Education Minister Grace Grace has officially opened the Centre for Learning and Wellbeing in Emerald today, part of the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to supporting teachers in the bush.
Ms Grace officially launched the Centre this morning before visiting staff and students at Emerald North State School, the Borilla Community Kindy and Emerald State High School.
“This wonderful Centre has been operating since July and is making a positive impact on the lives of teachers, staff, students and families living and working in Emerald,” she said.
“Our Centres for Learning and Wellbeing are a key part of the Palaszczuk Government’s $100 million Advancing rural and remote education strategy.
“We’ve invested $31.1 million over four years to deliver four Centres in Mount Isa, Roma, Atherton and here in Emerald.
“We spent over $600,000 in refurbishing a building at Emerald North State School to create the Centre, supporting two construction jobs in the process.
“The Emerald Centre has supported 10 new positions, with staff supporting a network of 43 state schools in Central Queensland.
“There’s also a satellite service in Longreach.”
Ms Grace said the aim of the Centre was to mentor beginning teachers, coach experienced teachers and build resilience in staff who’ve just moved to a regional area.
“We want to retain and attract quality teachers in regional Queensland, but we can’t do that without providing the right support and professional development,” she said.
“This includes mentoring through face-to-face workshops and via technology.
“The Centres also offer links to support services so that our staff, students and families can access the assistance they need.
“It was fantastic to watch a workshop in action today, helping Emerald-based beginning teachers.”
Ms Grace said the Centre was in good hands with Principal Leisa Neaton, who previously worked at Frenchville State School in Rockhampton.
“Ms Neaton knows the Central Queensland education landscape like the back of her hand, having lived and worked here for 30 years,” she said.
“I know she will do a fantastic job.”
Ms Neaton said the Emerald Centre was making a difference in the community.
“Since the centre opened in July this year, I can already see the benefits of the programs we run for Central Queensland staff,” Ms Neaton said.
“Being able to offer this kind of coaching and mentoring to remote and rural staff is great for their professional development and, ultimately, student outcomes.”