-
Our news

Wesfarmers partnership extension to boost TFA’s work in Western Australia

Friday, August 7th, 2020

Teach For Australia and Wesfarmers are pleased to announce a
further two year extension to their community partnership.

TFA began operating in Western Australia in 2015 and has
enjoyed a supportive partnership with the WA-based company since 2017.

“Wesfarmers has been a proud supporter of the valuable work
Teach For Australia provide to the WA community, and we are delighted to be
able to extend our partnership for another two years,” Wesfarmers Executive
General Manager of Corporate Affairs Naomi Flutter said.

Since 2015, TFA has placed 204 Associates to teaching roles in
WA schools, and has worked with nearly 50 schools.

“This valued partnership with Wesfarmers has ensured Teach
For Australia could deepen and expand our work across more communities in this
vast state in the past four years and the renewal will help support our
operations for two further Associate cohorts,” WA State Manager Trudi Horler
said.

“As well as schools around Perth, we also now have Associates
teaching in schools in the South West and Goldfields regions as well as the Kimberley
and the Pilbara.

“We have established strong relationships with our partner
schools, and receive amazing feedback from principals and school mentors about
the contributions our Associates are making at their schools and the way they
are enhancing the educations of the young people they teach.

“Each year we survey our partner schools to gauge Associate
effectiveness, and our data consistently indicates overwhelmingly that
Associates are enhancing student wellbeing, improving subject matter knowledge
and skills, and helping to increase student engagement, attendance and
participation.

“The schools rate very highly our Associates involvement
across the wider school communities in formal and informal leadership and
support roles.”

More than 70 per cent of TFA’s Leadership Development
Program Associates who did their two year placement Western Australia are still
in teaching or leadership roles in schools. Similarly, more than 70 per cent
are still working in schools which serve communities with high levels of
disadvantage.

At a national level, 85 per cent of TFA alumni continue to
work teaching or leading in schools, or are working in education-related roles
such as government/policy areas or with education non-profits or social
enterprises.

A great example of TFA work which has been supported by the Wesfarmers partnership is the growth of a thriving regional hub of TFA Associate and Alumni teachers in Kalgoorlie-Boulder, six and half hour’s drive east of Perth.

Over the past five years, 14 Associates have been placed at
Kalgoorlie-Boulder Community High School, John Paul College and Eastern
Goldfields College and the region has been well served by TFA’s Teaching and
Leadership Adviser (TLA), Jackie Drake.

One of those is Emma Hart (Cohort 2018, at Eastern
Goldfields College) who studied law and psychology at university and was
completing a clerkship at a child protection law firm in Sydney when she decided
to take a different approach to helping the younger generation.

“Working in the legal industry highlighted the role that
negative childhood experiences and social inequities play in the future of a
young person. I applied to the TFA program as an opportunity to work more
proactively and positively with young people and to more deeply understand how
inequity impacts young people in contexts outside of the metropolitan one I
grew up in.”

A highlight of her new career is the relationships Emma has
formed her students who continue to “surprise and inspire me with their
resilience and perspectives on the world”.

Emma stayed on in Kalgoorlie-Boulder after finishing the
Leadership Development Program and is now teaching HASS subjects for Grades
7-10 at another TFA partner school, Kalgoorlie-Boulder Community High School.

“For me, understanding educational disadvantage has become
more and more complex the more I reflect, but it is clear that in order to
address these issues education systems must work in partnerships with
communities.

“During COVID it was wonderful to hear about the exciting
programs and innovations being implemented in metropolitan schools throughout
WA, but for us it was a very different experience, As a school we really had to
strip our approach back to addressing the basic needs of students; safety,
belonging and wellbeing. To me this really epitomized the education gap that
exists throughout Australia.”

Another Kalgoorlie-Boulder TFA Alumna is Bridget Staude
(Cohort 2016) who says the Teach For Australia was the right pathway to the
classroom for her after finishing a degree in Politics and International
Relations and wanting a career where she could make a difference.

As a TFA Associate, Bridget appreciated she would be learning
on the job while being supported by her school, John Paul College, her mentors
and her TLA.

Today Bridget is the CEO of Teach Learn Grow, which provides
free tutoring and mentoring for rural and remote students in WA and NSW.

“My experience teaching in Kalgoorlie taught me how much
work needs to be done to close the gap in education between rural and metro
students and I’m dedicated to ensuring we provide opportunities to help these
students achieve their full potential.

“I see myself continuing to work in education, but whether
that is in a school or another setting I’m not sure. I want to work wherever I
can see myself having the most impact. There are a lot of problems with the
education system in this country that I would like to help address. I strongly
believe all Australian students deserve access to high quality education and
will continue to focus on trying to make that a reality within my lifetime.”

State Manager Trudi Horler said the Kalgoorlie-Boulder hub
was just one example of TFA’s work to deliver high quality teachers and
education leaders to Western Australia’s communities since 2015.

“We are so pleased to be continuing our partnership with
Wesfarmers so that together we can continue the work towards education equity
for all children and young people in communities throughout Western Australia.”

Continue reading

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

Scientists, musicians, lawyers and engineers are among 171 new teachers stepping into the classroom this year as part of the latest intake of Teach For Australia’s Leadership Development Program.

Read more
Read more