Students need to be aware of rights at work

Are your students being exploited in their casual jobs? In December 2016, the Sydney Morning Herald exposed the exploitation of student casual workers in the Wollongong region. The workers did unpaid trial shifts that never led to work and had rates of pay that were, in some cases, less than half the award rate. The South Coast Labour Council (SCLC) has been supporting these young workers, mainly in the hospitality and retail industry. “What has been exposed is a rotten business culture," SCLC Secretary Arthur Rorris said. "We need to ensure that school, TAFE and university students are not exploited. We need students to be aware of their rights at work. At events where students are provided with information about career and work opportunities, they should also receive information about their rights at work. For information, contact Australian Unions on 1300 486 466 or through the website.

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Oustanding HSC art tours state

A work by Lucinda Bird of Colo High

Look out for outstanding exhibitions of student art throughout the state over the coming months through Artexpress, which selects exemplary works created by NSW visual arts students for their HSC. The works are chosen by gallery curators, education officers and Artexpress from works highlighted by HSC markers as worthy of exhibition. Artexpress exhibitions are currently on at the Art Gallery of NSW (until April 23), Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre (until March 26) and The Armory, Sydney Olympic Park (until April 25). The exhibitions then move through the state: Campbelltown (April 6 to May 14); Moree Plains Gallery (April 7 to May 28); Western Plains Cultural Centre (June 9 to August 5); Grafton Regional Gallery (June 16 to July 29); Goulburn Regional Art Gallery (July 14 to August 2); Tamworth Regional Gallery (August 18 to October 8).

Non-profit health fund for nurses and midwives

Teachers Federation Health recently established a new health fund exclusively for nurses and midwives who belong to the Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation and its branches. The fund, Nurses & Midwives Health, will be a non-profit body similar to Teachers Health Fund, set up 62 years ago by Federation members and now Australia’s largest industry-based health fund. “I urge teachers to invite friends and community colleagues who are nurses and midwives to join Nurses & Midwives Health, pointing out the benefits we enjoy,” NSWTF General Secretary John Dixon said. To refer nurses and midwives to Nurses & Midwives Health, visit the website call 1300 344 000 or email

Future of design in these HSC students' hands

The 1950s-inspired hat designed by Jodie Hui

North Sydney Girls High School HSC student Jodie Hui's elegant 1950s-inspired overcoat and hat are among the 36 exhibits chosen to showcase student projects by 2016 HSC graduates point to the future shape of design in Australia. The Shape 2016 exhibition is on at the Powerhouse Museum until May 7. The works have been selected from three subject areas, Design and Technology, Industrial Technology and Textiles and Design. Innovation and use of emerging technology are overarching themes, given expression in other innovative exhibits such as a universal coffee pod recycling tool, a hand-held peak flow meter for young children with asthma and a stop-motion romantic comedy. "Jobs of the future are predicted to rely heavily on science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) subjects so it is encouraging to see exemplary student creations in these areas," Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences Director Dolla Merrillees said. Teachers, note that the museum's recently-launched Centre for STEAM delivers a range of STEAM-based initiatives to improve learning opportunities.

Teachers' scholarships on offer

Applications close on Friday May 5 for the NSW Premier's Teacher Scholarships that give school and TAFE teachers the opportunity to visit some of the world's most highly-acclaimed schools and centres for teaching and learning. Scholarships are available across a wide variety of curriculum and program areas such as history, Indigenous Education, vocational education, economics, Chinese language, new and emerging technologies, STEM and youth depression awareness. Email the Department or click here for details.

Class over for state's oldest teacher

Sally Hill and Adrian Piccoli

NSW’s oldest teacher, 84-year-old Federation member Sally Hill, retired at the end of last year after 65 years in the classroom, farewelled by pupils and teachers at Canterbury South Public School who called her an inspiring teacher and “an awesome mentor”.“She’s equally as passionate on her last day as I’m sure she was on her first day, and that’s where we see the biggest impact on kids,” then state education minister Adrian Piccoli said at her farewell – and then experienced Sally’s gusto first-hand as she gave him a traditional Maori nose-to-nose greeting. Her pupils, some of whom in time became her colleagues, paid tribute to the art teacher. “If you do make a mistake she turns it into something that’s even better than it was before,” one girl told Channel Nine, which filmed Sally’s last day at school. The principal of Canterbury South PS, Daniela Frasca, said Sally was full of wisdom.

No heart

Federation activists joined PSA members in a rallying outside State Parliament House on Valentines Day, calling on the government to stop the privatisation of public disability services. The government will wind up all public disability services — including ADHC, which our students rely heavily on — by June 2018.

Park's pledge

As the time left to secure Gonski needs-based funding for 2018 and 2019 from the federal government runs out, Federation activists continue to seek support at community events from members of the community. NSW shadow treasurer Ryan Park was snapped recently demonstrating his support.