Teachers reach for education excellence

Published on Wednesday, 26 April 2017 12:08

Federal Labor Member for Fremantle, Josh Wilson MP, today visited Atwell College to learn about the fledgling Teach for Australia program now embedded on the campus.

“Encouraging graduates from a wide spectrum of university fields to dedicate their passion and expertise

to a career in teaching with a focus on areas that face disadvantage is an exciting new approach,” said Mr Wilson.

“It is wonderful to see the enthusiasm of the Teach for Australia associates and I applaud Atwell College for grasping this opportunity to support and develop an innovative program that will foster educational leaders of the future while addressing educational inequity.”

Partially funded by the Federal Government, Teach for Australia is a private, not-for-profit organisation that aims to address educational inequity by placing high-calibre, non-teaching graduates into disadvantaged secondary schools. During the two-year placement, ‘Associates’ earn a Master’s Degree in Education before becoming eligible to register as fully-accredited teachers.

“Teach for Australia has been a game-changing program as we strive to diversify our teaching staff and address a shortage of specialist area teaching staff,” said Noel Woodley, Principal of Atwell College.

“We have been really impressed with the professionalism and humility of the Teach For Australia associates at our school and, particularly as we lose tacit knowledge from the sector as baby boomer-era leaders retire, I look forward to TFA graduates developing their leadership skills.”

“Teach for Australia is looking for excellent graduates with a passion for social justice and a high degree of emotional intelligence – only about one in ten TFA applicants makes it through the selection process,” said John Inverarity, WA Manager of TFA.

On Wednesday, Josh met with Noel Woodley (Principal), John Inverarity (WA Manager of TFA), Dan Bruce (TFA Associate) & Tilly Lambin (TFA Associate).

Second-year Associate Dan Bruce studied law at UWA and was a Social Justice Convenor at UWA Law Society. Initially interested in TFA as a path to developing education policy, Dan is loving the direct and practical impact of teaching and now sees the career as a long-term prospect.

Graduate Associate Tilly Lambin discovered the program during her research project at University which connected with students from disadvantaged areas. Tilly is now a fully-accredited teacher.

Atwell College was one of 52 schools declared eligible for the program by the WA Department of Education and currently has six Teach For Australia Associates and graduates on staff across learning areas.

Youth unemployment in Perth-south west is currently at around 15.7 per cent.

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