QTU Abstract Issue no. 4, 16 March 2023

QTU News


The QTU acknowledges the rigorous and scholarly contribution that Australia’s education researchers deliver. Your work shapes our thinking and our Union’s advocacy for the teaching profession and public education.

At a federal level, the QTU has been engaged in solidarity work with our national body, the Australian Education Union (AEU).

The QTU contributed to the AEU submission during the development and drafting phases of the government’s Jobs and Skills Australia Bill to Parliament. The first piece of legislation introduced by the Albanese government, this established Jobs and Skills Australia (JSA), a new independent agency responsible for providing advice to government on current, emerging, and future workforce skills and training needs.

Over the Christmas-New Year period, the QTU and AEU prepared a submission to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training’s inquiry into the perceptions and status of vocational education and training. In the same period, the Queensland Government’s Education, Employment and Training Committee conducted an inquiry into the delivery of VET in regional, rural, and remote Queensland. The QTU’s submission was prepared in consultation with members of our TAFE Executive, as well as rank-and-file members. The QTU submission is available on the QTU website.

Featured research

The Respecting Virtuosity research project aims to investigate teacher trust and professional autonomy in the wider socio-political context of education policy. The QTU has observed an erosion of trust in teachers’ professional judgements, while successive state and federal governments have enacted education legislation and regulation that position teachers as technicians and diminish teachers’ intuitive and affective engagement with their professional instincts.

Respecting Virtuosity is building on the QTU’s member collaboration that was the genesis of our Position Statement on Professional Autonomy. The first phase of the project began in March, when project leaders Dr Rafaan Daliri-Ngametua (ACU) and Dr Craig Wood (QTU) hosted an evening of working dinner conversations in three parts. The next phase of the research will include analysis of the conversations and development of a qualitative survey.

QTU Lawrence Grulke Library

The QTU’s Lawrence Grulke Library is a treasure trove of the history of the teaching profession and state schooling in Queensland. We are fortunate to have dedicated librarians who can retrieve and report on more than 130 years of this history. The QTU was recently contacted by education researchers in Belgium, who were interested in corporal punishment. They had found a reference to corporal punishment in Queensland and wanted to know more. With little more than a reference in a cartoon, published in Queensland Figaro in July 1888 (yes – that’s eighteen-88), our QTU Library staff found unpublished Union records related to the teacher referred to in the cartoon, as well as a brief work history of the teacher and speeches that he had delivered.

The QTU’s Lawrence Grulke Library can be accessed via email at or you can arrange an appointment and visit in person at our Milton office.


Forthcoming events

Our education research partners are very welcome to join us at this year’s Workers Memorial Day.

The QTU welcomes research that effects real changes in the QTU’s priority areas. There is an urgent need for work that addresses violence in schools and that delivers healthy and safe workplaces that are free from harassment and discrimination. Our Union also knows the importance of solidarity, and of our Union family coming together and pausing. That’s why, every year, just before we celebrate Labour Day, Queensland unions and our wider communities gather at Emma Miller Place, Roma Street, Brisbane to remember workers killed at or by their work. Taking this time every year to remember is more than symbolism, it is about honouring those that should still be with us and re-committing to progressing the work of unions in fighting for safer workplaces.

More information about Brisbane’s Worker’s Memorial Day will be available on the Queensland Council of Union’s website closer to 28 April. If you would like to join QTU members at the service, contact Craig Wood at

Our education research partners are also very welcome to join with QTU members at this year’s Labour Day celebrations. This is always a family friendly day, so come along and join us in your very own QTU Voice. Treaty. Truth. T-shirt (complimentary for marchers, with a range of sizes available) and stay on at the RNA showgrounds for a complimentary BBQ lunch and beer/wine/soft drink. Again, contact Craig Wood at if you would like to celebrate the labour movement.

The QTU knows that some of our education research partners are undertaking important social justice research work. Your work makes schools safer for young people and their teachers. We see you. We thank you. On 17 May, IDAHOBIT Day, we would love to recognise your work. If you have links to your work, particularly work that will interest teachers and principals, please contact Craig Wood at

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