Teacher voices a pulse check for Education Minister

The Minister’s Teachers’ Advisory Group stepped out of classrooms to meet the Minister for Education. Linda Doherty reports.

Image: The Minister’s Teachers’ Advisory Group (from left): Joshua Harnwell, Alison Milling, Veronica Luckman, Scott Waring, Melissa Grima-Schmidt, Maria Woodbury, Jessica Fallone, Minister Sarah Mitchell, Justin Short, Hanan Saadieh, Andrew Cornwall, Sarah Chambers, Stef Thom and Amanda Levett. Absent: Kerry Quee. Photo: James Alcock.

Fourteen teachers from three education sectors – and from schools small and large – have been appointed to advise the Minister for Education, Sarah Mitchell, and bridge the gap between teaching policy and practic

The Minister’s Teachers’ Advisory Group met for the first time at NSW Parliament House today, with members saying they relished the opportunity to provide a pulse check on education and a view from the frontline.

Ms Mitchell said the advisory group was designed by teachers after a roundtable in May 2022.

“This forum sets a formal space and conduit for teachers’ passion to directly shape education policy in NSW,” she said.

Veronica Luckman, Lead Teacher at Warilla High School near Wollongong, said the advisory group would allow the Government to tap into teacher expertise.

“This is a real opportunity for teachers, from a range of contexts, to share their insights and perspectives on teaching and learning directly with Minister Mitchell,” she said.

Scott Waring, Head Teacher of Secondary Studies at Great Lakes College Senior Campus on the Central Coast, said it provided a platform to “engage in meaningful discussions regarding the current climate in education”.

“The cross-sectional combination of teachers will generate discussions related to how expert teachers are recognised, nurtured and utilised in a variety of contexts,” he said.

The teachers on the advisory group have been selected from the public education, Catholic and independent schools’ sectors – from preschools, primary and secondary schools, and geographically diverse parts of NSW.

Amanda Levett, a teacher from Cootamundra Public School, said she would share her perspectives on inclusive education “and work towards innovative and sustainable change” in education.

“I fully believe that every child can learn with the right support and when they belong and are accepted for exactly who they are,” she said.

Alison Milling, a preschool and primary teacher at Dubbo School of Distance Education, said the advisory group would raise the status of the teaching profession by bringing together teachers from diverse backgrounds and recognising their contribution and knowledge.

Kerrie Quee, an EALD Education Leader for the Department of Education, said she was privileged to contribute a “teacher voice” for her colleagues.

“It will take time, thoughtful discussion, and decisive action to bring about the best possible direction for the future of the teaching profession,” she said.

The membership of the Minister’s Teachers’ Advisory Group:

· Melissa Grima-Schmidt, Macarthur Girls High School

· Amanda Levett, Cootamundra Public School

· Veronica Luckman, Warilla High School

· Alison Milling, Dubbo School of Distance Education

· Scott Waring, Great Lakes Senior College

· Kerrie Quee, Briar Road Public School

· Andrew Cornwall, St Bede’s Catholic College

· Jessica Fallone, Rosebank College

· Justin Short, Lumen Christ Catholic College, Pambula Beach

· Stefanie Thom, St John the Apostle Catholic School

· Sarah Chambers, Calrossy Anglican School

· Joshua Harnwell, Arden Anglican School

· Hanan Saadieh, Al-Faisal College Auburn

· Maria Woodbury, St Bishoy College

The Minister’s Teachers’ Advisory Group operates alongside the newly formed Ambassador Schools Principal Advisory Group, and the Minister’s Student Council (DOVES).

  • News
Return to top of page Back to top