Top-notch teaching graduates snapped up by Pilbara schools

  • Five new specialist graduate teachers employed in Pilbara public secondary schools
  • Teachers to lead specialist classes in mathematics, science, music, health and physical education
  • Education Minister Sue Ellery has lauded the appointment of five new specialist graduate teachers for Pilbara public secondary schools for the 2020 school year.

    Three newly qualified teachers have been employed at Karratha Senior High School, after they completed their final placements at the school as part of teaching studies at university. The teachers are: Madeline Dearle (mathematics), Chiarene Cooper (music) and Mitchell McDonnell (science).

    Almost 240 kilometres away in South Hedland, two newly qualified teachers have been employed at Hedland Senior High School. The new graduates did their work placements at the school while completing their teaching qualifications. The teachers are: Constance McIntosh (health and physical education) and Courtney Junk (science).

    The Department of Education supports eligible pre-service teachers to do placements in country schools by providing a travel allowance and living subsidy.

    The living subsidy ranges from $150 per week for undertaking a placement at a school in the Wheatbelt region, to $290 per week for undertaking a placement at a school in one of 38 remote communities.

    Since 2014, 234 graduate teachers have been supported to do their practicum placement in a rural, regional or remote school and 82 per cent have gone on to apply for and be employed in regional public schools.

    Prospective teachers can find more information on the Country Practicum Program at

    As stated by Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery:

    “Providing qualified specialist teachers to regional secondary schools is vitally important, and I’m sure these familiar faces will be warmly welcomed back by their school communities in Hedland and Karratha.

    “It’s clear that getting a taste of teaching in the Pilbara during their placements has given these teachers a great head start for their new education careers.

    “I encourage anyone considering a teaching career to think seriously about working in the regions, as there are many benefits.”

    As stated by Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel:

    “Attracting quality teachers to the Pilbara ensures that local students receive a quality education.

    “Providing teachers the opportunity to work in the Pilbara is a great way to show them why locals love to live here.”

    As stated by Karratha Senior High School Principal Mario Tufilli:

    “It was great for our students and school community to have Chiarene, Madeline and Mitchell do placements at our school and enjoy it so much they are now returning as members of staff.

    “They each displayed a strong commitment to our school ethos and priorities.

    “I am also pleased that they have embraced the idea of living and working in a regional Pilbara town – it’s a different experience to teaching in the city.

    “We provide a comprehensive induction and ongoing mentoring for all new graduate teachers at Karratha Senior High School, ensuring that they get consistent supported as they ‘find their feet’ and embark on their teaching journey.”

    As stated by Hedland Senior High School Principal Bill Mann:

    “Both Constance and Courtney will be important members of our teaching team at Hedland Senior High school in 2020.

    “This is in part because they bring enthusiasm and fresh ideas that will inevitably build momentum for ongoing success here, but also because they have been here for an expended practicum and know our school, many staff and lots of students.

    “As a school we welcome the opportunity to offer training teachers the chance to develop their skills at Hedland, and inevitably some choose to return here as graduate teachers.”

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