Category Archives: professional development

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:] [full document: ]

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:

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


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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

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