In remote WA town, Associates find their calling

11 July 2018

Teach For Australia was recently featured in The Australian, profiling the Associates placed in remote Kalgoorlie in Western Australia:

“[D]espite the challenges isolation brings, the mining mecca with a population of about 30,000 has proven quite the gem for a government-backed program that parachutes accomplished career changers and high-achieving university graduates into teaching jobs in disadvantaged and hard-to-staff secondary schools.”

Located 600km east of Perth, the town was founded during a gold rush, and mining remains a major industry in the region. It’s likely not on your next travel itinerary – yet Teach For Australia Associates have found a fondness for the town in the goldfields.

“Since Teach for Australia’s John Inverarity selected Kalgoorlie in 2016 to be the first regional location in Western Australia to send trainee teachers, known as associates, it has placed 11,” the article states. “So far all five who have graduated from their fast-tracked teacher training (with master’s degrees) have stayed on in their schools.”

Kalgoorlie’s Associates and Alumni are a tight-knit peer group, although each has found their niche in a different space.

Vanessa Macri (Cohort 2016), who had a career as an archaeologist and heritage consultant for fifteen years, was part of the first group of Associates to be placed in Kalgoorlie. She now teaches geography and English at Eastern Goldfields College.

“To be honest, I don’t think I could have ended up in a better place to start my teaching career,” Vanessa told The Australian. “The youth of Kalgoorlie face many issues that kids in bigger, more connected places don’t, but they have so much resilience. I think this is why I was drawn here.”

Cameron Halvorson (Cohort 2016) is a science teacher at John Paul College. He also plays and coaches football in Kalgoorlie. “The town has been great and I’ve always found that the more you put into it the more it gives back,” he told the paper.

Bridget Staude (Cohort 2016) was a politics and international relations graduate and teaches humanities. “Earlier this year she founded the Kalgoorlie Young Professionals group, which holds networking events for young people,” The Australian writes. Bridget also added, “I have also been involved in volunteering with the Red Cross Soup Patrol over the last couple of years, which has given me a much clearer insight into the disadvantage in this community, which can be quite hidden.”

The full story is available on The Australian’s website.

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We work in regions and communities where Associates can have the most impact, which often leads to once-in-a-lifetime opportunties to live in a new, exciting, and diverse regions of Australia.