Leadership Development Program

Positive impact in communities and classrooms across Australia

Three minutes
Wednesday, October 19th, 2022
Maddison Jago

Every child deserves the right to an education that can unlock choice.

The right to a future of opportunity. The confidence, knowledge and skills to pursue their dreams.

Yet in Australia, the postcode where a child is born can radically impact their future.

Students from rural or remote communities are less than half as likely to go to university— and are more likely to drop out if they do.

At Teach For Australia, we want an education system which gives children greater choice for their future, no matter where they live or go to school.

Since 2009, Teach For Australia’s programs have been building a community of leaders committed to educational equity. We see quality teaching and leadership as powerful levers that can lift student outcomes and boost school systems.

At a time when school workforces have never been under more pressure, TFA programs have reached 450,000 students by bringing 1200+ additional high-quality professionals to the classroom and helping schools strengthen their leadership pipelines.

As our latest Impact Report reveals, 75% of TFA’s current (2022) partner schools are in regional, rural or remote communities – areas where teaching workforce needs are acute.

And 67% of Cohort 2022 Associates with non-regional or rural origin moved to a regional or rural community to teach.

One such teacher is Maddison Jago, who moved some 550 kilometres from Melbourne to Mildura to begin teaching English and Humanities at Chaffey Secondary College this year.

Maddi was previously a family lawyer and government lawyer but was drawn to a career in the classroom via Teach For Australia’s Leadership Development Program.

“The best thing about teaching so far has been becoming part of the school community at Chaffey Secondary College,” she said.

“In my classrooms and staff rooms, I interact with students and teachers who work really hard to improve outcomes and support each other along the way. Being part of that process is really inspiring.”

That motivation translates to the classroom, where Maddison is passionate about her subject areas and achieving positive outcomes for her students.

“Teaching English not only means that I get to share my passion for reading, but I also get to build fundamental literacy capabilities in my students for them to be able to use to engage more meaningfully and think more critically throughout their lives,” she said.

“Humanities is a great mix of curriculum areas that are always fun to teach, and I am able to encourage students to think about the world more broadly and introduce them to different perspectives.”

Chaffey Secondary College Executive Principal, Graeme Forrester, is one of the 91% principals who believe that TFA Associates make a positive difference in their school.

He said the Chaffey Secondary College’s two TFA teachers brought different perspectives and real-world experiences into their teaching, which was “the beauty of the program”.

“Our TFA teachers have been outstanding, the way they have immersed themselves and contributed to the culture of the school – they are positive, energetic and vibrant.

“They are exceptional young people and I am keen to place more TFA teachers at Chaffey Secondary College in the future.”

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