A new initiative designed to improve the quality of teachers and education aims to deliver better educational outcomes for our kids

Premier Campbell Newman

Premier Campbell Newman

Premier of Queensland

Have you got something to say about issues affecting Brisbane? email me at premier@bmag.com.au

As classes return for term three we’re very pleased to be able to announce a major new initiative designed to improve the preparation and quality of teachers and education in Queensland schools. A Fresh Start is a strategy that builds upon the recently released Great Teachers = Great Results action plan and is committed to delivering better educational outcomes for our kids. The strategy will improve the preparation and quality of teachers for Queensland schools; ensuring pre-service teachers in Queensland meet a consistent standard prior to gaining registration.

The initiative encourages higher education institutions to work more closely with schools and teachers to support the development of pre-service teachers and addresses specific issues related to teacher supply, effective mentoring and induction. We’re committed to raising the standard of our teachers because we know how important that is in terms of attracting and preparing our next generation of teachers. Our beginning teachers must be school-ready, classroom-ready and community ready. The department has worked with Independent Schools Queensland, the Queensland Catholic Education Commission and the Queensland College of Teachers on the development of the strategy.

We are confident the initiatives respond most appropriately to the issues experienced across all schools.

Premier’s Drama Award applications open
The Premier’s Drama Award has been thrown open to discover and highlight the best dramatic talent our state has to offer. The award is special because it’s the only award of its kind in Australia, where the winning play is guaranteed a professional production. Last year’s award attracted 82 entries with the winner, Trollop, by Brisbane playwright Maxine Mellor, set for a major production as part of Queensland Theatre Company’s 2013 season.

We’re looking for playwrights who have a story about Queensland to tell. The plays don’t have to be set in Queensland but the spirit of the award is about reflecting an aspect of Queensland life, from the past, present or future.

Since it was first awarded in 2002, the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award has seen 21 new plays creatively developed and commissioned, with the winning playwrights continuing to write for the stage and produce new work. These awards are integral to the development of new writing and showcasing Queensland stories.

Applications close on 30 November 2013 with three finalists to be announced in January 2014. For more information, guidelines and entry form see Queensland Theatre Company’s or contact the program co-ordinator on 3010 7607.

State of Origin
It was great to see our boys back up and win game two of this year’s State of Origin series in Brisbane. I was lucky enough to be watching from the stands and I can’t begin to explain how impressive they were. Johnathan Thurston celebrated the birth of his first child with a virtuoso performance, while captain Cameron Smith turned in a man-of-the-match effort to lead us to victory. It sets up a thrilling decider in Sydney later this month; I know that all Queenslanders will be barracking for the Maroons to bring home an eighth straight series. Come on Queensland!