Monthly Archives: February 2011

Professional development – The Brisbane Institute.

The Brisbane Institute is promoted as Queensland’s premier think tank and independent forum for ideas, insight, inspiration and innovation.

Since 1998, The Brisbane Institute has been bringing the communities of greater Brisbane and south east Queensland together with leaders in government, business, industry and academia to challenge assumptions, provoke discussion, share information and generate solutions to issues that affect us all.

As a Geography teacher I have attended forums provided by the Institute from time to time.

Most recently I attended their forum: No Place Called Home. It was promoted as an important forum examining why secure, affordable housing is still just a dream for many Queenslanders.

This is how the event was described on their website:

As people flock to the south east corner to enjoy our sensational climate and lifestyle, the Great Australian Dream is increasingly out of reach for many Queenslanders, and household affordability, public housing and homelessness are emerging as the most urgent issues in the growth management debate. How do policy-makers begin to tackle these challenges? What are the options for a new generation struggling to achieve the dream of a place to call their own? And what can we do in our own families and communities to help?

The speakers were:

  • Assistant Coordinator-General James Coutts
  • Brisbane Housing Company’s CEO David Cant
  • Executive Officer for Queensland Shelter Adrian Pisarski
  • Mission Australia’s national homelessness and housing advisor Sean Lappin
  • Residential property expert Michael Matusik

There was a wide-ranging panel discussion covering topics such as trends in household and community planning, the changing face of social housing, the surprising new statistics on homelessness, and solutions for the growing number of people who have no place called home.

In terms of the Social environments unit I found there were quite useful insights for the Sustaining communities focus unit.

For example David Cant told of the 100000 homeless across Australia of which 60000 sleep rough. There are 9 million dwellings in Australia and 8.5 million households.

Adrian Pisarski told us that in the last 20 years the size of houses has doubled while the size of households has halved. He spoke of the ‘McMansions’ and their huge drain on energy because they are often built so close together that natural ventilation is severely impeded.

James Coutts referred to the new Urban Land Development Authority development at Fitzgibbon, Fitzgibbon Chase. This new development has a range of housing options including that provided by the Brisbane Housing Company and ‘Fonzie’ [yes, as in Happy Days] style apartments.

It is located to access rail and the northern bus way. He also referred to a new report that Geography teachers around the state may find useful:

Shaping tomorrow’s Queensland: A response to the Queensland Growth Management Strategy [summary document: http://www.dip.qld.gov.au/resources/plan/growth-summit-response.pdf] [full document: http://growthsummit.premiers.qld.gov.au/assets/full-gov-response.pdf ]

Future events from The Brisbane Institute include:

  • 23.03.11* Packed Lunch: Career Rockets: boosting skills, boosting reputation
  • 05.04.11 In Conversation: Lord Mayor Campbell Newman
  • 12.04.11* Brisbane Business Conversation #2: Smart, Connected City
  • 19.04.11* Seriously, renewable: which energy options provide the best potential
  • 04.05.11 Brisbane Business Conversation #3: Growing City
  • 17.05.11* Is digital access the new class divide? In the 21st century, knowledge is still power 31.05.11* Saving energy: how we do for power what we did for water
  • 15.06.11* Packed lunch: leading, inspiring and engaging communities in change

More details about these and other activities can be found on The Brisbane Institute’s home page: http://www.brisinst.org.au/

** Article courtesy of Russell Smerdon [All Hallows’ School]

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A Message from the President

Fellow Geographers


Welcome back to the 2011 school year and another exciting year of Geography!

Firstly I would like to acknowledge the hard work and contributionsof the State Council over the past year and thank the departing members. I would also like to say thank you to all who were reelected and to those that attended the AGM.

It has been a very interesting vacation season and commencement to the New Year. In Geography Teachers’ Land in January AGTA held its much anticipated conference in South Australia whichwas the culmination of several years of planning. From all reports it was a highly successful event with over 30 delegates attending from Queensland. In fact delegate numbers overall far exceeded expectations and sessions were interesting and informative. I’m surethat all who attended benefited from the experience of extending their professional connections and learning.

It was also at the AGTA conference that that second significant pointoccurred – Tim Costello has kindly agreed to become the AGTA Patron for the next 3 years. I’m sure that you would all agree that Tim Costello’s work has provided him with a great depth of knowledge, not just of social justice issues, but also of the dynamic relationships and interdependences of the world’s natural and human systems.

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FREE Teacher PD!

Now that you have had a chance to settle in to your classes this year, perhaps you’re interested in some FREE Teacher PD this term?

Webinar Series
A series of on-line presentations aimed at increasing your understanding of the Shale Oil industry and the role it will play in the future supply of energy in Australia. Industry experts in the areas of geology, engineering and processing will engage with teachers on-line.

All webinars will be one hour in duration and begin at 3:30pm. Participants may choose to register for individual webinars, or the entire series.

February 8 – Australia’s Energy Security
February 21 – Formation of Oil Shale
March 9 – Processing Oil Shale and Making Fuels
March 21 – Environmental Management
April 5 – The QER Oil Shale Story

On-Line PD – Wet Rocks
A series of activities conducted over four weeks aimed at improving teachers understanding of Groundwater and water management. The workshop includes completion of hands on and on-line activities and engagement with industry experts from across the nation. Great teaching materials provided to all participants.

Begins February 28, 2011

Interested? Email traceyl@qrc.org.au

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FREE teacher PD!


Now that you have had a chance to settle in to your classes this year, perhaps you’re interested in some FREE Teacher PD this term?

Webinar Series
A series of on-line presentations aimed at increasing your understanding of the Shale Oil industry and the role it will play in the future supply of energy in Australia. Industry experts in the areas of geology, engineering and processing will engage with teachers on-line.

All webinars will be one hour in duration and begin at 3:30pm. Participants may choose to register for individual webinars, or the entire series.

  • February 8 – Australia’s Energy Security
  • February 21 – Formation of Oil Shale
  • March 9 – Processing Oil Shale and Making Fuels
  • March 21 – Environmental Management
  • April 5 – The QER Oil Shale Story

On-Line PD – Wet Rocks
A series of activities conducted over four weeks aimed at improving teachers understanding of Groundwater and water management. The workshop includes completion of hands on and on-line activities and engagement with industry experts from across the nation. Great teaching materials provided to all participants.

Begins February 28, 2011

Interested? Email traceyl@qrc.org.au

 

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Meet Our New Patron!

The Australian Geography Teachers Association (AGTA) Board is pleased to announce that Tim Costello has agreed to be AGTA Patron for the next three years.

Tim Costello in his position as Chief Executive Officer of World Vision Australia is well qualified to speak on the role and value of geography. As a student he excelled in geography and his outstanding work in the field of social justice makes him well qualified to represent the voice of Australian geography teachers.

In newspaper articles published nationally during September 2010, Tim Costello emphasised that “Geography is a subject that needs to be a core subject for the compulsory years of schooling and not an optional extra.”

To ensure that outdated views of the subject held by some were corrected Tim explained that “Geography is not just about reading maps and the learning of capital cities. Geography involves hard, critical thinking and the development of important knowledge and skills.”

His conclusion that “Our children need a great education that equips them to be global citizens in an increasingly globalised world — and our world needs engaged and well-educated Australians with a global ethic” matches the view held by AGTA and we are greatly honoured to have a person of such high standing in the community accept the role to be patron of AGTA.

In July 2004, Tim Costello was named Victorian of the Year 2004 and in June 2005,he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO).

He holds a number leadership positions in the community and his work has been recognised through numerous awards including the 2008 Australian Peace Prize
awarded by the Peace Organisation of Australia.

The appointment of a patron reflects AGTA’s desire to increase the profile of geography in the media and general community, especially at this time when geography
is being included in the new Australian curriculum.

Tim Costello officially became the AGTA Patron at the AGTA Conference in January 2011 when he presented his keynote on the role of geography in modern Australia.

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