Professional Associations in Queensland have long been communities where teachers develop leadership skills, expertise and valuable networks. The links created on a state-wide, national and international basis have always been of great benefit to the education sector as a source of professional learning. The talented teachers, former teachers, university lecturers and public servants who commit so much voluntary time to support the work of others is the foundation of our teaching profession.
The Joint Council was established in 1992 following a series of monthly meetings held the previous year. The meetings were organised by Robin Beiers, the then President of the Science Teachers’ Association. The catalyst was the request by the then Education Minister, Pat Comben for associations to form a peak body so that the government didn’t have to consider sponsorship requests from every individual Professional Association. The request came following STAQ’s approach for sponsorship funds for their 1991 National Conference. While the state funding didn’t eventuate, Federal funding became a source of support for associations.
The early meetings of JCQTA were held at Brisbane Education Centre hosted by Chairman Howard Nielsen. Professional associations were able to produce journals at the centre and store vital records there.
According to Past President and Secretary of many years standing, Ros Korkatzis (QHTA), JCQTA was set up for practical reasons. She says that people thought is was a good idea to make the most of Federal funding opportunities but as funding processes changed so have we.
The first Management team was formed in 1992 when Robin Beiers of STAQ elected as JCQTA President. Joe Komarmy also a STAQ President took over the reins not long after. Meetings continued at the Brisbane Education Centre prior to relocating to Education House. In recent years the Board of Teacher Registration (now the Queensland College of Teachers) has hosted the monthly meetings (2003-2011).
The original constitution took some time to assemble with many requirements needing to be met for the Consumer Affairs Office. Incorporation finally happened in 1994. The original vision for the Joint Council is as relevant today as it was then. Among the objectives are…. to express a common voice on educational matters in the interests of teachers …. to promote cooperation between associations and liaise with similar associations.
- 1997 – The National Professional Development Project (NPDP) provided the Joint Council with much needed funds. $1,000 was provided by the Federal Department of Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs to conduct a project that upgraded teacher skills. Projects undertaken as part of this funding needed to be school based, involve curriculum development and involve teachers in determining the focus of developments in their school.
- 1997 – Federal Education Minister David Kemp established a national advisory group as a precursor to establishing a national body for teachers to strengthen their professional voice. Mark Cooper of ECTAQ represented the Australian Joint Council at this forum. This national body did not eventuate.
- 1997 – The first JCQTA conference was held at the Clunies Ross Centre, Eight Mile Plains. It was called Teaching Towards Tomorrow: Teaching in the 21st Century. The conference was opened by Dr Ken Wiltshire with keynote speakers, Colin Ball and Dr Ian Lowe.
- 1998 – President Richard Smith (QSITE) represented the Joint Council at the Senate inquiry into the impact of the GST on professional associations. Richard recalls sitting at a desk at Old Parliament House in front of about six senators up on a stage asking questions. He said that it was a little off-putting at first. Apparently the senators were generally not adversarial with their questioning but it is not something he would like to do every day. The outcome of Richard’s representation was funding for JCQTA to run project PACT (Professional Associations Complying Together)
- 1999 – President Richard Smith (QSITE) represented the Australian Joint Council at the Constitutional Convention in Gladstone in June 1999. Richard recalls that it was exciting to be a part of history even though the referendum results showed that the history changing part would not occur for a while.
- 2003 – Vice President Toni Michael (BEAQ)organised the first annual forum of member association executive teams.
- 2004 – JCQTA received $130,000 funding for the Action Learning leaders professional learning program from the Australian Government Quality Teacher Program Education Queensland Project.
- 2004 – Federal Education Minister Brendan Nelson launched the National Institute for Quality Teaching and School Leadership. Its aim is to support and advance the effectiveness and standing of the teaching profession. Janet Cochtane (QSITE) represented the Australian Joint Council of the initial Advisory group and President Debbie Kember (QSITE) was elected to the Interim Board.
- 2005 – the priority in this year was forming valuable partnerships with organisations with which we share common goals. Supporting teachers as they work with students to create the future continues to drive our efforts. As a group of 25 associations with over 5,000 members we are a vibrant professional community looking ahead together.
We look forward to continuing the journey!