While the recent Queensland floods and Tropical Cyclone Yasi were devastating for Queensland, we also witnessed the outstanding spirit and determination of those around us. In recognition of these efforts, I am pleased to announce the Department of Education and Training's Above and Beyond Awards. These will recognise DET staff who demonstrated outstanding service to the department. I strongly encourage you to nominate a deserving colleague who went above and beyond the call of duty.
Nominations are open until Thursday 12 May so please visit OnePortal or the Employee Portal (Portal quick links > Above and Beyond Awards) for information. Recipients will be announced during Queensland Week (4 - 13 June 2011).
As previously advised the Premier and Treasurer announced a Voluntary Separation Program across the Queensland Public Service. All government agencies have been meeting with the Public Service Commissioner regarding the details of the program. Information on the program is available on the Public Service Commission website. I have asked the Executive Management Group to consider implementation of the program in their respective areas of responsibility.
This department has selected to implement the program through offers to individual employees. There will be no expression of interest process. It is anticipated that offers to individuals will be made in late May, early June, in the first instance. It is important to understand officers deemed to be in frontline service delivery will not be considered for participation. The separation date for officers volunteering to accept their offer and participate in the program will be no earlier than Friday 1 July 2011 and that individuals are responsible for their particular taxation circumstances.
It is anticipated that further information on the program will be made available by the Public Service Commissioner in the next few weeks. I appreciate that there is a level of interest among employees in this department and I will update you as more information comes to hand.
We are making great strides in helping to rebuild the state, alongside Skills Queensland, the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, and the federal Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Department. We are strongly committed to doing this by working with Skills Queensland to deliver the Natural Disasters Jobs and Skills Package . Almost 500 jobs have been created by the 22 flood recovery projects already underway, and a $12.65 million investment has assisted 1564 Queenslanders. This is exceptional progress in challenging circumstances and I congratulate all DET employees involved in the Queensland reconstruction efforts.
As an extremely busy first term comes to a close, it's heartening to see that almost all flood-affected staff and students have returned to their refurbished schools. Minister Dick visited Rocklea State School on Monday as students returned one month ahead of schedule. A big thanks to the Moorooka State School community who hosted Rocklea staff and students during Term 1. Milton State School's community returned several weeks ago and Milpera State High School is expected to re-open during Term 2. The Minister also visited Brassall State School this week to help welcome Year 6 and 7 students back after being based at Ipswich State High School. Thank you to everyone who helped to get these school communities back on their feet so quickly.
While our schools have mostly recovered, our TAFE colleagues continue to battle significant challenges. Central Queensland Institute of TAFE's Emerald campus was severely affected by the recent floods sustaining approximately $1.7 million in damage, with repairs and restoration work continuing. The Chelmer campus of the Metropolitan South Institute of TAFE remains closed following the January floods with power still to be restored. Repairs also continue at the Southern Queensland Institute of TAFE's Toowoomba, Kingaroy and Warwick campuses. Thank you to everyone involved in the repair work as well as thanks to staff continuing to undertake their normal duties under still difficult circumstances.
This week the state government announced the adoption of 24 recommendations outlined in the Review of Teacher Education and School Induction conducted by Professor Brian Caldwell and David Sutton. It is hoped these recommendations will better prepare new teachers for life in the classroom. A further 41 recommendations will be referred to a Teacher Education Implementation Taskforce yet to be established.
Returning teachers who have taught for less than one year (or 200 days) in the past five years will have their registration renewed subject to a Returning to Teaching (RTT) condition . To have the condition removed, the Queensland College of Teachers requires teachers to complete an approved 30-hour RTT program. The department is currently funding a trial, Restart Teaching, an online RTT program for EQ employees, which is open for expressions of interest.
I am pleased to announce the appointment of Nigel Hill to the position of Institute Director, Wide Bay Institute of TAFE. Nigel is currently Director of the Centre for Youth and Regional Partnerships at Chisholm Institute of TAFE responsible for five departments, regional campuses at Bass Coast and Mornington Peninsular, and the Institute's Youth policy. Nigel started his career as a teacher at Sunnybank State High School and his previous roles have included CEO of an Australian Technical College and principal of a K-12 school. Nigel will take up his appointment in the first week of May.
I wish to thank Ana Rodger for her professional approach and commitment to the role of Institute Director from August 2010 to May 2011. During this time the Institute was extremely successful, achieving the 2010 Queensland Training Awards "Large Training Provider of the Year" award, finalist in the same category at the 2010 Australian Training Awards and winner of the 2010 Australian Training Awards "Innovative Business Award".
I will be on leave until Tuesday 26 April and Deb Daly will be Acting Director-General during this time.
If you have any queries regarding departmental initiatives, please send them to the Inquiries Mailbox.
This page was last reviewed on 15 Apr 2011