From 2019, Teach For Australia (TFA) and Woodside will empower communities together in the Pilbara, West Kimberley and beyond with outstanding teachers, leaders and mentors through TFA’s Leadership Development Program.
This partnership will help enable people such as Kerry Veitch share their passion and skills where they are needed most.
“Throughout my career I’ve been committed to working towards social change, empowering clients and enhancing their wellbeing.”
“I’d now like to continue to do this through education, which I think is the greatest platform available to close the opportunity gap many students face. I hope to combine my Social Work skills with my knowledge and passion for Environmental Science to offer students a holistic, meaningful and engaging approach to education.”
Ms Veitch worked as a social worker for eight years before applying to Teach For Australia, and also has a Master’s Degree in Ecological Management and Conservation Biology. She will teach STEM (Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science and Environmental Science) at Karratha Senior High School.
Since 2009 TFA has recruited and placed ten Cohorts of over 800 teachers (called ‘Associates’) across 180 partner schools in Western Australia, Victoria, Tasmania, the ACT and the Northern Territory – impacting roughly 200,000 students to date.
The program, in its tenth year in Australia, sees high-calibre people from all walks of life take on an accelerated, intensive teacher training schedule and two-year placement in a partner school, often in rural or remote Australia.
All participants are university graduates at a minimum, and teach their previous area of study at secondary schools serving low socio-economic communities, all filling existing teaching vacancies. Associates complete their Masters of Teaching in partnership with ACU while working in their placement school. They benefit from ongoing leadership training throughout their first two years from a dedicated leadership coach, school mentor and academic support to ensure that they are equipped with the foundational skills needed to empower their students towards improved academic outcomes.
The program is highly valued as a pipeline for new teachers into the education system, and as a way for exceptional individuals to share their knowledge, passion and drive with those who can benefit from it the most.
“We are delighted to work with Woodside in this partnership,” says Melodie Potts Rosevear, CEO of Teach For Australia.
“Our goal to enlist more great talent in tackling the biggest risk to Australia’s future prosperity – the inequity in our educational outcomes. With Woodside’s support, we can reach more children than ever before in some of the most challenging geographies in Australia.”
The project will benefit other local staff and teachers in the community, with TFA delivering its accredited professional mentor development program to partner schools, enabling them to build their own capacity as leaders in the community.
Woodside CEO Peter Coleman said the partnership with Teach for Australia builds on a decade of investment in academic opportunities for secondary students in the Pilbara. “Educational leaders told us that building school capacity was important for student outcomes, and Teach For Australia is tenacious in pursuit of that goal. We are proud to be part of this program that supports the development of students and the teachers that lead and inspire them,” he said.
After consolidating initial Associate placements in Port Hedland and Karratha in 2019, TFA and Woodside hope to eventually expand the program’s footprint into communities and schools in the Kimberley.