centre stage in grand final

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

An Australian Idol winner and world-famous beatboxer will join the next generation of vocal talent tonight for the Creative Generation (CGEN) Voices grand final.

Education Minister Grace Grace said tonight’s concert at Brisbane’s Old Museum would see 26 Queensland state school students take centre stage in solo and ensemble performances.

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to providing our students with world-class opportunities,” Ms Grace said.

“CGen Voices is a fantastic way for students to hone and showcase their creative talents, while being inspired by industry professionals and internationally-recognised performers.

“Tonight’s finalists all excel musically and were selected from a field of 150 state school students.

“For the grand final concert, our talented young performers make some classic tunes their own – performing songs by Whitney Houston, Frank Sinatra, John Farnham and even Johnny Cash.

“It’s wonderful the vocal talent within Queensland’s state schools will be on display tonight.”

Ms Grace said the CGen Voices finalists benefitted from a three-day workshop in March where they worked with local artists and industry professionals to fine-tune their performances.

“In the intervening weeks the singers have been able to rehearse with a live band, which will join the grand final concert this year to give students a taste of life as a professional performer,” she said.

“Tonight’s concert also features a special performance by world-renowned beat boxer, Tom Thum.”

Ms Grace said the grand final event would be hosted by Brisbane-based jazz musician, Claire Walters and adjudicated by Australian Idol winner Casey Donovan, musical theatre legend Simon Gallaher and international soprano Suzanne Kompass.

“With students hearing firsthand from stars in the music industry, CGEN Voices can give them the inspiration they need to pursue their dreams,” she said.

Last year more than 11,000 state school students participated in the soloist and choral events and this year the program has focussed on soloists and ensemble vocalists.

The Department of Education has partnered with the University of the Sunshine Coast, which is sponsoring the first, second and third place prizes.

For more information about the CGEN Voices grand final performance visit: http://education.qld.gov.au/community/events/cgenvoices/cgen-voices.html

Performers at tonight’s final include:

  • Zoe Carlos, Year 9, Brisbane State High School
  • Carli Addison, Year 10, Western Cape College
  • Luke Mears, Year 12, Mansfield State High School
  • Louie Pandolfi, Year 11, Queensland Academy of Creative Industries
  • Joselle Ysa Odtuhan, Year 12, Centenary Heights State High School
  • Zumaryun Tafa, Year 11, Woodridge State High School
  • Ella Macrokanis, Year 12, Brisbane State High School
  • Centenary Vocal Ensemble, Years 9–12, Centenary State High School
  • Vox, Years 10–12, Queensland Academy of Creative Industries
  • Kayleigh Marven, Year 12, Bribie Island State High School
  • Connor Carlos, Year 12, Brisbane State High School
  • Mary-Helen Buchan, Year 11, Queensland Academy of Creative Industries
  • Lauren Towns, Year 10, Queensland Academy of Creative Industries
  • Nicole Pilato-Tilo, Year 12, Mabel Park State High School

19/04/18: NQ parents advocate quad bike safety after son’s close call

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Three years after their son almost lost his life in a quad bike crash, Atherton parents, Jodie and Mario Cocco, have joined the Queensland Government as quad bike safety advocates.

In Townsville today, Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace officially welcomed the Coccos to Workplace Health and Safety Queensland’s team of safety advocates.

“At just seven years old, Domenic Coccos suffered severe head injuries when he crashed a kid’s quad bike belonging to a family friend,” Ms Grace said.

“The Coccos want to prevent other parents from experiencing the horror they lived through by sharing their story with the community.

“Domenic was thrown onto the bitumen after colliding with a power pole, with no helmet on.

“This nightmare event has Jodie and Mario passionate about quad bike safety, which makes them the perfect advocates to join our Ride Ready cause.

“Fortunately, Dom has made a full recovery and now mum and dad are keen to spread vital quad bike safety messages to as many Queenslanders as possible.

“We all need to be aware how dangerous these vehicles can be.”

Ms Grace said more than 70 people have been killed on quad bikes in Queensland since 2001 — approximately 30 per cent of all quad bike-related deaths in Australia.

“Queensland also has the highest number of quad bike-related hospitalisations with around 1,500 over a five year period,” she said.

“Market research conducted by WHSQ in 2016 showed deeply entrenched attitudes toward quad bike safety, so this led us to develop the Ride Ready quad bike safety campaign.

“The advertising campaign has run every school holiday period since late 2016 and we’ve seen some positive changes in attitudes and beliefs about using quad bikes in Queensland.”

Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper encouraged North Queenslanders to always put safety first when riding quad bikes.

“It’s wonderful to have the Coccos family as advocates to help spread the quad bike safety message here in North Queensland and throughout the state,” he said.

The Coccos are keen to see the statistics and poor behaviours improve.

“The statistics are way too high, as are the emotional and financial costs to families and the community,” Jodie Cocco said.

“We know exactly the kind of anguish you go through when something goes wrong around a quad bike. I didn’t know if Domenic was alive when I raced over to him straight after the crash. Then it was touch and go for a while with Dom in an induced coma for four days.

“But after a month in hospital and two operations, he’s fine. So now, Mario and I just want to help other parents avoid the horror of not knowing if their child is alive or dead.

“The best way to do that is to always wear a helmet, never let kids ride adult-sized quad bikes, and get some training before hopping on.”

The Coccos have also featured in a short film which recounts the tragic circumstances. The video Too Fast Too Soon – Domenic’s Story (external site) has been viewed more than 4,400 times. Find out more about quad safety and test your knowledge in an online challenge with a chance to win a Shark helmet at www.qld.gov.au/rideready


19/04/18: New quad opened at Kirwan State High School

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Education Minister Grace Grace has officially opened Kirwan State High School’s new $2 million undercover quadrangle.

Ms Grace said the opening of “The Quad” marked another important milestone for the school.

“I know this new facility has been a welcome addition for students, staff and parents,” Ms Grace said.

“Together with the new school hall, which is currently under construction, it marks the start of another exciting chapter in the growth and development of Kirwan State High School.

“This covered area is a massive asset for the school, providing shade and shelter for student wellbeing programs, activities supporting the school’s sports academy, full-school assemblies and events like Anzac parades.

“I understand The Quad will play an important role in the school’s end of year celebrations, with parents of senior students now being able to attend the ceremony on their last day of school.

“Construction of The Quad was funded through the Queensland Government’s Smart Schools Subsidy Scheme and the Significant Regional Infrastructure Projects Program.

“The school must be congratulated for contributing $630,000 to this project, with particular praise for the efforts of the P&C in raising $80,000 of that contribution.”

Ms Grace said the school’s new hall was expected to be completed later this year.

“The hall will incorporate two sports courts, a large commercial kitchen which hospitality students can use to cater for school events, a formal foyer, stage, makeup and change rooms, two music practice rooms and two full-size music classrooms,” she said.

Ms Grace said both of the infrastructure projects were part of the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to deliver quality education for all young Queenslanders.

“Our Government is committed to providing world-class facilities for all students,” she said.

“In 2017-18 we are delivering an infrastructure investment program across the state valued at more than $778 million.”

Kirwan State High School Principal Murray James welcomed the new additions to the school.

“Kirwan SHS is very appreciative of the funding provided by the State Government and our school P&C to deliver these projects for our school community,” Mr James said.

“It is fantastic that we now have a world class venue in which to meet for full school events and a large undercover teaching space.

“The building of The Quad and the hall provide us with increased shade and indoor spaces large enough to have full school assemblies and host various other events on our own school campus.”


18/04/18: New $5 million hall for state’s largest primary school

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

The Palaszczuk Government is supporting Queensland’s largest state primary school to cater for future growth, with a new $5 million hall officially opened in Northlakes today.

Education Minister Grace Grace said the Bounty Boulevard State School community was already benefitting from the new modern facility, as well as 40 new car parking spaces.

“I know this wonderful new hall has been a welcome addition for the school,” Ms Grace said.

“Bounty Boulevard State School has grown in step with the surrounding local community, opening with 130 students in 2009 and growing to an enrolment today of more than 1400.

“Our Government is pleased to deliver this new facility to support the school community for many years to come.”

Member for Bancroft Chris Whiting said the new hall incorporated a multipurpose sports court, stage area, storage rooms, amenities and change rooms.

“This new hall also includes kitchen facilities, a multipurpose area and an outside school hours care activity area and office, along with 46 car parking spaces,” Mr Whiting said.

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to delivering a world-class education to Queensland students and it’s great to see North Lakes benefitting from this commitment.”

Ms Grace said the new hall at Bounty Boulevard State School had been delivered under the Palaszczuk Government’s Advancing Queensland Schools (AQS) program.

“Overall, AQS is supporting the investment of $200 million into state school projects, which includes more than $116 million to build new school halls and refurbish existing halls at 30 state schools across Queensland,” she said.

Bounty Boulevard State School principal Paul McSwiney said the hall had been in use since February this year.

“This is a fabulous addition both for our school and for the local community,” Mr McSwiney said.

“The hall is used for wet weather play and PE lessons, and enhances music, drama and sport in the school.

“Already the community is on board, with basketball being played here two nights a week and the hall acting as a venue for church services on Sundays.

“Everyone at the school is very excited to have this latest addition officially opened.

“It’s going to be a great asset for students and the community for years to come.”

The new school hall was constructed between May and December 2017, with Minister Grace officially opening the facility today.


18/04/18: Australian-first mandatory labour hire laws now in effect

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

With Queensland’s pioneering mandatory labour hire licensing laws starting this week, Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace has today launched the Labour Hire Licensing Scheme.

At the launch event in Rugby Farm at Gatton, Ms Grace said labour hire workers in Queensland would now have increased protection in a regulated industry where employers will be held to account for doing the wrong thing.

“Our Government is leading the way in the fight to ensure some of our most vulnerable workers are not subject to exploitation and mistreatment,” Ms Grace said.

“Labour hire has been an unregulated industry for far too long and, unfortunately, this has meant some rogue operators with scant regard for their obligations have been able to take advantage of employees.

“In the past there have been cases of workers being underpaid or unpaid, being sexually harassed, forced to work ridiculously long hours, housed in crowded, sub-standard accommodation, or exposed to serious risks to their safety.

“In the absence of any action at the Federal level, the Palaszczuk Government has drawn a line in the sand and set up a system which will ensure all stakeholders do the right thing.

“These laws will enhance Queensland’s reputation as a great place to work, including for backpackers and migrant workers who follow the seasonal harvest trail around the state.

“Labour hire providers are now required to be licensed in Queensland and businesses who need to hire labour must only use licensed providers.”

Ms Grace said the scheme sets minimum standards for labour hire providers and was established following extensive consultation with stakeholders.

“You need a license to sell a house and you need one to sell a car, so it only makes sense that you would need a license to hire out labour,” she said.

“To obtain a licence, a labour hire provider must demonstrate that they are fit and proper to provide these services, can comply with relevant state and Commonwealth laws and that their business is financially viable.

“Existing labour hire providers have until 15 June 2018 to apply for a licence and can continue to operate while their application is being processed.

“All labour hire providers operating in Queensland need to be licensed under the scheme – including those based interstate or overseas who supply workers in Queensland.

“Be warned – if you provide labour hire services in Queensland without a licence or try to avoid your responsibilities, you may face jail time, a hefty fine or your license may be cancelled.”

A newly formed Labour Hire Licensing Compliance Unit will be responsible for regulating and ensuring compliance with the scheme.

For more information on the Queensland’s Labour Hire Licensing Scheme go to www.labourhire.qld.gov.au


13/04/18: Work commences on rebuild at Dalby State School

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Education Minister Grace Grace has welcomed the start of construction on a $6.6 million facility, to replace the historic school buildings which were destroyed by fire last Anzac Day.

“I know the Dalby community was rocked last year when their beloved heritage-listed school building burned to the ground,” Ms Grace said.

“This was a devastating event which really brought the already close-knit Dalby community together.

“I am delighted that work has now commenced to rebuild the school, with the Palaszczuk Government investing $6.6 million to deliver a new school building.

“The new two-storey building will include five classrooms, a music room, an outdoor learning area and administration spaces.

“The best part is, through our Queensland Procurement Policy, Dalby-based company New State Builders were awarded the contract to deliver this new facility.”

Ms Grace said the entire school community, including the Parents and Citizens Association, were involved in the planning for the new building.

“With work now underway, the new facility is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2018,” she said.

Dalby State School principal, Mona Anau has thanked the local community for their tireless support.

“It has been a long process, however, let’s embrace the fact that the building stage has commenced and our students, parents and staff cannot wait for the new building to finish,” Ms Anau said.

“There has been continual communication with staff, parents, P&C and school council around the progress leading up to the construction stage.

“The support after the fire has been amazing and we want to share our new facility with our school and wider community. We continue to be resilient, strong and positive at Dalby State School.

“The day in which we will be able to move into the new buildings will be a day of celebration.”


29/03/18: Stevedoring safety standards set for Queensland wharfies

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

From Easter Saturday onwards, wharfies in Queensland will be protected by national stevedoring safety guidelines.

The Managing risks in stevedoring code of practice is approved national guidance under harmonised work health and safety laws, and Minister for Industrial Relations Grace Grace said she was pleased the code is now being adopted in Queensland.

“Wharf operators in this state have already begun implementing processes to meet the code, so it’s clear the industry embraces the high safety standards it sets,” Ms Grace said.

“The code provides practical guidance on managing risks associated with stevedoring. It applies to all workplaces where stevedoring operations are carried out.

“And from 1 July, duty holders will be legally required to comply with these standards, which makes it a much more enforceable compliance tool on Queensland wharfs than in other jurisdictions.”

While there was a decline in the overall rate of serious claims in the stevedoring industry from 2003 to 2013, the national rate of serious injury on the waterfront is more than three times the average rate for all industries and more than twice the rate of the transport, postal and warehousing or construction industry.

The Queensland stevedoring industry has an average of 57 workers’ compensation claims for serious injuries each year, at a total cost to employers, workers and the community of almost $4.3 million per year.

The introduction of a code of practice for the stevedoring industry in Queensland is estimated to provide a net present value (NPV) of approximately $3.5 million to employers, workers and the community.

The code was developed in consultation with stakeholders from QUBE Ports, DP World Australia, Patrick, Shipping Australia and the Maritime Union of Australia, as well as the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and Safe Work Australia.

“During discussions and meetings, representatives from the stevedoring industry indicated they are fully prepared for the code and supportive of the enhanced safety culture it will deliver,” Ms Grace said.

“The code clearly spells out how compliance is achieved. It will make our wharfs safer and those in the stevedoring industry can return home to their loved ones at the end of every shift.”

There was significant public consultation during the development of the draft Managing risks in stevedoring code of practice and a consultation regulatory impact statement (RIS) was released with the draft model code for public comment.

For more information on the Managing risks in stevedoring code of practice 2018 go to worksafe.qld.gov.au.


29/03/18: Roll up, roll up for Creative Generation tickets

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Education Minister Grace Grace has urged Queenslanders to get their tickets for the state’s largest youth performing arts event, Creative Generation – State Schools Onstage.

“Tickets are now on sale for the amazing CGEN performances at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre,” Ms Grace said.

“Now in its 14th year, this year’s CGEN will showcase more than 1800 talented state primary and secondary school students from across Queensland.

“This year the theme is ‘THIS IS ME’ with a circus focus in an arena spectacular full of technicolour, top hats, tricks and tightropes.

“The magic of the big top will be mixed with song, dance and drama to form a finely balanced display of world class entertainment.”

Ms Grace said the 2018 carnival of talent would embrace diversity and celebrate self-empowerment through confidence, community and the creative arts.

“Students are encouraged to be themselves, believe in themselves and dream big,” she said.

“The 2018 show will include a 70-piece symphony orchestra, a 500-voice choir, 700 dancers and more than 50 featured soloists, who will be joined by some of Queensland’s most respected professional artists.

“The state school performers range from Prep to Year 12 and many will travel thousands of kilometres during the months of rehearsals to be part of the event and showcase their talents in the final shows.

“I encourage those who appreciate top class acts to roll up and book tickets for one of the four shows at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on Friday 13 July and Saturday 14 July.”

Creative Generation – State Schools Onstage 2018 is presented by the Department of Education.

Sponsors include QUT, AEG Ogden, The Courier Mail, Network Ten, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, and QSuper.

Tickets to Creative Generation – State Schools Onstage 2018 are available through Ticketek on 132 849 or at www.ticketek.com.au


28/03/18: Work begins on $14.7 million expansion for Gold Coast school

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Education Minister Grace Grace kicked off construction works on a new $14.7 million classroom building at Helensvale State High School today, by turning the first sod.

Ms Grace said the new three-storey facility was a welcome addition for the school, which has more than 2500 students enrolled. 

“The northern Gold Coast region has experienced major growth over recent years and Helensvale State High School is one of Queensland’s largest high schools,” Ms Grace said.

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to building classrooms and schools where they are needed most to support students across Queensland, including here on the Gold Coast.

“The school’s entire cohort will be able to use the new $14.7 million facility, which includes 12 flexibly-designed classrooms.

“The new block will also feature dedicated areas for senior students, staff rooms, flexible learning spaces, kitchenettes and meeting rooms.

"Students studying hospitality will also benefit from a commercial-sized kitchen, which may support the development of a restaurant and café in the future.”

Ms Grace said the Palaszczuk Government had a proven track record of delivering for Gold Coast schools.

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to providing world-class education infrastructure for all Queensland students, including here on the Gold Coast,” she said.

“One of four new state schools to open in Queensland this year was Picnic Creek State School, located at Coomera East.

“Construction is also underway on a new multi-purpose hall at Pimpama State School, which is due to be completed later this year.”

Helensvale State High Executive Principal Ms Karen Lindsay said the specialist hospitality area was one of the building’s best design features which would allow the school to share the new facility with the community whilst showcasing the talents of its hospitality students.

“The complex will help us provide our students with pathways to their preferred futures,” Ms Lindsay said.

Minister Grace said the new block would be ready for the start of the 2019 school year.

The last major expansion of facilities at the school was with the construction of Discovery Place to welcome Year 7s to high school in 2015. For more information go to www.helensvaleshs.eq.edu.au


23/03/18: Girl power shines at STEM camp in Brisbane

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

More than fifty outstanding Year 10 state school students have completed a four-day camp designed to encourage female students to pursue their dreams of attaining STEM jobs of the future.

Education Minister Grace Grace, speaking at the closing ceremony at the Queensland Art Gallery today said the event brought together, from all parts of the state, some of Queensland’s brightest young female science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students.

“I am proud that the Palaszczuk Government supports the STEM Girl Power Camp to encourage bright young women to embrace STEM education and consider a STEM-based career,” Minister Grace said.

“I am sure this opportunity has further fuelled their passion for STEM education.

“This annual camp, now in its third year, is an investment in Queensland’s future economy as it nurtures and encourages some of our brightest female students to keep following their dreams of a knowledge-based career.

“We know the number of jobs in STEM fields is growing at more than twice the rate of other industries and occupations.

“We also know we are experiencing a major shift towards a knowledge intensive economy, as are most economies the world over.”

Ms Grace said the Palaszczuk Government was committed to supporting students to develop the knowledge and skills they need for the jobs of the future.

“Clearly STEM is where the jobs are now and this is only going to increase,” she said.

“The world is changing and we need to adapt and change with it to stay competitive.

“When these young women come to these camps they learn from some of the state’s leading scientists and innovators and return to their schools as ambassadors for STEM education.”

The Camp coincided with the World Science Festival which is also being staged in Brisbane for the third consecutive year.

Camp activities took place at a number of locations in Brisbane including the World Science Festival at Southbank, Griffith University, Queensland University of Technology, laboratories and research institutions.

The STEM Girl Power Camp is an initiative of Advancing education: An action plan for education in Queensland.

For more information visit http://www.education.qld.gov.au/stem/.


16/03/18: Queensland students say no to bullying

JOINT STATEMENT

Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

An estimated 570,000 Queensland students are today taking a stand against bullying and cyberbullying.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said activities at more than 1,200 schools across the state were driving home the message as part of the eighth National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence.

“By any measure, today’s events are a remarkable display by school communities across Queensland to spread the message that bullying is unacceptable,” the Premier said.

“Today we are asking students to imagine a world free from bullying and suggest ways we can achieve that.

“Students have been working on various ways of conveying the message, from videos and plays to art projects, discussions and workshops and today’s activities include open days, community fairs, competitions and sausage sizzles to involve the community as much as possible.

“I want to thank all the students, teachers, principals, parents and other community members who are using today to raise awareness and spread the message.”

The Premier and Minister for Education Grace Grace will today attend a cybersafety workshop at the State Library of Queensland where students will share their thoughts on a wall of anti-bullying messages.

Later, the Premier and Minister will also attend the first meeting of the ground-breaking new Queensland Anti-Cyberbullying Taskforce chaired by Madonna King.

“I am proud to be part of a government whose Premier has put this issue on the national stage and has established the first taskforce of its kind to tackle this pernicious issue,” Minister Grace said.

“The Taskforce has been asked to report recommendations by 31 August 2018 for community and government action and we will act on those recommendations.

“The National Day of Action is a Queensland initiative and our state has consistently had the highest level of participation.

“Students from Prep to Year 12 are taking part today.”

Tonight landmarks across Brisbane will be lit up in orange in support of the National Day of Action.


14/03/18: Rural students urged to get snapping for school competition

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Young photographers are being asked to get clicking and capture images to attract new teachers to regional, rural and remote areas.

Education Minister Grace Grace today launched the Teach Queensland Style Student Photo Competition at Marburg State School.

“Regional, rural and remote communities in Queensland are great places to forge a teaching career,” the Minister said.

“And this competition gives students an opportunity to let teachers know what they are missing.

“Our talented student photographers can now capture what they love about their school and showcase the unique teaching and learning opportunities to be experienced in their communities.”

Each school is invited to submit up to four entries per category to an online portal by Sunday 29 April 2018 to vie for a range of prizes including photographic equipment and vouchers.

Students from Prep to Year 6 are invited to enter in classes or groups, while students Year 7 and above can enter individually.

Marburg State School’s teaching principal Kirrily Newton said the school’s 58 students would be encouraged to take photographs featuring the leafy, well-resourced school set in the picturesque countryside of green rolling hills.

“Our students are very excited to have the opportunity to showcase the school in its beautiful setting and to highlight some of the benefits of joining a small school community,” Mrs Newton said.

Minister Grace said the Teach Queensland Style campaign was designed to attract more beginning and experienced teachers to explore Queensland, build new friendships and strengthen their career prospects.

“Many schools in regional, rural and remote communities have welcomed both newly-qualified and experienced teachers from other parts of the state, interstate and overseas to begin or advance their teaching careers this year,” she said.

Minister Grace said the Palaszczuk Government offered financial incentives and benefits for teachers in rural and remote locations, including subsidised housing, flight allowances, relocation expenses and additional leave entitlements.

“There are also specialised induction programs and greater opportunities for teachers to secure permanent employment or to step up into school leadership positions.”

The Teach Queensland Style campaign features short promotional films which offer a glimpse of the unique experience of teaching in a regional, rural or remote state school.

For more information visit www.teach.qld.gov.au/teach-qld-style or subscribe to Teach Queensland News and Jobs and follow @TeachQLD on Facebook and Instagram.


14/03/18: Springfield students speak up on cybersafety

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Education Minister Grace Grace today joined 250 students at a cybersafety workshop at Springfield Central State High School.

In the countdown to the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence the Minister saw first-hand the work of her department’s Cybersafety and Reputation Management team as students were encouraged to share their online experiences.

“There is some great work being done in schools to teach students about creating a positive digital footprint,” the Minister said.

“The Palaszczuk Government is leading the nation in tackling cyberbullying and today I have been observing a workshop where students received expert advice about staying safe online.
 
“It’s great to see the team in action today, supporting students to speak up about their online concerns.

“Young people are comfortable with the ‘how to’ of technology, but it’s important they know more about appropriate online behaviour and how they can help their friends.”                                                  

The Minister said the Department of Education worked closely with information technology providers to minimise risks and respond to incidents when they occur.

“Our cybersafety team’s workshops cover safe, positive and respectful online behaviours and how to develop and leave a positive online footprint,” she said.

“This is one of a suite of measures being employed to raise awareness of risks and tackle bullying.”

Member for Jordan Charis Mullen said it was valuable for students to learn about real-life cyber safety examples, to alert them to just how serious this issue can be and where they can go for help.

“Cybersafety is an important issue for all young people, including our students here in Springfield,” she said.

“It’s great local students have been given the opportunity to receive cybersafety guidance and expert advice.”

The Cybersafety and Reputation Management team has delivered more than 1,000 face-to-face cybersafety sessions in recent years at more than 400 different state schools, getting the message out to 135,000 students.

Springfield Central State High School Principal Leon Proud said the school had proactively enrolled in the cybersafety workshop to give its students another opportunity to learn how to stay safe online.

“At Springfield Central, we want to ensure every one of our students develops intellectually, personally and socially while staying safe, especially when using online technology.

“Taking part in the cybersafety workshop is an excellent example of how we focus on our four core values of respect, responsibility, resilience and relationships,” Mr Proud said.

For more information and tips on cybersafety visit the website www.qld.gov.au/cybersafety


13/03/18: Premier’s coding challenge to new generation of digital creators

JOINT STATEMENT

Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Standing up to cyberbullies is the theme of this year’s Premier’s coding competition.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk launched the competition at Bremer State High School in Ipswich and laid down the challenge to Queensland students to develop a game, app, animation or another digital project using Cybersafety Heroes.

“The completion this year will focus on Anti-Bully Girl, who is a member of the Cybersafety Heroes.

“We want to see students from Years 3 to 10 creating digital heroes to teach others how to handle online bullies and be safe and secure online,” the Premier said.

““I want to encourage as many Queensland students as possible to embrace this challenge and enter the competition.

“We want to support all Queensland schools and students to engage in coding and be digitally literate and I know that there’s a new generation out there who can combine imagination and digital expertise to create brilliant results.”

The Premier was joined by Education Minister Grace Grace today with Bremer’s winning Year 8 team from last year’s competition.

“The Creating Queensland’s Future coding competition was about fostering a new generation of digital creators and entrepreneurs,” Minister Grace said.

“The competition helps schools to engage students in learning that gives them the skills and knowledge to participate successfully in a technology rich, global economy.

“We are accepting entries from students in Years 3 and 4 for the first time this year so we can engage this younger age group in the important skill of coding. Winners will be announced in Term 3 and share in $5000 worth of technology prizes.

“This coding competition is just one initiative in our Advancing education action plan, which addresses the importance of equipping our students with the skills they’ll need for jobs of the future.”

Bremer State High School Executive Principal Kay Louwrens said the school’s winning team of girls were part of the Year 7-9 Science Extension Program and were achieving great things in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects.

 “These girls really are amazingly talented and highly motivated students,” Ms Louwrens said.

“I hope their win last year will inspire more of our students to enter the coding competition this year.

“Our students are really engaging with science through technology like our virtual reality lab, our drones, coding courses and 3D printers.”

The deadline for entries in the 2018 competition is Tuesday 19 June.

For information on how to enter the Premier’s Creating Queensland’s Future coding competition visit: qld.gov.au/codingcompetition and #code4qld.


13/03/18: Solar panels on school roofs to save more than $10 million a year

JOINT STATEMENT

Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

The Palaszczuk Government will spend $97 million over three years to help Queensland schools cut their combined power bill by about 20 percent.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Education Minister Grace Grace detailed the Advancing Clean Energy Schools or ACES program will deliver energy efficiency and big savings for about 800 state schools while visiting Bremer State High School in Ipswich.

“The ACES, or Advancing Clean Energy Schools program will save our schools an estimated $10.2 million a year,” the Premier said.

“That’s a great saving for schools as well as a fantastic contribution to our 50% renewable energy target by 2030.

“Our state schools are among the government’s largest energy users, with an annual energy bill of more than $50 million.

“This program will be a game changer and the reduced environmental impact will be significant.

“By reducing costs and reinvesting savings into the program, we can ensure state schools across Queensland have more sustainable energy use into the future.

“The first phase of the program this year will include up to 30 schools in each of the Department of Education’s seven regions, so the benefits will be shared throughout the state.”

The program will see an investment of $40 million in solar photovoltaic systems and $57 million on making schools more energy efficient.

Minister Grace said the Bremer State High School would be one of the first schools to benefit and an audit would be carried out to determine the best ways to help it to reduce its energy costs.

“Currently Bremer spends about $250,000 a year on electricity, with $100,000 of that in network charges so that gives an indication of the impact this initiative will have over time.

“It is a school where clean energy and environmentally friendly measures are already in use.

“A small 4.1kW solar system on the roof currently supplies about 0.7% of electricity consumption and there are large areas of synthetic grass around the school to save on watering and fuel costs for mowing.

“And there are underground water tanks used for flushing toilets to save on water use.

“We know that many of our schools have great environmental programs and do what they can to save energy and water and this program will make a massive contribution,” she said.

“Renewable energy technology has developed significantly and we want to take advantage of the opportunities that now exist for our state schools to make energy savings.”


12/03/18: Queensland ramps up action against bullying

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Education Minister Grace Grace today outlined a suite of activities Queensland schools and their communities will conduct to mark the eighth National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence on Friday 16 March. 

“Queensland has been leading the way for the nation in the fight against bullying over the past 15 years,” Ms Grace said. 

“This year the Premier has put this issue firmly on the national agenda and has responded to community concerns over bullying and cyber bullying by appointing a new Queensland Anti-Bullying Taskforce. 

“Schools across the state have zero tolerance to bullying and are already actively engaged in working towards this goal.” 

Minister Grace said it was expected that more than 1,200 Queensland schools and 570,000 Queensland students will take part in the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence on Friday. 

“Schools across the nation will be guided in their activities on Friday by a Bullying. No Way! kit developed by the Queensland Department of Education. 

“This year the community is being invited to Imagine a world free from bullying and share their ‘big ideas’ on how to make this happen by writing them on creative posters, speech bubbles and postcards,” she said. 

“School activities range from open days and community fairs, message or pledge walls, competitions involving creative art, writing, video and creative performances by students - anything that raises awareness and suggests ways to beat bullying. 

“Some schools will highlight the issue at school assemblies, barbeques, sausage sizzles or during class activities and others will offer specific professional development for teachers. 

“Holding dress up orange days to draw attention to the National Day of Action’s official colour theme is another popular activity to help raise awareness and encourage students to speak up when there are issues. 

“This year, a number of landmark bridges and buildings across Brisbane will also be lit up in orange to show a united community stance against bullying and violence. 

“Queenslanders are taking a united stand to make it clear that bullying and violence are never okay, inside or outside the classroom,” Ms Grace said. 

A full list of schools which have registered to take part in the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence is available online at https://bullyingnoway.gov.au/NationalDay/Pages/Participating-schools.aspx

A summary of Queensland’s plan of action against bullying in schools is attached.

ENDS

For information about local school activities contact the Department of Education, 3328 6639 or media@qed.qld.gov.au

Queensland’s plan of action against bullying in schools

  • 29 January 2018 – Premier hosts stakeholder roundtable. 
  • 19 February 2018 – Premier releases terms of reference for 14-member Anti-Bullying Taskforce to work up new anti-bullying framework for Queensland. 
  • 31 August 2018 – taskforce due to report recommendations for community and government action.

 Ongoing: 

  • Queensland Government initiated the concept of a National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence and has been leading the organisation of the event on behalf of all states and territories since the event began in 2011. 
     
  • Queensland also manages the national website: www.bullyingnoway.gov.au, which is packed with tips, resources and information for students, staff and parents. 
     
  • Department of Education has a comprehensive framework of policies and procedures to help create safe and supportive school environments.
     
  • Every Queensland state school has a Responsible Behaviour Plan for Students, which sets out clear expectations, processes and consequences to address unacceptable behaviour.
     
  • Queensland state primary and secondary school students are taught about bullying and cyberbullying through national and state curriculum materials.
     
  • This includes proper use of technology, how to recognise bullying and coping and reporting strategies.
     
  • The Department’s Prep to Year 12 Respectful Relationships Education Program includes activities which encourage students to interact positively with others, respect similarities and differences, and stay safe. 
     
  • Students and parents are strongly encouraged to report any cases of bullying to their school principal or closest Department of Education regional office.
  • State schools make every effort to meet with concerned parents to address issues of bullying or harassment as they are reported.
     
  • Information is available on the www.bullyingnoway.gov.au website for parents about the signs and symptoms that may indicate their child may be experiencing bullying. There are also resources for students on what to do if they are being bullied and how to report it.
     
  • Principals, teachers and support staff work closely with families to resolve their concerns at a school level as a matter of urgency.
     
  • School support services are available such as guidance officers, chaplains and student welfare workers, to support students.
     
  • Department of Education has a dedicated Cybersafety and Reputation Management team which delivers education programs, helps schools prevent online issues and responds to incidents.

10/03/18: Food and medical supplies airlifted into adventure camp

JOINT STATEMENT

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Minister for Fire and Emergency Services
The Honourable Craig Crawford

Food, medical supplies and clothing have been airlifted to students and staff stranded at the Echo Creek Adventure Camp.

Education Minister Grace Grace said the Australian Defence Force took advantage of a break in the weather late yesterday afternoon to transport supplies to the camp near Tully which is cut off by floodwaters.

“I am very pleased that all students, staff and carers at the camp have now been resupplied with food, medical equipment and other necessities,” the Minister said.

“They are safe and on high ground.

“I spoke with one of the teachers by phone yesterday and she confirmed they are in good spirits.

“I want to express my sincere thanks to the helicopter crews that delivered food, medical supplies and clothing to the camp and to all of the agencies who have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to make this happen.

“That includes officers from the education department, Queensland Police Service, Australian Defence Force, Department of Housing and Public Works and other emergency services and disaster management authorities.”

The Minister said one student and a parent had been evacuated by the Australian Defence Force for pre-existing medical reasons.

Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford said: “As I parent, I know just how important it is for your children to be safe and well – and the welfare of these children is paramount.”

“They are in a secure area and while they may be surrounded by flood water, they are high and dry and in good spirits. The teachers have been wonderful, and I understand neighbouring properties around the area have been helping out the children as well.

“We will continue to monitor their situation closely,” he said.

Police had advised that the risk was too high to move remaining students and staff from the camp site.


09/03/18: Flooding strands students at adventure camp

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Education Minister Grace Grace has thanked police, emergency services, teachers and staff who are caring for 72 Year Six students stranded at an adventure camp site near Tully.

“I am advised that every effort is being made to comfort students who have been unable to leave the Echo Creek Adventure Camp because of flooding,” Minister Grace said.

“The camp is safe and the students, eight staff and a parent there have food and shelter. Police are currently working to resupply them with food and other necessities.”

Minister Grace said she had been assured by police that the party would be moved as soon as it was safe to do so.

“The latest information I have received is that floodwaters are expected to recede over the next 48 hours.

“The students attend Willows Primary School, Townsville, and their parents are being kept informed of developments by the education department.

“Parents can contact the school if they have any concerns and to check on the latest information,” the Minister said.

“I want to personally thank all those involved in ensuring that the students are safe.”

Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford added his thanks to all those involved.

“The safety and well-being of the children is the top priority and the situation is being monitored constantly,” he said.

Minister Grace said heavy rain has caused severe disruption to schools in and around Ingham and in Tully and a total of 13 schools and the Paluma Environmental Education Centre are closed today.

“As there is currently a Flood Watch for parts of North and Far North Queensland I urge parents to check local weather conditions and road access and not attempt to drive children to school if conditions are dangerous,” she said.

“If it flooded, forget it.

“Parents should monitor the school closures website, which is constantly updated.”

http://closures.det.qld.gov.au/

Note to news editors:

As at time of issue, the following centres will be closed for Friday 9th March 2018: 

  • Abergowrie SS
  • Forrest Beach SS
  • Halifax SS
  • Ingham SS
  • Ingham SHS
  • Macknade SS
  • Mount Fox SS
  • Paluma Environmental Education Centre
  • Toobanna SS
  • Trebonne SS
  • Victoria Plantation SS 

The three (3) state schools in the Tully area that were closed, Thursday 8thMarch, will also remain closed for Friday 9th March 2018: 

  • Kennedy SS
  • Lower Tully SS
  • Murray River Upper SS

27/02/18: Early childhood pilot gives refugee children a flying start

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

The Palaszczuk Government is helping refugee and asylum seeker children engage in early childhood education.

At the launch of a pilot program today, Education Minister Grace Grace said she was proud of the Palaszczuk Government’s efforts to ensure all Queensland children had access to kindergarten.

“This program recognises the challenges faced by many refugee and asylum seeker children and their families,” Minister Grace said.

“It provides families with the assistance they need to get their children into kindergarten, which is an important step to helping improve children’s readiness for school.

“We have allocated more than $677,000 to specialist agencies to ensure this program reaches refugees and asylum seeker families in targeted locations.”

Minister Grace said taking part in early childhood education was a great way for children to learn about the Australian way of life and for parents to connect with other families in the community.

“So far this year, 45 vulnerable children have started kindergarten as part of this program and more are expected to enrol,” she said.

“The enrolled children are from many countries, including Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Burundi, Bangladesh, Tanzania, Iraq and Iran.

“In 2017, more than 50 refugee and asylum seeker children, of kindy age, settled in Queensland but very few accessed early childhood education.”

Minister for State Development and Member for Woodridge Cameron Dick welcomed the hubs for the pilot program at Woodridge North State School, Woodridge State School and St Paul’s School Woodridge.

“It’s great to see this pilot program is already having a positive impact on kindergarten participation, especially in the wonderfully multicultural communities of Woodridge and Logan,” he said.

“Through this pilot, we hope to provide as many kindergarten-aged children as possible with access to quality early childhood education, and I look forward to our next generation and their families reaping the benefits of the lessons this great program has to offer.”

The additional hubs for the pilot program are located at Marsden State School and St Francis College at Crestmead.

The agencies facilitating this pilot program are Access Community Services (Access) and Multicultural Development Australia.

Access will employ an early childhood teacher, as well as a teacher supporting English as an additional language and dialect, at five school-based Community Hubs in Logan.

Multicultural Development Australia will provide support to kindergarten services enrolling refugee and asylum seeker children in Brisbane, Logan, Inala and Toowoomba.

Access pilot co-ordinator Grainne Taia said many children had often suffered some kind of trauma and the pilot was also helping to identify those who needed counselling and bicultural support.

“We also link the children with health and counselling services,” Ms Taia said.

“The early childhood teachers conduct five sessions each per week across five Community Hubs and can cater for a maximum of 30 children in each session.

“These programs can have a life-long positive impact on the children and their families.”

The pilot program began in July last year with six months of planning and will run until the end of 2018.

Funding for the program has been provided under the National Partnership Agreement for Universal Access to Early Childhood Education and is part of the current Queensland Multicultural Action Plan.


23/02/18: Statement on Toowoomba Second Range Crossing

JOINT STATEMENT

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Minister for Transport and Main Roads
The Honourable Mark Bailey

This afternoon we met with senior representatives of Nexus and workforce representatives for frank discussions about the safety record on the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing.

This is one of Queensland’s biggest infrastructure projects and we want it to be delivered on time, on budget and in a safe manner.

There are up to 400 workers on this project. Their safety is our over-riding priority.

We made it clear that given there have been 17 plant rollovers and serious concerns raised by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, we needed to see a significant improvement.

We need to see a way forward that will result in cultural and material changes. We want to work with Nexus, but the responsibility for safety improvements rests firmly with the company.

It was an open and constructive meeting.

The company assured us they understand their responsibilities for the safety of workers on the project, will implement culture of continuous improvement, and are committed to improving their safety record.

They assured us that they are restructuring their safety team, increasing the number of health and safety representatives and improving consultation and communication.

They embraced the safety audit announced by Minister Bailey that will commence on Monday and agreed to accept and implement its recommendations

Nexus has given an assurance they will come back to us with detailed responses to the issues we raised and we will work collaboratively on solutions.


23/02/18: 2018 Education Awards open for nominations

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Education Minister Grace Grace is encouraging Queensland state schools, teachers and principals to nominate for the 2018 Showcase Awards for Excellence in Schools.

More than $619,000 in grant funding is available to celebrate state school education success across 11 award categories.

“The Showcase Awards are an annual celebration of all that is great about state schooling,” Ms Grace said.

“This year I welcome the addition of two new award categories to celebrate Indigenous education initiatives as well as highlight our most outstanding rural and remote programs.

“These new categories will highlight some of the great work our rural and remote schools are doing to overcome the issue of distance and celebrate the creative work of some of our most isolated teachers and schools.

“The new stand-alone Indigenous Education category allows us to highlight the positive steps our schools are taking to improve Indigenous education outcomes.

“I’m sure this year’s award entries will put the spotlight on many of the creative ways schools and school communities are using digital and virtual learning techniques.”

The Minister urged all state schools to celebrate their achievements by nominating for an award.

“In 2017 we considered 114 programs which influenced the lives and education of more than 115,000 Queensland students,” she said.

“Showcase was established in 2000 as an annual awards program to recognise and reward state schools that are significantly improving student learning outcomes.

“Since its inception we have witnessed the emergence of many amazing entrants and worthy winners and I expect 2018 to continue to unearth the inspiring work being done in all state school communities that may otherwise go unrecognised.

“The awards celebrate excellent teaching practices from the earliest years through to senior level, recognising improvement plans and progress, and encourage a culture of learning and sharing among our schools.”

Nominations will close on 18 May 2018. Regional award winners and commendations will be announced in June, state finalists in July and the state award winners will be announced at a gala dinner in Brisbane on World Teachers’ Day on 26 October 2018.

More information and submission guidelines are available at www.education.qld.gov.au/showcase


22/02/18: Safety concerns at TSRC

JOINT STATEMENT

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Minister for Transport and Main Roads
The Honourable Mark Bailey

The Palaszczuk Government is aware of safety concerns surrounding the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing project and is taking firm action by instigating an urgent meeting with the project’s principal contractor.

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace and Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey are seeking an urgent meeting about worker safety with senior representatives of the principal contractor, Nexus, on the Toowoomba Range Second Crossing construction project.

“Serious health and safety concerns have been raised with me by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland,” Minister Grace said.

“We are deeply concerned about the abnormally high number of Workplace Health and Safety investigations and incidents that have occurred at the site.

“I want to meet with representatives from Nexus to stress that the safety of workers must come first.

“Frankly, the number of incidents involving plant rollovers is unacceptable and demands immediate action.

 “This is an unusual step and should convey the gravity with which the Palaszczuk Government views this matter and our commitment to safety at work.”

Minister Bailey said an independent auditor would also be appointed by the Department of Transport and Main Roads to investigate safety concerns at the site.

“The safety of workers is a top priority for the government and we need to be reassured by Nexus and other contractors that they share that sentiment and have a clear plan to improve their safety record,” Mr Bailey said.

“We want to sit down with those concerned to hear what they plan to do to improve safety on this project.”

The terms of reference for the independent auditor will be finalised in the coming days.


21/02/18: $6 million Mansfield State High School hall on track

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Mansfield State High School’s new $6 million multi-purpose hall is on schedule for completion in August.

Education Minister Grace Grace joined Member for Mansfield Corinne McMillan today to see progress on construction of the hall which includes two sports courts, a sports science and kinesiology lab, kitchen, storage, office and data room.

“The school community has been calling for a new hall for some time so it is wonderful to see work is well under way,” the Minister said.

“It is being built under the $200 million Advancing Queensland Schools (AQS) program that is delivering important infrastructure projects at schools across the state.

“The initiative is building new school halls or upgrading existing halls at 30 state schools and has the potential to support more than 500 jobs throughout Queensland during construction.”

Ms McMillian said: “It’s a growing school and the new hall will be able to host a wide range of functions as well as being a fantastic sports facility.

“It will accommodate the school’s sports program more efficiently and provide a space where large events can take place including assemblies, exams and graduations.”

The school’s Executive Principal Karen Tanks said it was exciting to see the hall progressing so quickly.

“The foundations are laid and the slab should be completed by the end of the month,” she said.

“We have had strong enrolment growth over the past few years with nearly 2600 students currently enrolled.

“Having this new hall will give us the facilities we need to support this growth and deliver a well-rounded education to students.

“The Mansfield State High School community certainly appreciates that we have been given the opportunity to provide students with a sporting facility of such a high standard.”


21/02/18: Respectful relationships pilot for a violence free future

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Ten Queensland state primary schools are piloting a respectful relationships program dealing with issues such as family violence, respect for women and girls, compassion and gender equality. 

The Palaszczuk Government is partnering with Our Watch and the Luke Batty Foundation to deliver the 18-month pilot program in support of its measures to stamp-out bullying and domestic violence. 

“We committed to supporting programs like this in our state schools in response to the Not Now, Not Ever taskforce and we will continue to raise our efforts to rid our community of domestic and family violence,” said Education Minister Grace Grace. 

Minister Grace officially launched the Creating a violence free future: Respectful Relationships Education in Primary Schools program at Eagleby South State School today (21 February 2018). 

“Eagleby South is one of the state schools to opt into this ground-breaking program,” the Minister said. 

“The other eight are Kingston, Russell Island, Capalaba, Coomera Rivers, Pimpama, Woodhill, Peak Crossing, Flagstone and Springwood Central. 

“All have begun to engage students, school staff and the wider school community in a discussion about respectful relationships. 

“The Palaszczuk Government is proud to support this flagship pilot to raise awareness of domestic and family violence, support respectful relationships and gender equality. 

“It is important that our youngest Queenslanders learn that violence is never acceptable and that all people deserve to be treated with respect and compassion. 

Ms Grace said during the program students in Years 1 and 2 would receive 10 hours of respectful relationships curriculum instruction while school leaders and staff would be provided with professional development. 

“The pilot schools will promote gender equality and respectful relationships and will involve parents to reinforce the key messages around respect and equality,” she said. 

“Our Watch has contracted Deakin University to evaluate the pilot program, which is also being delivered in a number of primary schools in Victoria.” 

The Minister said it was great to see corporate support for the program.

“The Myer Foundation had provided $1.2 million to Our Watch and the Luke Batty Foundation to deliver the program,” she said. 

Eagleby South State School Principal Andrew Barnes said the school staff were very interested in the prevention of domestic and family violence in the school community. 

“We already have respectful relationships programs in place, but this pilot is different in that it addresses attitudes towards women and girls. 

“I am looking forward to our 160 Year 1 and Year 2 students being involved as well as seeing some sustained change in attitudes around gender equality.” 

For more information on Our Watch: https://www.ourwatch.org.au/

For more information on the Luke Batty Foundation: https://lukebattyfoundation.org.au/


17/02/18: Queensland’s top Year 12 graduates announced

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Education Minister Grace Grace today recognised the state’s top Year 12 graduates from the class of 2017 at the Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) Achievement Awards.

The Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) hosted the event at the State Library in South Bank where 32 students from 20 state and non-state schools received prizes in six categories.

“These annual awards are a special opportunity to honour the hard work and commitment of our top students and the teachers and families who supported them,” Ms Grace said.

“This year’s overall Outstanding Academic Achiever award went to Rachel Hauenschild of Kenmore State High School who received a certificate, trophy, and $5000 prize money.

“She achieved exceptionally highly in all her school subjects, the Queensland Core Skills Test, tertiary entrance ranking, and in two university subjects and will pursue her passion for mathematics at The University of Queensland where she has a scholarship.

“I look forward to hearing Rachel’s name associated with many more achievements in the future.”

Minister Grace said the 2017 Year 12 cohort was the largest ever to graduate.

“Approximately 53,000 Queensland students completed Year 12 last year, so the 32 students who’ve been recognised today can be very proud of their achievements.

QCAA chief executive officer Chris Rider said the awards highlighted the strength in depth of secondary schooling in Queensland.

“Queensland schools support pathways to further education, training and work for all Year 12 students, while also enabling the very brightest to achieve to their full potential,” Mr Rider said.

“All today’s award winners are well placed to be successful at university and make valuable contributions to the community in their careers.”

The QCE Achievement Awards are sponsored by Bond University, Griffith University, Queensland University of Technology, The University of Queensland and University of Southern Queensland.

2017 QCE Achievement Award winners

Outstanding Academic Achiever:
Rachel Hauenschild, Kenmore State High School

Highest Achievement by an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Student:
- Lucinda Colbert, Forest Lake State High School 

Highest Result on the Queensland Core Skills Test:
- Stuart Moss, Brisbane Grammar School

Distinguished Academic Achievers:

  • Louis Backstrom, Brisbane Grammar School
  • Aditya Chilukuri, Brisbane State High School
  • Esther Cho, Helensvale State High School
  • Patrick Cummins, St Joseph's College, Gregory Terrace
  • Rupert Dwyer, St Peters Lutheran College
  • James Dyer, Anglican Church Grammar School
  • Jade Eldridge, Mueller College
  • Jasmine Elliott, Toolooa State High School
  • Joshua Grice, Brisbane Grammar School
  • Daniel Harness, Brisbane Grammar School
  • Liam Harris, All Saints Anglican School
  • Rachel Hauenschild, Kenmore State High School
  • Jina Hong, Somerset College
  • Phillip Huynh, Brisbane State High School
  • Kenton Lam, Varsity College
  • Saki Maehashi, Brisbane State High School
  • Yan Messoussa, Brisbane State High School
  • Kelly Park, Somerset College
  • Joshua Pelach, Smithfield State High School
  • William Price, Townsville Grammar School
  • Connor Ryan, St Joseph's College, Gregory Terrace
  • Patrick Sharkey, St Joseph's College, Gregory Terrace
  • Ryan Taylor, St Laurence's College
  • Sophie Tomassen, Varsity College
  • Ruby Turner, St Aidan's Anglican Girls' School
  • Callum Waite, St Joseph's College, Gregory Terrace
  • Lilia Walsh, Trinity Anglican School
  • Daniel Walton, Hillbrook Anglican School

Highest Achievement by an International Student:
Cheng Zhang, Brisbane Grammar School

Highest Achievement in the International Baccalaureate:
Thomas Wu, Queensland Academy for Science, Mathematics and Technology

The award criteria and prizes can be viewed at: https://www.qcaa.qld.edu.au/qce-awards.html


15/02/18: Turnbull Government failing to support Queensland anti-bullying programs

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Education Minister Grace Grace is urging the Turnbull Government to make a long-term funding commitment to Queensland’s exemplary efforts to tackle bullying – especially cyber bullying.

Minister Grace told State Parliament today that despite the national focus on cyber bullying, the Prime Minister had failed to provide funding certainty for targeted education programs that are supporting Queensland students, teachers and parents and raising awareness about online safety.

“Queensland signed up to the Online Safety Programs in Schools Project Agreement, providing $1.4 million of federal funding across state, Catholic and Independent schools,” the Minister said.

“This funding supports programs, delivered by providers certified by the eSafety Commissioner, for students, parents and teachers.

“Despite the national focus on cyber bullying, the Turnbull Government has again failed to provide funding certainty beyond the next few months, when the current program expires in June.

“This is another example of the Turnbull Government failing to provide long-term funding certainty for Queensland programs and services.

“The Palaszczuk Government will continue to support Queensland students through a dedicated team of specialists who assist schools in tackling cyber bullying and staying safe online.

“The Department of Education’s own Cybersafety and Reputation Management team provide dedicated support to schools in responding to inappropriate online behaviour and actively seeks to shut down any webpage or website that contains inappropriate, offensive or threatening content involving state school students or staff,” she said.

Since July 2013, the Cybersafety and Reputation Management team has provided more than 700 information sessions to over 91,500 students in 273 schools.

“The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse applauded Queensland’s Cybersafety and Reputation Management team as exemplary and a model for other education jurisdictions.

“I will continue to advocate for theTurnbull Government to commit to a new national funding agreement to ensure these important programs receive the funding needed to keep our children safe from cyber bullying.”

Minister Grace said if the LNP in Queensland was serious about protecting Queensland students from the kind of online bullying that has tragically cost young lives they would stand with the Palaszczuk Government and call on Turnbull Government to restore funding certainty for these vital programs.

“The choice is simple for the Leader of the Opposition – support Malcolm Turnbull ripping funding from our state or stand up for Queensland.”


09/02/18: Minister hosts swim safety summit

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Education Minister Grace Grace today hosted a roundtable discussion with key stakeholders to explore options for improving swimming and water safety skills for all Queensland children.

“There is nothing more important than the safety of our children,” Ms Grace said.

“In a state like ours, swimming and water sports are a way of life and the safety of our children in and around water is paramount.

“We already know, because research tells us, that the earlier children learn to swim, the better and I urge every parent to ensure their child can swim before they reach school age.

“As the Premier has previously advised, in 2016-17, 19 children drowned in Queensland – 14 of them were under the age of five. Any death of a child is one too many.

“We all have a role to play in addressing this issue of water safety and that is why I wanted to bring stakeholders together today.

“It was a chance to bring the stakeholders up to date with the latest information about everything the government does around teaching children to swim and improving their water skills and look at every option available to do it better.

“One of the most important statistics is that we have 1003 state schools in Queensland, and there are currently just 18 that do not have a learn to swim program.

“The clear message I took from the discussion was that teaching children to swim is not just about what’s done in schools. It’s about collaborating with all the brilliant Queensland organisations that have skin in the game to provide the best possible solutions, no matter where those children are, their cultural background or family circumstances.

“A range of issues were discussed – not only potential strategies for our schools, but also in the broader community.

“I am convinced that only good can come from this exercise because no good idea will be ignored. Everyone here today has the same aim.”

Those sentiments were echoed by John Brennan, Chief Executive Officer, Surf Life Saving Queensland.

“No single body has responsibility for this issue. It is very exciting that for the first time in Queensland so many stakeholders are sitting around the same table and discussing what we can do to improve swimming safety.

“It is a great starting point.”

Paul Barry, Executive Director of Royal Life Saving Society Queensland said it was misguided to think that simply making swimming lessons in schools compulsory would improve outcomes.

“What is clear is that schools are innovative and many of them have great programs that would be lost or weakened if they were made to fit a centralised model,” he said.

“We want to work with individual schools on programs that best fit their circumstances and resources.”

Ms Grace said the Queensland Government takes the issue of water safety very seriously.

“In recent years, we have dramatically tightened pool fencing laws and invested more in programs to promote safe swimming,” she said.

“According to the most recent data 98 per cent of state primary schools provide learn to swim programs for all pupils, from Prep to Year 6, that are determined by the principal in consultation with their local community.

“And this year the State Government has committed to increase funding by 50 per cent to $1.5 million to support the Learn to Swim program in state primary schools.

“Already 849 state primary schools receive these grants and more than 150 state schools have swimming pools on their school grounds.”

Further meetings of the Water Safety Roundtable are scheduled for April 20 and June, with final advice on options for improving water safety programs across the community to be provided by August.

Today’s roundtable was attended by Surf Life Saving Queensland, Royal Life Saving Association Australia, AUSTSWIM, Australian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association, P&Cs Queensland, Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association, Parents and Friends Federation, Principals’ Association Presidents, Independent Schools Queensland and the Queensland Catholic Education Commission as well as representatives from a range of government agencies including Education Queensland, Department of Local Government and Multicultural Affairs, Sport and Recreation, Child Safety and the Department of Premier and Cabinet. 


07/02/18: New snorkelling and diving Code of Practice now in force

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace announced in Cairns today that a new recreational snorkelling and diving Code of Practice for Queensland tourism operators was now in force.

“We have had extensive consultation with industry and I am confident that this finalised code will ensure visitors who are diving and snorkeling in our state feel it is being done in the safest manner possible,” Minister Grace said.

“Queensland has the largest recreational snorkelling and diving sector in Australia and we’re the only state to have specific legislation covering the industry,” she said. 

Minister Grace said the revised snorkelling and diving Code of Practice adopted a number of new safety measures which: 

  • require automatic external defibrillators on reef tourist vessels;
  • ensure operators have systems in place to identify at-risk snorkellers prior to them entering the water;
  • mandate the use of floatation devices for at-risk snorkellers; and
  • require at-risk snokellers to swim in a buddy pair. 

Minister Grace said there will also be a consistent safety message for all recreational and at-risk snorkellers, meaning the right safety message will be communicated to them when they leave on their vessel.

“There are also minor diving-related amendments in the Code which: 

-       simplify certain requirements so that they align with international training agency standards;

-       enhance supervision requirements by ensuring instructors are positioned to render assistance in an emergency; and

-       include a requirement for training to teach resort divers how to practically inflate and deflate their buoyancy control device.” 

Member for Barron River Craig Crawford said that visitors to the region contributed to the local economy and it was therefore imperative they be kept safe on the reef. 

“This code is crucial for Far North Queensland tourism and the local economy. 

“Our industry strives to ensure world's best practice and now that this Code has been signed off, we have achieved this,” he said. 

“It will ensure Queensland continues to lead the way on reef and water safety and make the reef an even safer place to visit for tourists,” Mr Crawford said.

CEO of the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators Col McKenzie said: 

“Local tourism operators support the new code and I look forward to working with industry to ensure it works as intended.”


06/02/18: Students learn to be cybersafe on Safer Internet Day

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Education Minister Grace Grace today welcomed improved cybersafety for Queensland state school students by taking part in a Staying Safe Online Skype session at Albany Creek State School. 

“To mark international Safer Internet Day the school’s Year 6 students learnt the latest cybersafety tips from a Kids Helpline counsellor in an online interactive chat,” Ms Grace said. 

“With Queensland leading the national push to improve cybersafety and tackle cyberbullying, it’s appropriate students use the online platform to learn about the medium. 

“It was wonderful to participate with the students this morning and see first-hand how the Skype session went,” Minister Grace said. 

The Palaszczuk Government has approved new measures to tackle bullying and cyberbullying ahead of the issue being on the agenda at COAG this week. 

Premier Anastacia Palaszczuk has committed to establishing a Queensland Anti-Bullying Taskforce to develop a new anti-bullying framework, as well as a public awareness campaign coinciding with the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence on 16 March. 

The State Government has also offered an injection of $60,000 to yourtown, which runs Kids Helpline and Parentline. 

Ms Grace said as part of the increased focus on cybersafety and anti-bullying, a cybersafety and reputation management kit would be updated and released to all principals and teachers in Queensland. 

“There will be increased promotion of our Cyber Heroes in primary schools and secondary school students will be given more information on how to clean up their digital footprint,” Ms Grace said. 

“The Education Department’s Cybersafety and Reputation Management team is also available to assist schools to tackle cyberbullying and implement measures to ensure students stay safe online. 

“The team supports schools to respond to instances of inappropriate online behaviours by investigating the incidents in the same way as face-to-face bullying. During 2017, the team resolved more than 300 cybersafety or reputation management related incidents. 

“They also actively seek to shut down social media pages or sites that contain inappropriate, offensive or threatening content involving state school students or staff, with the team successfully removing or altering over 350 pages within the last four years.” 

Team members began visiting schools five years ago and have presented more than 900 cybersafety sessions to more than 120,000 students. 

The visits will continue this year, with sessions in Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Bundaberg, Gympie, Toowoomba, Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast. 

Ms Grace said the Department of Education also protects students from inappropriate websites through the use of special filtering software, which is managed centrally. 

“Our schools also closely monitor students' use of computers to ensure they are not accessing inappropriate sites,” she said. 

Cybersafety resources are available through the Department of Education website at https://www.qld.gov.au/education/schools/health/cybersafety/pages/cybersafety-qss. Additional resources are available on the Stay Smart Online website, www.staysmartonline.gov.au

For more information about Safer Internet Day, visit https://www.esafety.gov.au/saferinternetday

This year Safer Internet Day’s theme is ‘Create, connect and share respect: A better internet starts with you’ and promotes a range of activities to support the safe and positive use of technology. 


05/02/18: Students to spread the anti-bullying news on school walls

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

It’s not often that Queensland students are encouraged to write on the school walls.

This year they will be asked to do just that - to spread the anti-bullying message in the lead up to the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence (NDA) on March 16.

Education Minister Grace Grace has called on all schools to get involved in the positive campaign by creating message walls as a visible reminder of their commitment to a world free from bullying.

“The Palaszczuk Government is leading the way on a national campaign to tackle bullying and cyberbullying, as announced recently by the Premier,” Ms Grace said.

“I’m pleased to champion this important work in our schooling sector as we work together with stakeholders to raise awareness of bullying and put the search for answers on the national agenda.

“As part of this effort, Queensland schools will take part in the eighth National Day of Action.

“This year, schools are invited to take part in the Imagine a World Free from Bullying activity.

“Schools are being encouraged to download the Imagine activity sheets to create their own message walls.

“Teachers will collect the messages prior to sticking them up on a dedicated anti-bullying wall.”

Minister Grace said student responses and artworks also would be used to create a wall of messages at the State Library of Queensland on the national day.

“So far, almost 700 Queensland schools have registered for the day and I encourage others to register now,” Ms Grace said.

“It’s anticipated that more than 360,000 Queensland students will join close to one million students throughout Australia on the day.

“We want to demonstrate Queensland’s commitment that bullying and violence are never okay, inside or outside the classroom.

“I encourage all students and teachers to make their school an ‘NDA school’ and stand united against bullying and violence on the 2018 National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence.”

Minister Grace said in support of the positive movement, landmarks such as the Story Bridge, the Victoria Bridge and the Kurilpa Bridge would be lit up in orange for the day.

To register for the NDA, visit www.bullyingnoway.gov.au.   

Kids Helpline (external site) is also available to students needing support or someone to talk to. Kids Helpline can be contacted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 1800 55 1800. All calls to the helpline are free.


02/02/18: Investment in early childhood is critical to improving Australia’s education outcomes, independent review finds

JOINT STATE AND TERRITORY MEDIA RELEASE

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

State and territory Early Childhood Education Ministers have called on the Commonwealth Government to recognise the clear link between high quality early childhood education and children doing better at school by committing to ongoing, adequate and sustainable funding for early childhood education.

Ministers today welcomed Lifting Our Game, the final report of the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools through Early Childhood Interventions.

The report shows that children who participate in quality early childhood education have improved school results, are less likely to need additional support in school and are more likely to complete Year 12.

Attendance at preschool is also linked to better health and employment prospects and the benefits are even greater for vulnerable and disadvantaged children.

The report highlights that investing in early childhood education will pay off in the long run – with a return of $2 to $4 for every dollar invested.

Over the past decade, Australian governments have worked collaboratively to achieve important early childhood education and care reforms, including the introduction of Universal Access to Early Childhood Education in the year before school and a regulation, assessment and rating system under the National Quality Framework.

Despite this achievement, the Commonwealth Government’s ongoing funding commitment to early childhood education remains uncertain.

The Review’s report notes that there have been five successive short-term National Partnerships to support universal access to early childhood education in the last ten years. This uncertainty hampers effective planning and investment in early childhood education services, and ultimately impacts on outcomes for children.

The independent Review, commissioned by all states and territories, was conducted by Ms Susan Pascoe AM and Professor Deborah Brennan. The report and findings complement the Commonwealth Government's Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools, chaired by Mr David Gonski AC, which is due to report in March 2018.

Further detail on the Review process is attached. The final Review report can be found athttps://det.qld.gov.au/earlychildhood/news/Documents/pdf/lifting-our-game-report.pdf

The Review

Leaders of government departments from all states and territories commissioned the independent Review to consider how best to strengthen early childhood education in Australia to foster improved student achievement and whole of life outcomes. The Review was led by Ms Susan Pascoe AM and Professor Deborah Brennan. Further detail on the Reviewers is below.

In addition to considering national and international research and evidence, the Review travelled to each jurisdiction in Australia and met with a range of stakeholder organisations representing educators, employers, unions, parent groups, advocates and health and welfare providers. The Review also met with local and international experts, and leaders of government departments.

The Reviewers

Ms Susan Pascoe AM

Ms Pascoe is President and Chair of the Australian Council for International Development, Chair of the Community Director’s Council and the Principals Australia Institute Certification Advisory Board. 

Ms Pascoe was the inaugural Commissioner for the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), Australia's first national, independent regulator of charities from 2012–2017. Prior to this appointment, Ms Pascoe was Commissioner of the State Services Authority in Victoria where she chaired regulatory and governance reviews. She was appointed in 2009 as one of three Commissioners for the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Black Saturday Bushfires.

Ms Pascoe’s earlier career was in education. She served as President of the Australian College of Educators, CEO of the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority and Chief Executive of the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria. She chaired the Australian National Commission for UNESCO and has chaired or served on a number of education, health and government boards. 

Ms Pascoe’s significant achievements were acknowledged in 2007 when she was appointed Member of the Order of Australia for service to education. In 2016 she was awarded the Leadership in Government Award for her outstanding contribution to public administration in Australia.

Professor Deborah Brennan

Deborah Brennan is Professor in the Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC), UNSW. Her research focuses on gender and social policy, especially early childhood education and care, family benefits and parental leave. She is an international expert on the impact of private markets on human services. She works closely with government agencies, non-government organisations and community groups.

Her current research on the connections between care marketisation and reliance of low-paid migrant labour is funded by the Australian Research Council and the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada. Professor Brennan has provided advice to governments in Australia, Canada and the UK and has held visiting positions at the London School of Economics, Oxford University and Trinity College Dublin. A former president of the Australian Political Science Association and the Inaugural President of the National Association of Community Based Child Care, she is the author of several books and numerous scholarly articles, book chapters and reports on gender, politics and family policy.


29/01/18: Update on response to bullying young Queenslanders

JOINT STATEMENT

Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Minister for Police and Minister for Corrective Services
The Honourable Mark Ryan

Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Di Farmer

  • Cabinet approves new measures to boost anti-bullying efforts
  • Stakeholder roundtable meets for input for national plan
  • Bullying on the agenda for COAG meeting on February 9

The Queensland Government has approved new measures to tackle bullying and cyberbullying and their devastating effects on young lives in Queensland, ahead of a stakeholder roundtable meeting today and confirmation bullying will be on the agenda for Australian government leaders next month.

Addressing a stakeholder roundtable, the Premier committed the Government to:

- establishing a Queensland Anti-Bullying Taskforce, which will inform the development of a new anti-bullying framework for Queensland;

- offer an urgent allocation of $60,000 funding to yourtown, which operates the Kids Helpline and Parentline. The Government currently provides more than $1 million for these services; and

- launch a public awareness campaign informing parents and children of anti-bullying initiatives underway across the State with activities to coincide with the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence on 16 March.

The Premier said she wanted the stakeholder roundtable to help inform the Government’s preparation of a submission to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting in Canberra on 9 February. The Federal Government has now confirmed bullying will be on the agenda for the meeting.

The Premier said Cabinet was also briefed on the establishment of a new dedicated Youth Advisory Council and a state-wide survey of school children, between March and June, to collect their stories and experiences of cyberbullying The Queensland Families and Child Commission (QFCC) will establish the Council through the work of a core group of six youth champions and its focus will be on cyberbullying, youth empowerment, out of home care, mental health, youth suicide and disability. QFCC will conduct the survey and lead Queensland’s response to Safer Internet Day on 6 February.

“To ensure the safety, health and happiness of every Queensland child, the Government is rededicating itself to leading the anti-bullying agenda in Australia, and working with children, parents, teachers and the community to address this serious, damaging, and at times deadly, issue,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“Today’s roundtable with Queensland stakeholders and Ministers and Members of Parliament, two of whom are former school principals, was an important first step, allowing us to lay critical groundwork on this very complex problem and identify possible solutions.”

The roundtable was briefed by yourtown Chief Executive Officer Tracy Adams and leading adolescent and child psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg.

“Parents and children need our help. It’s not a problem isolated to Queensland or indeed Australia. I am grateful for the Prime Minister’s support to have it on the COAG agenda. We need to work together.”

Young people needing support can contact the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.

Parents and carers can call Parentline on 1300 30 1300.


28/01/18: Students to promote teaching Queensland Style

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Students in rural and remote areas will be encouraged to market their communities as great places to live and teach by taking part in a Teach Queensland Style photo competition.

“With more than half of our state schools located in regional, rural and remote locations, we have an ongoing need to recruit state school teachers to these areas,” Education Minister Grace Grace said.

“Having the students involved in the campaign is a great initiative. Who better to say and show what they like about living in a country area,’’ she said.

Ms Grace said the Teach Queensland Style campaign had encouraged beginning and experienced teachers to explore outback Queensland, build new friendships and strengthen their career prospects as teachers.

“Nearly 2000 teachers arrived in regional, rural and remote communities to begin or advance their teaching careers this year in Queensland state schools.

“Initiatives like the Teach Queensland Style campaign have really helped us to attract teachers to apply for positions in regional, rural and remote state schools.

“This includes newly-qualified teachers as well as experienced teachers from other parts of the state, interstate and overseas.

Teachers in the regional, rural and remote area span all subject areas including science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), primary, secondary and special needs, along with foreign language teachers, physical education and the arts.

“Students and families living outside major metropolitan areas will certainly benefit from the skills and expertise these teachers bring to their new schools and I know they will be warmly welcomed into their new communities.”

Minister Grace said the Palaszczuk Government offered generous financial incentives and benefits for teachers in rural and remote locations.

“Depending on the location, benefits include subsidised housing, flight allowances, relocation expenses and additional leave entitlements,” Ms Grace said.

“There are also specialised induction programs and greater opportunities for teachers to secure permanent employment or to step up into school leadership positions.

“However, it is the unique experience of teaching Queensland Style that is a significant drawcard.”

Minister Grace said the Teach Queensland Style campaign featured short promotional videos showcasing rural and remote Queensland in all of its glory.

“For teachers who have not had the opportunity to visit these areas, these videos offer a glimpse into the unique experience of teaching in a regional, rural or remote state school,” she said.

“Teaching is an outstanding profession which helps shape our society and contributes to the growth and prosperity of our state.  Teaching offers flexible working conditions and wonderful career and life opportunities.

“With a growing school population and an increased demand for teachers into the future, there has never been a better time to teach.”

Details of the Teach Queensland Style photo competition will be available later in the year.

For more information, visit www.teach.qld.gov.au, subscribe to Teach Queensland News and Jobs and follow @TeachQLD on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


25/01/18: Popular NQ return to work conference open for registration

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

A regular sell-out, the North Queensland Injury Prevention and Return to Work Conference at the Ville Resort in Townsville on Friday 20 April is now open for registration.

Featuring high profile keynote speakers such as leading demographer Bernard Salt, the 2018 conference includes injury prevention for the first time, as well as the hottest return to work topics.

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said the conference is a must for safety and return to work professionals in the north.

“Over 300 people attend this event annually and the feedback has always been very positive,” Ms Grace said.

“This time, workers, employers, health experts and other highly credentialed experts will highlight the latest strategies for getting injured workers back on the job as soon as safely possible.

“And it’s not just about getting injured people back to work. This year there’s a strong focus on injury prevention – making sure employees stay safe and healthy on the job.”

Along with Bernard Salt, other keynote speakers include hand and plastic reconstructive surgeon Dr Cameron Mackay, organisational psychologist Simon Brown-Greaves, neuroscientist Dr Stanley Rodski, and fatigue expert Dr Matthew Thomas.

The conference highlights the latest trends and practices in injury prevention and return to work and features two break-out streams.

It is scheduled for Friday 20 April from 8.30am to 5pm at a cost of $220 per person. There’s also a free networking event the night before (5.30pm – 7.30pm Thursday 19 April) and a breakfast seminar for doctors at 7am on conference day (Friday 20 April).

More information on the North Queensland Injury Prevention and Return to Work Conference is available at worksafe.qld.gov.au, or call 1300 362 128.

Book now to avoid disappointment!


22/01/18: Four new state schools to open their doors in 2018

JOINT STATEMENT

Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Four new state schools will welcome students for the first time this morning as more than 817,000 children from across the State return to classes for 2018, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

The Premier said the four new schools – Baringa State Primary School in Caloundra South, North Shore State School in Townsville, Picnic Creek State School in Coomera East and Yarrabilba State School in Logan where she visited today – would cater initially for 1000 students and represented an investment of more than $170 million.

“These students among the 550,000 students attending 1241 state schools across Queensland today,” the Premier said.

“This represents an increase of almost 9500 students or 1.7% from this time last year.”

Another 267,000 students also will start 2018 at 511 non-state schools across the State.

“My Government is determined to provide the learning environment for Queensland children to excel,” she said.

“That is why we have committed to build 10 new schools including a new secondary school Yarrabilba, employ at least 3700 next teachers and increase our commitment to science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and digital technologies in our classrooms.”

“We will build seven new secondary schools, two new primary schools and a special school and start planning for another seven schools. We committed to renew and refurbish 17 high schools and recommit to the $750 million rolling fund to maintain more than 25,000 buildings across our State schools.”

Education Minister Grace said the new schools were located in the fast-growing areas of Townsville, Logan, the Sunshine Coast, and the Gold Coast.

“Each of these schools has state-of-the-art facilities built with the education needs of their communities in mind,’’ Ms Grace said.

“There has been strong enrolment interest in each of the schools, with more than 300 students set to attend Baringa, around 370 at Yarrabilba, more than 180 at Picnic Creek and 250 expected at North Shore.”

“The schools have been designed to support modern teaching methods and curriculum priorities.

“Yarrabilba State School will have a strong focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects, so the school’s learning spaces have been designed to be as flexible as possible.

“Baringa State Primary School has been established as a STEM School of Excellence with a discovery centre, coding and robotics work areas, flexible learning spaces, a recording studio and innovation hubs.

“These new facilities represent a significant investment by the Palaszczuk Government and will be shining examples of state education in these developing communities.

“Our schools are key community assets and these new facilities will provide significant opportunities for learning, sporting and cultural events within these vibrant, rapidly changing areas.

“We are investing in the future of our schools and delivering the facilities our students, and their teachers, need to make the most of their education.”

The Premier said Member for Logan Linus Power has worked tirelessly to secure the primary school at Yarrabilba and had secured a commitment from the Government for a secondary school to be opened in 2020.

Mr Power said the delivery of a new secondary school in Yarrabilba, and the opening of the primary school, was part of the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to give Queensland students the best state education possible, no matter where they live.

“By building a new school in Yarrabilba, we’re giving local children the tools to have a great start in life,” Mr Power said.

 "The Government will invest $60 million to build a new secondary school that will cater for up to 1500 students.”

New schools to be delivered:

New Primary Schools

• Springfield West (last public-private partnership school to be delivered)

• Ripley Valley

New Special School

• Caboolture area

New Secondary Schools

• North Lakes/Mango Hill

• Coomera/Pimpama

• Yarrabilba

• Calliope (West of Gladstone)

• Fortitude Valley Brisbane

• Brisbane Inner City south

• Ripley Valley (Ipswich)

 

Planning for new schools

Primary Schools

• Palmview

• Logan Reserve

• Shaw (Townsville)

• Mount Peter (Cairns)

Special Schools

• Northern Gold Coast

• Sunshine Coast

Secondary Schools

• Caloundra South

 

High School Renewal

The 17 high schools across Queensland, all more than 30-years-old, are:

• Aspley State High School

• Bundaberg State High School

• Cairns State High School

• Mansfield State High School

• Mitchelton State High School

• Toowoomba State High School

. Corinda State High School

. Proserpine State High School

• Springwood State High School

• Maryborough State High School

• Indooroopilly State High School

• Tropical North Learning Academy (Smithfield State High School/Trinity Beach

State High School)

• Sarina State High School

• Heatley Secondary College

. Everton Park State High School

• Ferny Grove State High School


18/01/18: 'Every Day Counts’ for success at school in 2018

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Rugby league players Jonathon Thurston and Sam Thaiday know that Every Day Counts. So does Australian Under 21 representative and Queensland Firebird Beryl Friday.

That trio are just some of the sporting stars, who along with Education Minister Grace Grace are reminding parents and carers of Queensland’s primary and high school students how important attending school every day is for their children’s future.

“The best way to ensure our children reap the full benefit from their primary and high school years is to ensure they attend school every day,” Ms Grace said.

“It’s a simple message, but one that we know works.

“We know there is a clear link between school attendance and student performance.

“Each one per cent increase in student attendance may relate to up to three NAPLAN scale score points while missing just one day of school each fortnight amounts to missing more than a year of learning during the course of a student’s school life.

Ms Grace said the Education Department’s very successful Every Day Counts program highlights that improving school attendance is a responsibility shared by students, parents, carers, schools and the community.

“The Every Day Counts resources also help to encourage regular and consistent attendance for Indigenous students.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, in general, have had lower school attendance rates compared to their non-Indigenous peers so we’ve developed a range of targeted strategies to help close the gap.

“In 2017, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students’ attendance was at 84.8 per cent while non-Indigenous students attended school at 92.2 per cent.          

“In recent years the State Government has engaged some of Queensland’s highest profile sports stars to help promote the Every Day Counts messages, including rugby league players Johnathan Thurston and Sam Thaiday, and netballer Beryl Friday.

“The campaign appeals to young Indigenous students with an animation featuring the adventures of Jimmy and his dog Sam (the voice of Sam Thaiday), a comic book, posters and a dedicated website.

“Just as every training session is important to Sam, JT and Beryl, every day at school is crucial to students,’’ Ms Grace said.

For more information, go to http://everydaycounts.eq.edu.au (external site) or visit the Department of Education’s Every Day Counts webpage at http://education.qld.gov.au/everydaycounts/.


18/01/18: 143,900 jobs created in Queensland since January 2015

JOINT STATEMENT

Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Acting Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
The Honourable Grace Grace

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has welcomed news that 143,900 jobs have been created in Queensland since January 2015.

Ms Palaszczuk said the trend unemployment rate was 5.9% and the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6%.

“As the ABS has stated today, ‘the highest annual employment growth rates were in Queensland and Australian Capital Territory (4.6 per cent), followed by New South Wales (3.5 per cent)’,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“Since becoming Premier, I have made sure that we have had a strong focus on supporting economic opportunity and jobs growth,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“That’s why we have a four year, $44 billion infrastructure program and why we have successful programs like Skilling Queenslanders for Work and our very successful Back to Work program.

“With a strong stable government, we will continue to deliver economic opportunity and jobs growth for Queensland.”

Acting Treasurer Grace Grace said the figures reinforced the need for strong economic management.

“The LNP have no plans for growing Queensland’s economy. The LNP's only record is one of massive job cuts and spiralling unemployment,” she said.

Under the LNP, the unemployment rate in Queensland reached a record rate of 6.7% and they left Queensland with an unemployment rate of 6.6% when Deb Frecklington was Campbell Newman’s Assistant Treasurer.


17/01/18: Queensland’s consumer sentiment leading the nation

Acting Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
The Honourable Grace Grace

Consumer Sentiment in Queensland leads the nation in January, supported strongly by the continuing job creation of the Palaszczuk Government.

Acting Treasurer Grace Grace said Queensland’s diversified economy has recorded strong employment growth, with more than 100,000 Queenslanders finding a job in the last 12 months.

“The latest Westpac-Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment Index (CSI) showed a rise of 8.6 per cent in January, to 112.8 which is significantly above the national average of 105.1,” Ms Grace said.

“Queensland’s consumer sentiment index has risen by 17.4 per cent in the last two months, which is an incredible vote of confidence in our State and the Palaszczuk Government’s economic plan.

“Queenslanders are clearly relieved to have a stable hand at the helm of our State’s economy and that is reflected in today’s data from Westpac.

Ms Grace said four out of the five indicators that make up the Consumer Sentiment Index were higher in January.

“The data shows that Queensland’s strong employment growth continues to support consumer confidence,” she said.

“At the last election Queenslanders rejected the instability of the LNP-One Nation Coalition – choosing to keep our State’s economy on the right track.

“Queenslanders know that only a Palaszczuk Government will protect local jobs and ensure that our economy remains strong and secure.”


17/01/18: Road and rail safety plea ahead of school year

JOINT STATEMENT

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Acting Minister for Transport and Main Roads
The Honourable Mark Ryan

The Palaszczuk Government is urging parents, students and other road users to take extra care on roads, particularly around railway crossings, ahead of the start of the 2018 school year next week (Monday, 22 January).

Acting Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Ryan said the Government’s ‘back to school’ safety reminder came after the release of CCTV (external site) footage of near misses at railway crossings throughout 2017 – many of which involved school students or workers dashing to catch their train or to try and beat the boom gates.

“As the school year resumes, roads consequently become busier, and we begin rushing between school drop-offs, work and other commitments, we’re urging parents, students and other road users to be patient and pay attention to the signs, signals and road rules in place, particularly at railway crossings,” he said.

“In 2017, almost 200 near misses with cars, pedestrians or cyclists were reported at railway crossings across Queensland Rail’s network.

“It may seem like a good idea to try and beat the boom gates, or to push through pedestrian gates to try and make your train, but with trains on the Queensland Rail network travelling up to 140 kilometres per hour and unable to quickly stop or swerve, it can take only a matter of seconds for a near miss to turn into a tragedy.

“Absolutely every near miss Queensland Rail experienced last year was avoidable, so we’re urging road users to stay safe in 2018, obey the signs and signals in place and ensure you’re setting the right example for those around you, particularly students who can often be impressionable.

“Last year, Queensland Rail visited more than 120 schools across South East Queensland to educate students on the importance of safety at stations and railway crossings, and the team will soon be hitting the classrooms again to continue to roll out these important messages in 2018.

“Ahead of classes resuming next week, we ask parents to also take the time to ensure their children know how to keep safe on their way to school, particularly if they’re catching public transport, walking or cycling independently to school for the first time.

“I also want to ask motorists travelling home after spending time away during the holidays to avoid the Fatal Five – distraction, speeding, drink and drug driving, failure to wear a seatbelt and driving while fatigued – so they arrive home safely.”

Minister for Education Grace Grace said school zones would recommence from Monday, 22 January, with the return of classes, and she reminded motorists to slow down and be aware of children crossing.

“This is an exciting and anxious time of year for many children starting their first year of school. We want every child – whether it’s their first or last year of school - to get there safely,” she said.

“Drivers can help by slowing down, being aware of pedestrians and adhering to the speed limit.

“Most school zones in Queensland operate between 7am to 9am and 2pm to 4pm but some regional councils have slightly different times, so we encourage people to check the school zone times in their areas.

“The Palaszczuk Government is continuing to invest in the safety of school zones, with more than 775 schools across Queensland now equipped with flashing school zone signs to heighten driver awareness, and a further 100 schools set to receive the technology over the next three years with $4 million allocated to this program in the 2017-18 State Budget.

“We are also continuing to invest in the supervised school crossing scheme, with 1226 crossings at 682 schools across Queensland currently staffed by about 1932 crossing supervisors.”

For more information on Queensland Rail’s Railsmart school education program, visit queenslandrail.com.au/railsmart(external site)

For more information on school zones and a list of standardised times for each council, visit www.tmr.qld.gov.au/schoolzones

Back to school travel tips for parents and carers:

  • Speak with your child about rail safety and the importance of paying attention to signs and signals at railway crossings. Students should never enter a railway crossing if the red lights are flashing or the pedestrian gate is closed.
  • Visit the TransLink Journey Planner to help your child plan their journey to school via public transport, and ensure they have a valid student go card before travelling.
  • If walking or cycling, ensure your child knows the safest route to and from school, with the fewest roads to cross and the least traffic, and teach them to always walk on footpaths.
  • Show your child how to cross at traffic lights when the green 'walk' sign is showing, at pedestrian crossings when vehicles have stopped and at supervised school crossings.
  • Accompany children when walking or riding to school until they are old enough to understand road safety (usually about 10 years or older)
  • If children catch the bus, teach them to never cross in front of or behind a bus; wait until the bus goes before crossing the road.
  • Make sure wheeled devices (bicycle, scooter, skateboard, or rollerblades) used to travel to school are well maintained and that the appropriate protective and safety gear (for example, helmet, visible clothing, knee and elbow pads) are used.
  • Obey school zone speed limits.

15/01/18: 2018 Premier’s Anzac Prize tour winners announced

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Queensland Education Minister Grace Grace today announced the eight students and two teacher chaperones selected for the 2018 Premier’s Anzac Prize, who will participate in historic centenary commemorations in France this year.

Ms Grace, representing Premier Anastacia Palaszczuk, met with the prize winners today at the State Library of Queensland at which students are participating in a two-day Young Historians’ Workshop to prepare for their trip to the site of the Western Front in April.

“These eight remarkable students, presented outstanding multimedia entries illustrating the Anzac spirit to be selected for this year’s Premier’s Anzac Prize,” Ms Grace said.

“This year marks 100 years since the Battle of Villers-Bretonneux on Anzac Day in 1918. The students will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend the historic centenary commemorative dawn service at the Australian War Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux.

“They also will be among the first visitors to the new Sir John Monash Centre Australian National Memorial, which has been established at Villers-Bretonneux as a lasting legacy of the Centenary of Anzac.

“Through the Premier’s Anzac Prize, students have the opportunity to honour the Anzac tradition in a personal way by researching and writing about service people from their local area, or who may have enlisted at the same age as they are.

“This award has effectively engaged our younger generation in understanding the Anzac tradition and how the Anzac spirit is instilled in the Australian way of life.”

Ms Grace said the Premier’s Anzac Prize had given more than 100 participants a life-changing experience since its inception in 2013.

“The program has had a profound influence on its participants and the wider community,” she said.

The judging panel for the Anzac Prize included representatives of the Australian Defence Force, Returned and Services League, history teachers and the Department of Education.

“I thank all members of the judging panel for their time and expertise and the two teacher chaperones for the part they will play in supporting students during their journey,” she said.

For further information including video and photo galleries of past tours go to www.education.qld.gov.au/anzac-prize.

Student winners of the 2018 Premier’s Anzac Prize

  • Shana Coyle                       St Monica’s College, Cairns
  • Tyla Craven-Griffiths           Kirwan State High School
  • Jack Frey                           St Teresa’s Catholic College
  • Isabelle Jardine                  Clayfield College
  • Isaac Mabo-Edwards           Pimlico SHS
  • Fenlan Miller                       All Saints Anglican School
  • Harry Packwood                  Shalom College
  • Lillian Ward                        Tannum Sands SHS

Teacher chaperones

  • Jodi Pallett                           Tannum Sands SHS
  • Tim McMahon                       Christian Outreach College Toowoomba

15/01/18: Travel made easier for new Baringa students

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Students at one of Queensland’s newest primary schools will have access to public transport from Day 1.

 Baringa State Primary School, in Caloundra South, is expected to welcome more than 200 students when it starts the school year on 22 January, Education Minister Grace Grace said today.

 “While students will need to familiarise themselves with their new surroundings, knowing they will have a bus service to get them to and from school will make the start to their new school year that much easier,’’ Ms Grace said.

 While enrolment numbers are yet to be finalised, about 35 families have expressed interest in using public transport for their children to travel to and from the school.

 “Feedback from parents was that they saw a need for a bus service for the new school and we have listened and provided that service,” Ms Grace said.

 Two new bus stops will be built to accommodate the extension of the existing Route 603 service.

 TransLink has accommodated the route extension by running 10 minutes earlier on one AM and one PM service each weekday.

 The current service will be in place as TransLink gauges demand in the new development area.

 “TransLink will continue to take on customer feedback and provide services where they are most needed,” Ms Grace said.

 For more information on school public transport, go to translink.com.au download the MyTransLink app or call 13 12 30.


08/01/18: 2018 state school term dates and holidays

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Education Minister Grace Grace has reminded parents and carers there is just two weeks until the new school year begins.

Ms Grace said Term 1, 2018, would start on 22 January, prior to the Australia Day public holiday, as was the case in 2017.

“I hope everyone is enjoying a well-deserved, restful break so they can return to school feeling refreshed and ready to learn,” Ms Grace said.

Queensland state school term dates for 2018:

  • Term 1:           Monday 22 January - Thursday 29 March.        
  • Term 2            Tuesday 17 April - Friday 29 June.
  • Term 3:           Monday 16 July - Friday 21 September. 
  • Term 4:           Monday 8 October - Friday 14 December.

“Independent and Catholic schools base their holidays on the state school dates but can vary from school to school,’’ Ms Grace said.

“I suggest families of students who attend non-state schools, check with their individual school offices or websites for term dates.”

State school teachers will return to work on Thursday-Friday (January 18-19) for professional development.

Ms Grace said parents also should note Term 2 dates, which have been altered slightly to take into account transport logistics for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

“The Games will be held from April 4-15, representing a significant and long-awaited event for Queensland. Term 2 will start on Tuesday 17 April.

“To ensure the best use of this additional holiday time for students, teachers will be able to access an extra day of professional development on Monday 16 April.

“The Department made the decision to delay the Term 2 commencement date following consultation with P&Cs Queensland, relevant unions and principals’ associations.

“For the purposes of planning end of year holidays, parents of older students should note 16 November is the final date for Year 12 attendance and 30 November is the final date for attendance by students in Years 10 and 11.”

For further information visit: http://education.qld.gov.au/public_media/calendar/2016-2020.html


05/01/18: Calls to protect our schools during the summer holidays

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Education Minister Grace Grace is urging community members to continue keeping a close watch on schools over the holidays to help protect them from would-be thieves, vandals and arsonists. 

“We might be over half-way through the holidays but we need to remain vigilant because our schools are our most precious community assets and we all have a role to play in keeping them safe,” Ms Grace said. 

“We are calling on vigilant community members to report anything suspicious they may see or hear at our schools over the holidays. 

“Of course we also have a range of targeted measures in place to protect our schools over the holidays, including intruder detection devices, alarms and 24-hour monitoring and surveillance by police, Protective Services and private security firms. 

“School security patrols will be a regular sight in many areas throughout the state during the summer break. 

“In 2017-18 the State Government has allocated more than $9 million to the School Security Program to help reduce security-related incidents in schools.” 

Ms Grace said the School Watch Hotline received 844 reports in 2017, or an average of 70 reports per month from diligent community members, who reported suspicious activities in school grounds. 

“Attentive residents and community members provide an invaluable boost to our existing security measures,” she said. 

“Recently a passer-by reported a fire at Gatton State School by calling the School Watch hotline, which then led to Emergency Services being alerted. 

“This man’s very early actions meant fire crews were able to respond quickly to prevent the fire from spreading throughout the entire classroom block. 

“I would encourage others to also call the School Watch Hotline on 13 17 88 or police if they notice anything suspicious. 

“We don’t want taxpayers’ significant investment in our school buildings compromised by vandalism, resulting in further investment to rectify needless damage. 

“More importantly, we want our communities to remain safe and secure for people living in close proximity to schools and for staff and students who use these facilities during the school year.” 

The School Watch Hotline is 13 17 88 and the service is operated 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. 

Queensland state schools will be closed until Sunday 21 January 2018.


15/12/17: Largest ever group of Year 12 graduates to receive results and OPs tomorrow

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

The wait is nearly over for Year 12 graduates as the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) releases final results and OPs online this Saturday.

Certificates will arrive in the post from early next week.

Education Minister Grace Grace said a record 53,098 young people had completed Year 12 and could look forward to pursuing rewarding work, training and further education options.

“An incredible 93 per cent of Year 12 graduates have achieved a Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE),” Ms Grace said.

“The QCE recognises attainment in school courses, vocational education and training, workplace learning and university subjects. It shows universities, training providers and employers that a young person worked consistently and to a high standard in senior schooling.

“I congratulate the class of 2017 on its outstanding performance, and thank the teachers who play such an important role in supporting Queensland students to achieve consistently impressive results.”

Ms Grace said graduates should not be disheartened if they don’t get the results they are hoping for.

“Graduates who are disappointed still have lots of options. They can upgrade their results or explore other ways to gain entry to university and training courses,” she said.

QCAA Chief Executive Officer Chris Rider said Certificates of Academic Commendation would be sent to 953 graduates who received Very High Achievement (VHA) in at least 24 semesters of Authority subjects (the equivalent of six VHAs).

“The commendation is the first category to be awarded in the annual Queensland Certificate of Education Achievement Awards,” Mr Rider said.

“Winners in a further six categories — including Queensland’s highest achieving student —will be announced in February.”

Year 12 graduates can access their results and OPs from 9:00 am on Saturday 16 December using their Learner Unique Identifier (LUI) and password to log into their account on QCAA’s Student Connect website https://studentconnect.qcaa.qld.edu.au (external site).

Anyone who has questions about their results can call Student Connect hotline on 1800 804 991.

Fast facts

  • 53,098 students will receive a Senior Education Profile — 1485 more than last year
  • 49,649 students will receive a Queensland Certificate of Education — 1594 more than last year
  • 93% of students achieved a QCE — the same percentage as last year
  • 26,859 students will receive a Tertiary Entrance Statement (showing their OP) — 557 more than last year
  • 753 students will receive an OP1 — 13 more than last year
  • 22,121 students will receive an OP between 1 and 15 — 718 more than last year
  • 953 students will receive a Certificate of Academic Commendation for Very High Achievement in the equivalent of at least six Authority subjects (i.e. at least 24 semesters at VHA standard) — 45 more than last year
  • 32,078 students achieved a VET Certificate I, II, III or IV qualification — 3439 more than last year
  • 1756 students studied a university subject while still at school — 99 more than last year
  • 968 students with learning impairments were awarded a Queensland Certificate of Individual Achievement —91 more than last year

No further statements during current Palaszczuk Government.