President's comments archive


30 Apr 2018: Initial response to Gonski 2.0 report

The release today of the report of the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools highlights the gap…

21 Feb 2018: Federal government feels the pressure on NAPLAN

Journal columns:

From the President: A new way or more of the same?

Does “Growth Through Achievement” (Gonski 2.0) represent a new way for education or another invention of the establishment to be done to teachers rather than developed with teachers?

From the President:Cyberbullying: why should you put up with it?

It’s about time more people were talking about cyberbullying of teachers and school leaders and more parents, students and community members reflected on their behaviour in online spaces.

From the President: Fair Funding Now! – not one cent less!

The Australian Education Union, the QTU and our allies have launched the next phase of the campaign to deliver the funding needed for every child across the nation to realise their potential through a high-quality education.

From the President: When more means less

The school day is finite and forcing schools to take on more programs on social and community issues will mean less time for core curriculum. in:QTJ, Vol 123 No 2, 9 March 2018, p7

From the President - Education: one path to changing the rules

As in many processes in the natural world, imbalance does not last forever. Countervailing forces rise to restore equilibrium and sustained excesses almost always have catastrophic consequences.


25 September 2017 : QTU condemns cashless welfare

13 September: Marriage equality is about marriage equality (From the Vice-President)

Don’t be confused. Marriage equality, the curriculum and the Safe Schools Program are three separate things. QTU Vice-P…

4 August 2017: Has NAPLAN had its day

This week’s release of NAPLAN results has revealed that, for the first time, the national conversation has turned to the…

23 June 2017: Turnbull school funding plan a farce

What we know already is that the legislation does not reflect the recommendations of the original Gonski review of schoo…

3 May 2017 : Gonski 2.0 – the unkindest cut of all

18 January 2017 : Teacher unions: champions of our profession

After a fantastic day of visiting schools and celebrating the great work being done in them by teachers, principals and …

Journal columns:

From the President: The price of distrust

What a disappointment to see the federal government and the Federal Education Minister, Senator Simon Birmingham, demonstrate a little of how bad a bad government can be.

From the President: Reflections on Asia-Pacific education

The recent Asia-Pacific Regional Conference of Education International addressed the lofty goal of charting the response of education unions to the United Nations' plan to transform our world through sustainable development.

From the President: What a difference a little understanding makes

The ALP announcement of a new policy on education in the 2015 election period was met with scepticism. More than two years later, the Palaszczuk government has delivered.

From the President: Breaking the rules can be good for the soul

A comment by ACTU General Secretary Sally McManus has left people across Australia enthused by the thought of turning back the industrial relations clock

From the President: Students are more important than politicians

The 2017 Federal Budget continued a longstanding tradition of many politicians putting themselves before their constituents. In the case of school funding, this meant putting their interests before the educational outcomes of students.

From the President: Service deserves respect

Living and working thousands of kilometres from what was formerly “home”, with whole families relocating, has always presented personal and professional challenges. In the current era it is increasingly presenting a financial challenge as well.

From the President: Gonski - stay the course

Much of the latest commentary about school funding is designed to do one thing, distract us from the clear and unambiguous goal of a needs-based, sector-blind funding model for all schools in Australia.

From the President: We turned the tide, now to clear the hurdles

As the dust settles from the outcome of the US presidential election, the geopolitics of 2017 looms as a great challenge for the advancement of the QTU’s professional and industrial agenda on behalf of members.


20 December 2016 : Invest in the things that matter

3 August 2016 : NAPLAN outcomes 2016

The annual release of NAPLAN results is once again upon us, and the debate regarding the value of the whole process will…

26 July 2016: P-10 curriculum reformed but in a good way ... Letting teachers teach!

Today, as a consequence of a long-running campaign by the QTU, the Minister for Education, Kate Jones, has announced a m…

4 July 2016: Election outcomes 2016 – what we know so far

With the final 2016 federal election outcomes as much as a month away it is important to take stock of what we know now …

14 June 2016: Queensland state budget 2016-17: a solid effort

4 May 2016: Budget 2016 – What it’s got and what it’s not!

The 2016 federal budget delivered by Treasurer Scott Morrison on behalf of the Turnbull government is noteworthy both fo…

23 March 2016 :First step towards a new senior assessment and tertiary entrance system for 2019

28 Jan 2016: Some Gonski news we've all been waiting for

QTU President Kevin Bates: "Today’s unequivocal commitment from the federal Labor opposition to funding the full Gonski …

Journal columns:

From The President: Celebrating success

With the final weeks of the 2016 school year upon us, it is traditional for this column to reflect on the year that has been and look forward to the year to come.

From the President: Valuing teachers, improving their status

Of all the hundreds of people we encounter as we proceed through life, few have as great an impact on us as our teachers.

From the President: Accentuate the positives

In the wake of the improved enterprise bargaining offer and ballots, we should not lose sight of the array of positive initiatives for schools, teachers and principals delivered by the Palaszczuk government in its first 18 months in office.

From The President: Save TAFE now

In the aftermath of a federal election in which much was made of economic management and pandering to the “big end of town”, one massive issue was largely ignored: the future of TAFE.

From the President: No better investment than education

The battle lines for the 2016 federal election had been drawn long before the Prime Minister called the election for 2 July, and education is a headline issue.

From the President: Early intervention: crucial to learning success

The imperative to maximise the benefits of education over a lifetime by ensuring quality early childhood education has again come into sharp focus with the advent of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

From the President: Education funding issues not unique to Australia

We can gain important perspectives from reflecting on the challenges facing students and teachers in other parts of the world.

From the President: The three certainties of life

The only certainties in life are death and taxes. While that is hard to argue with, there is, however, another certainty in life: that, come the end of January each year, students will pour through the gates of Queensland state schools.


25 Nov 2015: End violence against women

All men must stand up, speak out and act to prevent violence against women. With 60 other countries, White Ribbon Day in…

14 July 2015 : Promises kept ... plus some more

The first budget of the Palaszczuk Labor government has delivered on the education and training promises and provided ex…

13 July 2015 : State budget 2015

15 May 2015 : United in Professionalism

A speech given by QTU President, Kevin Bates in opening the 2015 QTU Education Leaders Conference: Brisbane Convention C…

13 May 2015 : Abbott and Hockey tear up "unity ticket"

For the first time in living memory, school education and vocational education and training have been completely ignored…

7 May 2015 : Lessons not learnt

will the federal budget be an epic fail for education?

29 Jan 2015 : TAFE is a Queensland election issue

27 Jan 2015 : Schools get off to a flying start in 2015

In a major amendment to the structure of education in Queensland that has been 5 years in the making, more than 65,000 s…

From the President: Charter schools - NO WAY!

A recent opinion piece by Jennifer Buckingham of the Centre for Independent Studies (published widely but freely available here1) promotes charter schools, yet another failed American experiment, as an answer for imaginary issues in Australian education.

From the President: There is power in our Union

My recent experience at the 7th Education International World Congress in Ottawa, Canada, caused me to reflect on some things that we take for granted: not least of which is the meaning of the word union.

From the President: Gonski still the key to Australia’s education future

The leaking of options for the control and funding of education from the Reform of the Federation Green Paper discussion paper reveals the true devilishness of the Abbott government’s education policies..

From the President: Our schools are too crowded!

You would be forgiven for thinking that this column was about overcrowded classrooms or the jam-packed curriculum. Both issues are important, current and sadly true. However, this discussion is about how schools are being swamped by “good” ideas and what we need to do as educators to clear the decks so that we let teachers teach.

From the President: Respect for our profession

Whenever someone asks me what I do for a job, I unhesitatingly reply that I am a teacher. What nobody ever asks me is what is a teacher?

From the President: The value of education is not revealed by the price

From The President: Education a paramount priority for any state government

11 Dec 2014 : All PREPared for a Flying Start

21 October 2014 : The truth is out there… you just need to know where to look

24 September 2014 : State government to consider OP review recommendations

QTU comment regarding the release recommendations of the review

18 August 2014 : Improvement in student outcomes masks growing NAPLAN disenchantment

1 July 2014 : New era for TAFE in Queensland

A major change in a 130-year history of providing high-quality public education in the vocational education and training sector took place at midnight last night ...

14 May 2014 : Federal budget fails to meet national minimum standard for education

14 May 2014 : QTU President Kevin Bates explains why our youth will pay the highest price for this ill-conceived budget.....

6 May 2014 : Another day, another Commission of Audit, another blow to education

The Abbott government’s National Commission of Audit (NCOA) represents the biggest single threat to public education in this nation’s history: a bold claim but one I am confident that you will come to accept.

4 Dec 2013 : What PISA really tells us

29 Nov 2013 : Public schools target of Federal Government cuts to education!

26 Nov 2013 : We need the truth on the Gonski reforms

Deal or no deal is not the question. We need the truth on Gonski.

21 Nov 2013 : A rallying cry

7 Nov 2013 : Queensland's Gonski deal - you won it. Now the devil's in the detail.

Queensland has signed up for a truncated Gonski school funding dea…

1 Nov 2013 : New discipline powers miss the mark

22 Oct 2013 : Class sizes matter to teachers, principals and parents

4 September 2013 : There's a (not so) fine line between pleasure and Pyne...

The person likely to be the Education Minister if a Coalition gove…

30 Aug 2013 : It's the (kind of) autonomy, stupid

The federal Coalition’s policy for schools released this week typi…

29 August 2013 : WA and Qld - opposite sides of the country, but really that far apart?

The news from WA has become increasingly worrying over the past we…

21 August 2013 : When a school closure is not a school closure!

State government's approach to school closures: Measured and respe…

13 Aug 2013 : TAFE and the election

12 Aug 2013 ; Will uncertainty persist for threatened schools until 8 Sept?

29 July 2013 : Minister all tied up in red tape

Comments from the Queensland Education Minister over the weekend, …

26 July 2013 : Waiting for Damocles!

19 July 2013 : How not to make an announcement

Today, Premier Campbell Newman and Education Minister John-Paul La…

13 July 2013 : QTU welcomes news of positive talks on funding reforms

8 July 2013 : Congratulations, Gandu Jarjum, in NAIDOC Week

6 June 2013 : One day, two bills, light years apart

Wednesday, 5 June saw two new pieces of legislation passed by two …

15 May 2013 : One big step for Gonski, and a huge leap for schools

As eagerly anticipated, and now confirmed, the Federal Government …

14 May 2013 : Federal budget preview

10 May 2013 : Will WorkChoices rise from the ashes?

8 May 3013 : Celebrating the past, building on the future

QTU members are clearly prepared to work with any MP who shows a r…

19 Mar 2013 : Gonski fuels the education conversation

QTU President Kevin Bates: The Gonski review and recommendations h…

3 May 2013 : School closures - Words of wisdom from The Courier-Mail!

As the “water torture” of school closure rumours creates anxiety a…

29 Apr 2013 : Government must understand true value of educational assets

22 April 2013 : TAFE must soar like an eagle not die like a canary!

12 April 2013 : The real con is revealed

27 Feb 2013 : Gonski – the word is hope, not hoax

QTU President Kevin Bates says recent comments by members of the Q…

19 Feb 2013 : PD decree puts policy before practice

When DETE issued a new policy in January restricting all teacher p…

15 Feb 2013 : Schools need certainty, not secrecy

8 Feb 2013 : Staffing shortfalls start biting in schools

QTU President Kevin Bates : It seems that members’ worst fears are…