New Educators Network (NEN) 2022
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 127 No 7, 30 September 2022, page no. 27
The QTU is proud of our NEN network, who are all loud and proud QTU members employed in diverse roles throughout the Queensland.
Our NEN alumni are classroom teachers, heads of program, principals, elected branch officers, elected members of State Council and Executive, QTU standing committee members and QTU officers.
In 2022, the QTU welcomed 14 members into our new educators’ network. The program consisted of two online training sessions, as well as a full day of training in our Brisbane Milton office, and then an opportunity to attend State Council. The QTU looks forward to continuing to work with new educators.
Some of this year's NEN recount their experiences below.
Tobias Fitzroy – Fortitude Valley State Secondary College
Campaigns are the driving force that transform ideals into outcomes, and what an amazing chance NEN provides to share experience and understanding to develop and lead campaigns. With our group of NENs geographically covering the state, our time learning about campaigning with Kate Ruttiman led to consideration of the increasing number of preservice teachers, remote teacher wellbeing and recruitment, homophobia and transphobia in schools, the need to support new educators in special education, and the systems of the QTU.
Attending State Council, the peak decision-making body of the Union, gave us a peek behind the curtain and enabled us to be part of the discussion by sharing our own experiences as NENs! As a proxy on State Council myself, along with many NENs, we were involved in the vote on EB, showing the effectiveness of the collective.
On reflection, I thoroughly appreciate how our Union values new educators’ energy and the opportunities through NEN to extend beyond one day to turn passion and drive into positive action.
Anna Garlick- Yarrabah State School
It was a privilege to be a participant in the 2022 NEN intake, which provided the opportunity to network and sharpen our skills as Union Representatives.
One of the first sessions was on public speaking. In this session, we learned the importance of practice and preparation, knowing our audience and delivering our content with confidence. We discussed how we would apply these tips to speaking in staff meetings, in our role on LCCs, and as representatives in branch meetings, area council and State Council.
We also had a session on being assertive, run by Kate Ruttiman. Kate took us through the art of saying no, using “I” statements to express feelings and minimise conflict, and asking questions gently to gain a positive response. We were also taught how to use the ladder of inference to assist substantive dialogue in our schools.
Kate also spoke to our NEN group about the QTU wins for beginning teachers. She highlighted the wins that have had a positive impact on our colleagues: additional non-contact time; being the highest paid beginning teachers in Australia: mentoring and the $1,000 payment for teachers going to remote schools. It was motivating to hear how the QTU has successfully advocated for the needs of early career teachers.
Lydia Knife - Victoria Point State High School
My greatest take-away from the face-to-face NEN training day was that the strength of the Union is in its members – in the power we have as a collective. Over the course of the day, I was able to meet, learn from, and collaborate with other early career teachers from across the state on projects to address issues that matter to us. We also heard from Union officers about current campaigns – such as the EB10 process and growing our union – and discussed the ways in which we can increase new teacher membership density and grow Union power. This was an informative, affirmative, and eye-opening experience. Each NEN had a different background and expertise and brought to the table their own passions and perspectives. Overall, this was a highly valuable experience, and I’m grateful for the work of the industrial officers that ensured I was able to attend.