THE BENEFIT of the Outback Hospitality Trade Training Centre to the Central West — referred to officially as the Remote Central West Cluster — and the vast Outback, was recognised last Friday night (October 27) when the Big Red Truck (as it is affectionately known) won the QSuper Showcase Award for Excellence in the Senior Years that rewards excellence and innovation in senior school programs.
The awards gala dinner, held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, was organised by the Queensland Government’s Department of Education and Training (DET), and coincided with State Education Week (October 22 to 28). Significantly, the event was held on World Teachers’ Day.
The Remote Central West Cluster incorporates the Longreach State High School and Aramac, Barcaldine, Blackall and Winton State Schools — and is officially referred to as the Outback College of Hospitality Central West Initiative.
The Showcase Awards for Excellence in Schools this year featured 11 categories, and are presented annually to Queensland state schools with excellent practices that significantly improve outcomes for students.
The Awards are an important acknowledgement of state schools, their teachers and staff who are significantly improving the learning outcomes of young Queenslanders.
This year QSuper sponsored the Showcase Award for Excellence in the Senior Years.
There were two state finalists in the category: Kirwan State High School (QCE success: every face and every story matters) and the Outback College of Hospitality Central West initiative.
The Brisbane-based Superannuation Fund’s Head of Customer and Marketing, Tim Cochrane, told agalert.com.au that more than 110,000 QSuper members work in Queensland education — “and that’s why we’re proud sponsors of the Queensland Department of Education and Training’s Showcase Awards for Excellence in Schools.
“This sponsorship is one way we can directly support our members and help raise awareness of the work they do in education every day,” he said.
“Excellence and innovation in senior school programs is critical to ensure our young people find pathways to employment once they leave school.”
Mr Cochrane emphasised it is vital that senior students in rural and remote communities have access to innovative programs to provide them with the same opportunities as their city cousins.
“We congratulate the five schools involved with The Outback College of Hospitality Trade Training Centre for such an innovative program,” he said.
“We have loved hearing the success stories and how The Big Red Truck is having a positive impact on the region.”
QSuper Trustee, Jeff Backen, presented the QSuper Excellence in the Senior Years accolade at the Showcase Awards gala dinner held in Brisbane.
“The initiative has contributed to an increase in Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) attainment across the five schools — at 100 per cent for the past two years — and was awarded for its success in strengthening post-secondary employment options for students in remote areas,” Mr Backen said.
“The Showcase Awards are an important acknowledgement of state schools, their teachers and staff who are significantly improving the learning outcomes of young Queenslanders.
“To show our support for those who work hard in our communities, QSuper has been a proud sponsor of the awards since 2010.
The 11 Showcase Awards categories were:
- The Network Ten Showcase Award for Excellence in the Early and Primary Years;
- The University of Queensland Showcase Award for Excellence in the Junior Secondary Years;
- The QSuper Showcase Award for Excellence in the Senior Years;
- The Village Roadshow Theme Parks Showcase Award for Excellence in Inclusive Education;
- The RemServ Showcase Award for Excellence in Community Engagement;
- The Showcase Award for Excellence in Industry Partnerships;
- The Education Queensland International Showcase Award for Excellence in Global Engagement;
- The Teachers Health Showcase Award for Teacher of the Year;
- The Griffith University Jack Pizzey Award for Principal of the Year;
- The QUT Showcase Award for Leadership Team of the Year;
- The Teachers Mutual Bank Showcase Award for State School of the Year
Regional award winners and commendation recipients were announced on Thursday, June 22, 2017, and winners received a $1,200 development grant and commendation recipients a $500 development grant.
Of the regional award winners, 22 state finalists were announced on Monday, July 31, 2017, each receiving a further $7,500 in development grants
The 11 state award winners were announced at the Showcase Awards Gala Dinner on Friday, October 27, 2017 in Brisbane. State winners receive a further development grant of $30,000 each for group award categories, or $15,000 each for the teacher and principal award categories.
Principal of the Longreach State High School, Brendan Krueger, said after the award ceremony that the award had been well deserved by a lot of people over a long time.
“The Cluster was the only remote rural school represented among all the winners — the rest were all scattered along the coast — and to beat all other senior schools in the state is a magnificent achievement.
“It is also recognition that distance is no barrier to success,” he said.
“It proves you can still get a quality education even though you live in the bush.
“And to be recognised across Queensland is simply exceptional.”