Teaching in regional Queensland: Your questions answered


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Ready to make a change? On your own, change can be tough but in Queensland state schools, many people have been in your position before and can offer support. You're not on your own.

Queensland teacher, Aveta Elliott, has answered some of your commonly asked questions about moving to regional Queensland to help with your planning.

Why did you move to regional Queensland?

'One of the bonuses I had when I decided to work for the Department of Education was the opportunity to work all over Queensland.

'When I applied to teach in Queensland state schools, I put on the application that I would literally go wherever.

'I believe all children deserve quality educators, regardless of where they're sitting in our schools, so for me it was about meeting different kids and working in a community where I felt I could make a difference.

'When I found out I got a job teaching in Gladstone, I thought to myself, okay Central Queensland, I can do that, sounds pretty hot, but you know what, it's an adventure and that's what learning is about.

'It's about having fun and taking challenges as they come.'​​



What was your highlight of teaching in regional Queensland?

'A defining moment was for me was the relationships I built in that community—not just with the students in my class, but my colleagues and their families.

'Teaching isn't something that you do in isolation. Teachers stick together, they collaborate, they support each other. When you're in a school where your colleagues and families do that, it just makes it a really rich experience for everybody.

'Teaching in Gladstone gave me the opportunity to build genuine friendships which I am grateful to still have many years later.

'Even children that I taught then are meeting me on weekends now to meet their babies or inviting me to their engagement parties.

'They were probably the best years of my life.'

What were the benefits of teacher accommodation?

'When I moved to Gladstone, I knew no one. As a very introverted and shy person, I was apprehensive about how I was going to go, and I know that was something that worried my family.

'But with my teacher accommodation, every one of my 12 neighbours all worked in different schools. From the moment that I was unpacking, suddenly people were introducing themselves. It was just an opportunity to make some amazing friends.

'When I lived in teacher accommodation, the electricity was covered, the rent was minimal and literally those are all my expenses. Every other bit of money that I had was for whatever I wanted to do.'

Did you have access to mentors?

'The mentoring I received at the beginning of my career was from mature teachers who loved their job, which then made me love mine more. As I progressed through my career in Gladstone, I was able to mentor preservice teachers under the idea that, realistically, we want young people to have quality educators, and those educators need to know what it's like on the ground from the outset.

'In more recent times, I'm excited to have the opportunity to mentor new teachers to our school or even just beginning teachers who are coming in. At times, that also includes new teachers to Queensland.

'Fortunately, we now run with the national curriculum, so that mentoring is more about how it fits in Queensland and how we distribute that curriculum for new staff to the department.

'It doesn't matter whether it's your first day or if you've just moved here and it's maybe your 15th year of teaching, I'll always be happy to support you on that transition or adventure that you're having with us.'


How did the department support your move?

'I didn't have any stress of how I was getting there—the department helped me move everything, so all I had to tell them was how many things I had and what I needed them to move, and they came and packed it all up.

'Instead of me trying to do all of those things myself, the movers were in and out at no cost to me. And they said, let us know when you get there and we'll come and unpack it all.

'The Department of Education was very supportive and just helped make the adventure more enjoyable because I didn't have the relocation logistics to worry about.

'On a more personal level, I still have the letter that the principal wrote to me, and she wrote one to every new staff member that basically just said 'I'm so happy that you're here, thanks for choosing our school.

'It was a small gesture that made such a big difference. It was that level of community and caring that I really enjoyed and learnt from—it made the move worthwhile.

'I think all of it has just made me into what I hope is a great educator—somebody who goes to work to support kids, to make a difference in their lives, and to hopefully inspire them to love learning as much as I do.'

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Last updated 14 March 2024