Early Career Teachers go bush for professional learning

Early Career Teachers

ECT’s were Welcomed to Country by Uncle Eric Law

A GROUP of 19 early career teachers (ECT) experienced a journey with a difference as they connected through two days of wellbeing and professional learning in Murgon. 

In unseasonable heat, the group journeyed in spirit with one another through a traditional smoking ceremony before walking 10klm’s along the challenging South Burnett Rail Trail.

At the end of the first day the group united for a cool drink and meal at the Dusty Hill Tavern on the outskirts of town.  

BCE Manager - Organisational Development, Stephan Hart, said walking together allowed the group time and space to talk with unfamiliar colleagues from across the region.

Stephen said the surrounds and movement gave traction to open and informal discussion.

“Coming together outside the work environment stimulated personal conversation based on raw emotions and reflective thinking,” he said. 

“The context reflected the elements of the well-being wheel through spiritual, emotional, physical, workload and cognitive well-being.  

St Joseph’s School, Murgon, Principal Tracey Gerrard said the group was full of life, smiling, laughing and despite the exercise, full of energy upon their return to school.

She said she was “…witness to the transformational effect of this wonderful initiative”.  

Tanya Roberts from Star of the Sea School, Hervey Bay, said she felt supported and cared for throughout the two days.

“It was just what I needed and a valuable experience,” she said.

Xavier Catholic College, Hervey Bay, ECT, Ashley Crowley, said it was an unusual but valuable professional development experience for the group.

“All the girls from Hervey Bay appreciated the time to focus on ourselves and also connect with other teachers in the same position as us,” she said. 

On the second day the group came together for a professional learning forum.

This provided a positive and relaxed environment to engage in inclusive practices, well teachers well students, positive preventative practices, and to hear the educative journey of Karen Harrison (Senior Leader - Learning and Identity, School Service Centre North), who had walked the footsteps in rural settings herself.  

Getting to know each other while walking the South Burnett Rail Trail

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