Celebrating teaching registration statewide
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 126 No 6, 3 September 2021, page no.25
“What I would like to do now, is just take you on a bit of a journey,” Meredith Wenta told a Townsville audience.
In a powerful speech at the Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) 50th anniversary regional celebrations launch, the recently retired Kirwan State High School executive principal reflected on her 43-year career.
Meredith recalled attending a workshop led by world renowned educational leadership expert Thomas Sergiovanni, who highlighted school communities in which everyone cared for and helped each other “to be, to learn and lead together” – to become “a community of heart and mind”.
“The notion of a school as a community of heart and mind has stuck with me over all those years,” the 2020 TEACHX Excellent Leadership in Teaching and Learning Award winner said.
“It has driven my commitment to ongoing professional growth for my teachers to ensure they value not just what — that is the content they teach — but just as importantly, the value of how they teach it.”
The inspirational speech was one of several that highlighted the importance of professional standards and the status of teachers, and of education stakeholders working together to uphold and maintain the high quality of teaching in Queensland.
The event was part of the QCT’s regional celebrations that launched at James Cook University in July to mark the 50th anniversary of a teacher registration authority, with events also taking place in Rockhampton, Toowoomba, Cairns and Longreach.
The QTU was behind a push for teachers to be registered in the 1960s, after the state government attempted to implement a scheme to employ teachers trained for only eight weeks, in a bid to stem a teaching shortage.
Before having a registration system, teaching was not seen as a profession in Queensland and concerns were raised throughout the 1960s about the quality of teacher education.
After intense lobbying by the QTU, a teacher registration body was first formed in 1971, and today the QCT continues to uphold and maintain teachers’ professional and ethical standards.
The QTU is therefore proud to be the principal partner for the 50th anniversary celebrations of a registration authority.
QTU President Cresta Richardson told the Townsville celebration she was really surprised when she worked on the QCT Board for about nine months, at the breadth and depth of topics the College covered.
“The work that we do in our schools on a daily basis is covered by the QCT,” she said.
Cresta said the QCT played an integral role in the high quality of teacher education graduates across Queensland, in working on federal issues including teacher education inquiries and automatic mutual recognition, on highly accomplished and lead teacher certification and the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.
QCT Director Deanne Fishburn said the QCT and its predecessor registration authorities are proud to play a key role in upholding and maintaining teaching standards, and to support the profession.
“For 50 years we have seen dedicated teachers and our stakeholders commit to working on a Board of a teacher regulatory authority,” Deanne said.
“We are a ‘small and mighty agency’ that is agile, collegial and responsive, and we will continue to work in an exemplary way for our stakeholders, our profession, and for every child.”
For more on the QCT’s 50th anniversary, visit https://www.qct.edu.au/50Years