Attracting teachers to ‘the Sunshine State’ - Education Matters Magazine

Department of Education, Featured

Attracting teachers to ‘the Sunshine State’

Three teachers share why they chose Queensland to start or progress their teaching career, as part of a new campaign from the state’s Department of Education.

A new campaign ‘Love to Teach Queensland’ is encouraging teachers around the country, and the world, to teach in Queensland state schools.

The campaign features real teachers and school leaders, like Mr Thomas McKenna, Principal at St George State High School, who shared why he loves teaching in Queensland.

“I’ve taught in New York, Denmark, Europe and Queensland—and Queensland has been the best spot, period!” Mr McKenna said.

“In New York, you teach at one school and that’s where you stay your entire career. In Queensland, I’ve taught in North Coast, Metropolitan, South-East Queensland, Central Queensland, and now I’m in the Darling Downs South-West region,” he said.

Mr Thomas McKenna is Principal at St George State High School. Image: Queensland Department of Education

Mr McKenna said teaching all over the state has given him opportunities, and helped advanced his career.

“From the Great Barrier Reef to the Outback, Queensland’s got so much variety that you can go and experience. There are a lot of incentives if you go rural and remote too, and the further you go west or north the incentives get higher—you get extra days off, you get a yearly allowance, you get a locality allowance,” he said.

“We moved out thinking, we’ll be back in two years. Now we’re talking, well, which farm are we going to buy?”.

Sharing similar sentiments, Ms Hannah Parsons, teacher at Walkerston State School in Mackay, said she was teaching in New Zealand when her next challenge called.

“Queensland really stood out for me,” she said. “The support right from the application to the interview process was very seamless.”

Ms Parsons said she applied for a job with the Queensland Department of Education and was contacted about an opportunity two days later.

“I was very, very excited and a little bit nervous—two months to get ready and go over—but I was supported the entire way,” she said.

“The best thing has definitely been the lifestyle. I’m loving getting my coffee in the mornings and walking down to the beach, and the different wildlife here.”

Ms Aveta Elliott, teacher at Helensvale State School, is also featured in the campaign.

She recalled the moment she found out she would be teaching in regional Queensland.

“I thought to myself, okay Central Queensland, I can do that, sounds pretty hot, but you know what, it’s an adventure and that’s what learning is about. It’s about having fun and taking challenges as they come,” Ms Elliott said.

“They were probably the best six years of my life. I didn’t have any stress of how I was getting there— the department helped me move everything, so all I had to tell them was how many things I had and what I needed them to move, and they came and packed it all up.

“Instead of me trying to do all of those things myself, the movers were in and out at no cost to me. And they said, let me know when you get there and we’ll come and unpack it all.”

Ms Aveta Elliott is a teacher at Helensvale State School. Image: Queensland Department of Education

Ms Elliott said support from the Department of Education helped make the adventure more enjoyable because she didn’t have the relocation logistics to worry about.

“One of the things that I was privileged enough to do while I was in regional Queensland was professional development. Being young and reasonably new to teaching, I valued and took these opportunities as they arose,” she said.

“We were given lots of professional development and lots of mentoring from other staff who had been at the school for a number of years.”

Ms Elliott still has a letter the principal wrote to her.

“She wrote one to every new staff member that basically just said ‘I’m so happy that you’re here, thanks for choosing our school—a small gesture that made such a big difference! It was that level of community and caring that I really enjoyed and learnt from—it made the move worthwhile,” she said.

“I think all of it has just made me into what I hope is a great educator— somebody who goes to work to support kids, to make a difference in their lives, and to hopefully inspire them to love learning nearly as much as I do.”

Are you ready to make a change?

The Queensland Department of Education recruit for a variety of roles across all learning phases and curriculum areas throughout the year. To find out more about the opportunities available to teachers, and their families in Queensland visit the Teach Queensland website:

What you need to know about teaching in Queensland

Working with us
As Queensland’s largest employer of teachers, we can offer you exciting career opportunities in a variety of school contexts—State delivered kindergarten, primary, junior secondary, senior secondary and special education. Our schools offer a range of teaching experiences, from one-teacher schools through to those with more than 2,000 students. You may find yourself teaching single or multi-age classes or teaching across a cluster of schools. All our state schools are coeducational and operate in close partnership with their local communities.

Salary and benefits
Teachers in Queensland state schools have access to a range of additional financial incentives and benefits, dependant on location, in addition to a permanent employment, professional development opportunities and a salary reflective of your experience and qualifications.

This includes relocation assistance and the generous financial incentives and benefits available to you and your family through the Recognition of Rural and Remote Service scheme.

For detailed information, search ‘Benefits’ at

Teacher registration
To be employed as a teacher in Queensland, you must be registered with the Queensland College of Teachers. If you are already registered as a teacher in another Australian state or territory, or New Zealand, you may be able to apply for registration under mutual recognition arrangements.

Questions about your eligibility should be directed to the QCT:

Application for employment process
If you’re interested and eligible to teach in Queensland, you can submit an application for employment through our online applicant portal at any time throughout the year:

Talk to us
If you’re interested in teaching in Queensland but aren’t quite ready to apply, or you would like some extra information, connecting with us is a great place to start. Follow Teach Queensland online or subscribe for the latest Teach Queensland updates:

Source: Queensland Department of Education

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