Growing time in the Outback

Hannah Archer Lawton
Project Officer

Collegiate learning and fun

Teachers from all across rural NSW gathered with excitement at the latest Beginning Teacher Conference held in the remote outback town of Lightning Ridge. Home to opals, mines, hot springs, emus, wedge-tailed eagles and friendly and unique locals, Lightning Ridge was the perfect place to meet.

“I know now that teaching is in good hands; I would definitely recommend this event to other newbies,” said Amy Rawson, a new teacher at Inverell High School.

The teachers, primarily in their first two years in the classroom, were eager to learn and pick up tips from educators with years of teaching experience who were there to inspire them and ease any early career angst. “There was a lot to take in but I got a lot out of it. The resources given out in the classroom management workshop were particularly good,” said Greg Knight, temporary teacher at Gilgandra High School.

Whilst the schedule was jam-packed with learning and sharing, there was plenty of time for fun and socialising. The participants immersed themselves in workshops on accreditation and maintenance, current Federation campaigns, their rights at work, Aboriginal Education and numerous other issues.

At the close of day one, they headed out to the famous hot springs, rejuvenating themselves in the picturesque landscape before heading back for some old-fashioned karaoke and dancing fun.

“I had an amazing weekend,” said Kiara Scullion, a permanent teacher at Nyngan Public School. The networking that this event offered enabled everyone to swap contact details, share stories and make great friends whilst learning and having a hilariously great time.”

“Everyone got along so well! It was great to accompany the new teachers and it made me reflect on how far I’d come. I was lucky to be a part of it,” said Dylan Smith, Fed Rep and New Activist from Gilgandra High.

Thanks go to the participating teachers, Organisers, presenters and Federation staff who gave up their weekend to ensure we offer a high quality of public education in a supportive and collegial environment.

The Beginning Teacher Conferences are offered free to new teachers. If you haven’t been, get along to one. You won’t regret it.

June 18 — Newcastle: For teachers in the Sydney Metropolitan, Southern Highlands, Illawarra, South Coast and Monaro areas.

August 13-14 — Leeton: Open to teachers within a reasonable travelling distance in the Riverina, Far South West NSW region and surrounding areas.

August 17-18 — Arrawarra: Open to teachers within a reasonable travelling distance in the North Coast, Mid North Coast and surrounding areas.

September 17-18 — Bundanoon: For teachers in the Sydney Metropolitan, Southern Highlands, Illawarra, South Coast and Monaro areas.

Hannah Archer Lawton teaches at Bulahdelah Central School and is currently a Project Officer in Federation.

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