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Director-General's weekly message for staff - 26 November 2010

Training awards for Queensland

Congratulations to Tropical North Queensland and Wide Bay Institutes of TAFE who brought home two major awards from the Australian Training Awards in Sydney last week. It was wonderful to see Tropical North Queensland Institute of TAFE pick up yet another award for their collaboration with Woree State High School and training organisation Skills360 on the SchoolTech program. Wide Bay Institute of TAFE was also a deserving winner of the Innovative Business Award for their work to incorporate e-learning technologies into their business strategies and processes. Two Queensland-based employers received awards as well, with Diesel Electrics winning the prestigious Prime Minister's Small Business of the Year Award and Rio Tinto claiming the Industry Award for Resources and Infrastructure. Congratulations also to Southern Queensland Institute of TAFE business student Josephine Shannon who was named runner-up for Australian Apprentice (Trainee) of the Year.

Three Queenslanders were also announced in the 30-member Team Australia Skillaroos to compete in the WorldSkills International Competition in London next year. Two young apprentices from SkillsTech Australia, Liam Janetzki and Russell Routledge, and Rhaman Donovan, a fashion technologies student from Metropolitan South Institute of TAFE, will go head to head with the world's best at the international competition in October. I congratulate them on their selection in the Australian team and wish them every success for the competition.

Well done to all of our Queensland winners and national finalists. Photos and a full list of award winners are available on the Australian Training Awards website External Link. Nominations for the 2011 Queensland Training Awards External Link will open soon. Students, employers and training providers are invited to register External Link for a nomination pack.

Consultation continues on A Flying Start for Queensland Children

The Minister for Education and Training this week announced that the State Government will continue to consult with education stakeholders on proposed reforms outlined in the A Flying Start for Queensland Children: Education Green Paper for public consultation. The key question raised in the discussion paper for consideration is - in the 21st century, what is the best learning environment to provide a first class education for 12 to 13 year-olds. Discussions will continue with the Queensland Council of Parents and Citizens' Associations, Queensland Teachers' Union, Queensland Association of State School Principals and the non-state education sectors to ensure that commitments in the Government's Flying Start White Paper support the best educational opportunities for young Queenslanders.

Every Day Counts

The latest set of state school data was released this week and it shows that more students and parents are taking heed of the message that Every Day Counts. With higher rates of attendance linked to higher levels of achievement, it is pleasing to see the overall student attendance rate for our state schools reached 91 per cent in Semester 1 this year, up nearly half a per cent on last year. Attendance rates for Indigenous students also rose by nearly one per cent to 84.8 per cent across the state, however there is much more work to be done to close the gap for Indigenous students, particularly in remote areas. Thank you to everyone who is helping to spread the message about the importance of going to school every day.

Year of Environmental Sustainability draws to a close

A final celebration for the 2010 Year of Environmental Sustainability was held at Parliament House on Tuesday 23 November. Minister for Education and Training Geoff Wilson joined some of the Climate Smart student ambassadors, teachers and principals for this end-of-year event. The Year of Environmental Sustainability has engaged students of all ages, from across the state, in school-based activities, YES Challenges, the Bunya to the Bay Eco Adventure, the Green Cross Green Lane Diary External Link, regional and state symposiums and the Queensland Youth Environment Council Youth Ambassadors Program. I would like to thank our schools for their tremendous efforts to raise awareness and adopt environmentally sustainable practices. Online resources, including the Queensland Sustainable Schools website External Link and the SolarSchools website External Link, will help our schools to continue working towards a more sustainable future.

New asbestos management policy and plan

The department this week launched its revised asbestos management policy and plan to coincide with National Asbestos Awareness Week, 22-26 November. The revised policy and plan apply to all departmental facilities, including schools, TAFE institutes and early childhood centres. We all have a role to play in minimising the exposure risk for ourselves, our students and our work colleagues. Therefore it is important for all staff to be aware of their responsibilities and the current procedures for preventing and managing asbestos-related incidents. I strongly urge everyone to read through the Management of Asbestos Containing Material in DET Facilities External Link policy and the Asbestos Management Plan for DET Facilities Adobe PDF document.

Welcome to Queensland Education Leadership Institute CEO

A former Queensland teacher, principal and Executive Director Schools will oversee professional learning and development opportunities for our future education leaders. Dr Stephen Brown will return to Queensland in January to take up his new role as Chief Executive Officer of the Queensland Education Leadership Institute (QELI). Dr Brown has been working with the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development for a number of years, as a regional director and more recently, the Executive Director of the Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat. I welcome Dr Brown back to the Queensland education sector and wish him all the very best for his new role.

If you have any queries regarding departmental initiatives, please send them to the Inquiries Mailbox.

For more news go to OnePortal or the Training Employee Portal (DETE employees only) under Marketing and Communication, Newsletters.

Regards

Julie Grantham
Director-General

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This page was last reviewed on 26 Jul 2012

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