ASSOCIATION SPOTLIGHT

Casino Teachers Association

Number of members: 161
President: Tim Danaher
Secretary: Jeralee Brown

Where and when do you meet? Our meetings are usually held on a Monday before Council, at the Hotel Cecil in Casino.

How would you describe the area and community covered by your association? Casino Association is nestled in behind Lismore on the beautiful North Coast. Our main industries are beef production and farming. More than half of our schools are small P5 schools in rural settings. We have a large Indigenous population in Casino and this is represented in a strong cultural presence in all our schools. We are also very fortunate to have the North East Public School of Distance Education in our association area.

What issues and challenges do your association face? The main challenge is trying to organise association meetings around the after-hours commitments of our members.

What are the demographics of the teachers? We have a mix of permanent, temporary, casual and student teachers in our area but most of our teachers are full time permanent. Our schools also get a high number of student teachers from Southern Cross University’s Lismore campus.

What is your association focusing on at the moment? The current federal budget and its implications for public schools, mainly for our students, is high on the agenda. We are also closely monitoring our local TAFE.

What is the best thing your association has done in the past five years? In 2012, we had members attend the Saturday Beef Week Parade, which is a big street festival held during Beef Week. They went armed with Gonski shirts, hats, balloons and stickers, information brochures and a huge amount of knowledge to inform the community about the benefits of Gonski funding to support local students.

What are your meetings like? How is attendance? Our meetings are fairly informal. We have a wide range of schools represented, with high school teachers, primary teachers, student teachers and occasionally a small school representative in attendance.

How do you try to attract members to meetings? Casino Association, where possible, personally invite members to attend the annual education dinner at the end of the year. Our Executive and Association attendees also engage with teachers in their respective workplaces.

Have you held any special events lately? Apart from the annual education dinner we have supported and promoted the Gonski bus tour and we have also organised and enjoyed association Barefoot Bowls days at the local Bowling Club.

What does your executive structure look like? Apart from the normal President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer posts our association always tries to fill each position with teachers who bring a vast amount of knowledge to their respective roles.