Entries will soon open for the 2008 National History Challenge following the announcement today of the Challenge theme, 'Australia Meets the World'. The Challenge is a research-based contest that gives students the opportunity to develop the skills of an historian through an investigation of the past. All students from Years 5 to 12 around the nation are encouraged to take part in this exciting experience. Winners will be rewarded with cash prizes and a trip to Canberra. Students who enter the Challenge may submit essays, museum displays or audiovisual presentations. For more details see media release on the website of Australian Government Minister for Education, Julia Gillard, 23 April 2008.
A transcript of the recent press conference given by Julia Gillard at the joint meeting of education and training ministers is available on the Minister's website. See transcript of press conference 18 April 2008.
The Victorian Government is considering a closer alignment between public and Catholic schools. See article in The Age 21 April 2008.
An industrial dispute between the Victorian Government and the Australian Education Union (AEU) over teachers' pay appears set to continue. See article in The Age 24 April 2008 and AEU media statements April 2008.
The New South Wales Government has announced changes in teacher selection procedures. See message from Michael Coutts-Trotter, Director-General, Department of Education and Training, 7 April 2008. See also article in The Australian 21 April 2008, article in The Sydney Morning Herald 20 April 2008, and various media statements April 2008 from the New South Wales Teachers Federation.
The Working in Partnerships conference, 11–12 July, is a collaboration between the Australian Association of Special Education (AASE), Early Childhood Intervention Australia (ECIA), Network of Education Associations of Tasmania (NEAT) and the Home Economics Institute of Australia (HEIA). Participants are invited to a series of events covering the theme of Working in Partnerships. Topics include the values and principles underpinning effective partnerships, partnering to support students and families with high needs, and global partnerships. Speaking events and workshops will explore partnership-based methods to counter bullying, harassment and violence in school communities, to promote positive behaviour support, to support children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and to build healthy lifestyles and increase wellbeing. Registrations are now open.
Young Queenslanders are being encouraged to eat healthy food and be more active as part of a fundraiser to help sick children. Education and Training Minister Rod Welford has officially launched the Royal Children's Hospital Foundation's fit4fun 2008 program, which will run throughout the month of May. Each participating school nominates a week in the month to implement the program. See Minister's media release 23 April 2008.
A research team at Flinders University is investigating strategies to make rural teaching an attractive long-term career option for new teachers. The team is seeking to identify rural and regional schools which have successfully retained teachers for 3–5 years. The names of particular schools, or regional clusters of schools, with high retention rates are needed by 30 April 2008. Please contact John.Halsey@flinders.edu.au with the name of school or schools in the local cluster, a contact name, email address and phone number, and a school website address if available.
A collaboration between Edith Cowan Universtity, Charles Sturt University, the University of Ballarat and Deakin University aims to alleviate teacher shortages in regional schools. The study, TERRA nova ('new ground' in Teacher Education for Rural and Regional Australia), examines strategies for increasing the number of quality teachers at regional schools. Rural community members and parents are welcome to nominate schools that have been successful at attracting and retaining teachers. The project is due to be completed in 2010. To nominate a school, contact Professor Jo-Anne Reid on 02 6338 4341, email email@example.com, or Dr Graeme Lock on 08 9370 6529, email firstname.lastname@example.org. See media releases from Charles Sturt University 8 April 2008 and Edith Cowan University 10 April 2008.
The Tasmanian Government is reorganising the State's school system in the light of current population trends, which indicate that Tasmanian government and non-government schools could be filled to only 50 per cent of their capacity by 2020. See media release from Tasmanian Minister for Education and Skills David Bartlett, 24 April 2008, and report on ABC News 22 April 2008.