Supporting students with life-changing education

5 minutes
Thursday, October 6th, 2022

Education is empowering and life changing. 

It builds knowledge and confidence, lifts outcomes, opens doors and expands the opportunities available throughout our lives. 

But for too many students, Australia’s educational inequity is putting barriers in their way – curbing outcomes, and limiting opportunities. 

Evidence shows that teaching is the most significant in-school factor that can positively affect student achievement.  

At Teach For Australia, we’re working for an education system that gives all children greater choice for their future. 

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. 

And, as our latest Impact Report reveals, 84% of TFA Alumni continue to work in the education sector beyond their program completion, helping ensure more students can access the life-changing education and opportunities they deserve. 

One such classroom leader is Victorian teacher James Murphy.  

Part of the very first cohort of Teach For Australia’s Leadership Development Program, James began teaching at Horsham College in western Victoria in 2010. 

Today he is Assistant Principal (Years 7, 8 & 9 and College Wellbeing) at Newcomb Secondary College in Geelong, one of 50 TFA teachers now in Assistant or Principal positions. 

Before teaching, James studied a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) and worked at the School of International and Political Studies at Deakin University delivering lectures, running tutorial groups and working as a part of several research projects.   

He also volunteered at a community radio station, where he delivered a weekly segment on foreign matters of significance to Australia’s diplomatic relations and national interest. 

But a desire to positively impact young people – and the world – ran deep and James made the decision to pursue teaching via Teach For Australia. 

“Working in education enables skillful practitioners with talent and passion to guide young people through the most challenging and formative years of their life – what better way to positively change the world?” James said. 

“I want my interactions with every young person to be a highlight for their day – we can never tell what challenges and adversities they may have endured that day, even prior to arriving at school.” 

Through the Leadership Development Program, Teach For Australia recruits and trains teachers for classrooms around Australia where needs are greatest. In 2022, 75% of current partner schools are in regional, rural or remote communities and around half of the 161 Associates are qualified to teach STEM subjects, where workforce shortages are acute 

“I’ve had the privilege of teaching young people and helping them learn about themselves and the intricacies of the world around them. I’ve had the exhilaration of witnessing them grow into professionals, who are now inspiring others,” James said. 

“My career in education has already consisted of many life-changing moments. I’ve seen the boundless capacities of the young mind, and worked with truly inspiring colleagues, around a very clear sense of shared moral purpose.” 

Learn more about our impact

Continue reading

Learn more about Teach for Australia, our programs and our cohorts.