Connect with us: Networking, QTU style
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 126 No 5, 30 July 2021, page no.5
This column is a space to explore issues directly affecting our new educator membership, featuring their voices and experience. This edition looks at the opportunities and experiences to be had by the members of the QTU's New Educator Network.
The annual New Educator Network (NEN) training was held in Brisbane on 14 and 15 May, and for the first time ever was a combination of online and face-to-face formats.
This event brings together QTU activists in their first five years of teaching from right across the state to participate in training and networking to support their future union activism.
Session topics included public speaking skills with NEN12 participant Brent Brown, assertiveness training with General Secretary Kate Ruttiman, EB claim development with Industrial Advocate Thalia Edmonds, attending the Rally for Action on Workplace Sexual Harassment with Vice-President Leah Olssen, membership skills with Lynn Cowie-McAlister, and developing their local project which they will continue to work on in their areas.
This year, the annual training coincided with the QTU State Council, and NEN participants had the opportunity to attend and witness the democratic processes of the Union. It was wonderful to work with such committed and talented activists and educators and we look forward to seeing their involvement in the future.
By Kelly Creedon, Organiser Logan Redlands, and Craig Wood, Assistant Secretary - Research Officer
The NEN21 training equipped me to comprehensively understand the requirements of being an effective public speaker and how a union works behind the scenes, and allowed me to network with like-minded teacher-unionists. During the Zoom meeting, we were given the opportunity to network with the other NEN21 members, express why we became union members and our motives behind advocating for our colleagues. The benefit of online training was that we could connect and engage with presenters regardless of their location within Queensland, which enabled us to collaborate and listen to diverse experiences and skillsets targeted to strengthen our public speaking skills.
Thomas Corbett, Moranbah East State School
Participating in the NEN21 program has been a professional highlight for me this year and has helped to rejuvenate my interest in activism in the workplace. Getting the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues from across the state over the past few months has been such an enjoyable and invaluable experience.
The program helped me develop an understanding of the experiences of fellow beginning teachers from a variety of schools and contexts throughout Queensland, as well as the hard work and processes that operate behind the scenes at the QTU. My experience so far has reinforced just how important it is for us as educators to work together, to listen and to understand the many perspectives that make up our workforce. I’m excited to continue my involvement with the QTU in future!
Keegan Parker, Varsity College
My biggest takeaway from NEN was an insight into how the union works at a higher level - recruitment, EB negotiations, campaigns - and how my role as a Union Rep in the workplace fits into that big picture. I really enjoyed meeting some of the Senior Officers and having their support to develop a project to benefit members was particularly valuable.
James Cook, Doomadgee State School