Hello - I'm Julie Grantham, Director-General of the Queensland Department of Education and Training. Welcome to the department's 2008-09 annual report - our first fully-interactive annual report. This user-friendly and cost effective format meets the Government's commitment to the environment and Queensland Auditor's Office requirements on reporting, compliance and search facility.
Our department is a key player in the Government's Toward Q2 - Tomorrow's Queensland goal of world-class education and training for Queenslanders.
2008-09 was a year of great achievements and unprecedented challenges.
Literacy and numeracy are the foundations of learning. Earlier this year Professor Geoff Masters was commissioned to review the curriculum and educational standards in Queensland's primary schools. The Government endorsed the recommendations and we're now working with others including the Queensland Studies Authority and the Queensland College of Teachers to realise these reforms.
We set up the Office for Early Childhood Education and Care in January, delivering on our belief that quality early-learning experiences are the foundation of achievement.
And we're continuing to close the gap between the outcomes of Indigenous and non-Indigenous students.
A skilled workforce is essential to Queensland's economy. Our revitalised Queensland Skills Plan guides our response to our skilling needs.
Our achievements include supporting apprentices with $4 million in early-completion bonuses, encouraging more school-based apprenticeships and traineeships and establishing a Trade Training Taskforce. Our TAFE institutes are meeting market needs. From July 1, 2008, the Gold Coast TAFE became our second statutory authority, allowing it more flexibility, cost-effectiveness and autonomy.
Our significant challenges?... the global economic crisis, the North Queensland floods, the swine flu pandemic. all tested our responsiveness and highlighted how integral schools and TAFEs are in community life.
I acknowledge the contribution of my predecessor Rachel Hunter whose work underpins many of the Department's current achievements. I'm sure Rachel would agree it's a privilege to be Director-General of a department with the capacity to make a significant difference to the lives of Queenslanders.
As a former teacher I'm proud of our schools and training organisations and of the quality of the teachers who, every day, inspire students to fulfil their potential. And I'm particularly proud of our students who will take Queensland into the future.
To commemorate 150 years of education in Queensland we've added a little nostalgia. Look for the 150 year icons throughout the document for a glimpse into the past. We've even included the very first Annual Report of the Board of General Education. We've come a long way in 150 years!
I now invite you to enjoy the 2008-09 first fully-interactive annual report of Queensland's Department of Education and Training. Thank you.