AEU 2016 New Educators’ Conference

Back row: Amanda Tu, Natalie Meyer (Brisbane North Organiser), Oliver Baumeister, Brock Lawson. Front row: Kate Ruttiman (QTU Deputy General Secretary), Callie Kennedy, Anna Dart and Lani Eccles

 

Each year, a Queensland delegation is given the opportunity to attend the Australian Education Union’s New Educators’ Conference.

In 2016, the host was the State School Teachers’ Union of Western Australia, so new educators from Queensland arrived in Perth to work collaboratively and participate in an exciting program of training.

Keynote speaker, AEU President Correna Haythorpe kicked things off, sharing insights into her own teaching career and early union activism. The workshops that followed were facilitated by union officials from various states and aimed at building the knowledge, skills and confidence of the new educators as professionals, union members and activists. Teachers from across Australia were in attendance, as well as some special international guests from the New Zealand, Samoan and Tongan teacher unions.

New educators learned about the basics of successful campaigning and reflected specifically upon the Gonski school funding campaign to date. They accessed practical support regarding maximising union membership within their own schools and celebrating the significant wins made by teacher unions. While focusing on the right of everyone to feel safe at work, participants learned about practical ways to support same sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse colleagues in the workplace.

A highlight was the “New Educator Conference Rally”. In this session, new educators worked collaboratively, in multi-state teams, to develop banners, placards, slogans and chants. This was a fun, uplifting and practical culmination to the conference.

The QTU delegates, leaving with a renewed sense of purpose and having forged strong connections with other educator activists, return to their workplaces with increased confidence and skill.

 

"This was a great opportunity - I would HIGHLY recommend any new educator who has not yet joined the QTU to do so ASAP - you're missing out on so much support." Oliver Baumeister

"It was a great opportunity for QTU's new educators to mix with likeminded and active representatives from other state unions, developing knowledge and skills that can further strengthen and empower our involvement in the QTU." Anna Dart


Natalie Meyer 
Brisbane North Organiser


Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 122 No 1, 10 February 2017, p6