Kedron Included in Proposal for Safer School Precincts in Brisbane

Plans have been unveiled to enhance safety around schools by expanding 40km/h zones around 21 schools so that kids can walk, bike or ride a scooter to school under the proposed Safer School Precincts initiative. The program will cover seven parts of Brisbane, including Kedron.

The proposed Safer School Precincts program is expected to have an upgrade to existing funding of approximately $10 million. This initiative is designed to encourage more parents to walk, ride a scooter, or bike with their children to school, thereby reducing reliance on automobiles.

The initial phase of the plan involves four separate areas encompassing 12 schools and approximately 10,000 students. Subsequently, three additional areas comprising nine schools would be considered for implementation, pending the successful execution of the initial phase. Each proposed area will undergo detailed planning, with potential measures including new pedestrian crossings, widened footpaths, and the introduction of school zone gateways to delineate safe walking routes for children.

The immediate earmarked areas for the Safer School Precincts include Mansfield, Wynnum Manly, Indooroopilly, and Kedron. Notable schools in the Kedron precinct include Padua College, Mount Alvernia College, and St Anthony’s Primary School.

Safer School Precincts
Photo Credit: Google Maps

Future areas under consideration for the program include Enoggera, Bardon, and Forest Lake, with respective schools such as Our Lady of the Assumption Primary School, Bardon State School, and St John’s Anglican College.

Community consultation and planning will precede any modifications to existing 40km/h zones, ensuring alignment with Department of Transport and Main Roads guidelines.

Concerns have been raised regarding the proposal’s timing, with calls for increased investment in suburban road projects to address existing safety issues.

The Safer School Precincts initiative marks a significant endeavour to prioritise the safety of Brisbane’s schoolchildren and foster a more sustainable approach to transportation in the city.

Published 4-March-2024

Teacher Recruitment a Growing Concern for Brisbane Schools

Earlier this year, Mount Alvernia College in Kedron lost a specialist teacher and had to temporarily run classes after school, simply because of lack of teacher availability to deliver the course content.

Read: Locals at Odds Over Kedron State High School’s New Security Fence

The Catholic school for girls joins many other Brisbane schools that are now dealing with teacher shortages, adding extra strain to already stretched resources. 

Recruitment is taking up huge amounts of time according to principal Samantha Jensen. She believes there is a real possibility for the teacher workforce crisis to worsen.

Photo credit: Mount Alvernia College/Google Maps

According to a 2023 report by school workforce improvement company People Bench, “supply” has emerged as one of the factors that could have the greatest negative impact on the school workforce over the next three years.

Photo credit: Polina Tankilevitch/Pexels

One principal surveyed in March-May 2023 said the increased competition for qualified teachers will make it harder to attract and retain staff.

“The most striking of these findings was that the most commonly cited supply issues (21% of responses) related to the availability of teachers on a casual, relief and short-term contract basis,” People Bench stated.

“An interesting counterpoint to this, however, is that around 6% of responses referenced candidates’ increasing expectations for more part-time and flexible work options, which schools were unable to meet, further constraining potential supply.”

In an issues paper, the Education Department highlighted that this is a global problem, with the competitive teaching market and COVID-19 ongoing impacts affecting teacher supply worldwide.

Read: Community Outcry Over Brisbane Racing Club’s Plans for Former Stafford Bowls Club Site

The paper outlined that addressing shortages cannot be solved by one jurisdiction or sector alone, but requires collaboration across governments, systems and schools.

Published 15-August-2023

Mount Alvernia College Kedron Students Compete in ESU Public Speaking Competition Finals

Three talented students from Mount Alvernia College in Kedron have secured spots in the grand finals of the prestigious English Speaking Union (ESU) Public Speaking Competition.  

The three students, Metben from Year 8, Millicent from Year 7, and Amaeh from Year 10 . will advance to the ESU finals in June, July, and August 2023.

The achievement is already a win for the school’s public speaking program. In early May 2023, the school concluded its first-ever public speaking workshops, titled “Mt A Speaks.”  which were aimed at enhancing students’ confidence, pronunciation, and non-verbal presentation skills. 

Photo Credit: Mount Alvernia/Facebook

The participants described the workshops as a “safe environment” where they gained valuable insights into elements such as tone and body language. The college congratulates the students who completed the workshops, applauding them as pioneers in the field of public speaking.

Photo Credit: Mount Alvernia/Facebook

About the ESU Public Speaking Competition

The English Speaking Union Public Speaking Competition is an internationally recognized event that brings together students aged 16 to 20 from over 50 countries around the world. It serves as the cornerstone of the English-Speaking Union’s mission, promoting oracy, cultural exchange, and fostering friendly rivalry among participants.

The ESU, an international educational charity, is committed to advancing international understanding and human achievement through the English language. In Queensland, the ESU operates as a not-for-profit organization led by a board and supported by dedicated members and volunteers.

Throughout the year, the ESU (Queensland Branch) hosts a diverse range of events aligned with its objectives. These include the public speaking competition for secondary schools, featuring Junior, Intermediate, and Senior divisions across South-East Queensland, Toowoomba, and North Queensland. Additionally, the ESU organizes the Roly Sussex Short Story Competition, the annual Churchill oration and formal dinner, lectures, discussions, and cultural events. It also conducts workshops focused on public speaking, English language, and communication.

Mount Alvernia College takes immense pride in its students’ achievements and their representation in the grand finals of the ESU Public Speaking Competition. The college recognizes the importance of fostering effective communication skills and remains committed to providing opportunities for personal and academic growth for its students.

For more information about the ESU (Queensland Branch) and its programs, please visit their official website.

Published 1-June-2023

3 Kedron Schools Plan New Education Precinct at Old Stafford Depot

Padua College and Mount Alvernia College in Kedron jointly submitted a development application seeking to transform the former Brisbane City Council Stafford Depot into a sports, cultural, trade and education precinct that will also benefit Saint Anthony’s Primary School. If approved, the said facility should provide multiple sports and educational areas that will deliver significant value to the North Brisbane community. 

The masterplan (A005516358) includes the construction of an eight-lane running track, two gaming fields and several indoor game courts. The site will also have pools with tiered spectator seating, a community hall, and classrooms for arts and creative activities, as well as other educational programs. 

The education precinct proposal also includes relocating the Franciscan Colleges Instrumental Program (FCIP).  Padua College, Mount Alvernia College and Saint Anthony’s Primary School often collaborate for the FCIP and this plan will bring the students to one central location instead of travelling between schools. 

Photo Credit: PD Online/Brisbane City Council
Photo Credit: PD Online/Brisbane City Council

However, the project might evolve once further deliberations and consultations on how to best use the site is underway. A potential performing arts centre, a STEM and industrial skills facility, a garden, as well as a childcare centre, could be added to the original plan. 

The primary applicants are open to amendments and modifications and will periodically lodge additional development plans, when necessary. 

“The proposal is considered to provide a significant improvement to the residential amenity of the locale on the basis that the proposed education facilities primarily consists of nonresidential sensitive uses, in comparison to the previous non-residential uses of the site being the BCC Stafford depot and Stafford Quarry, which had greater potential to adversely impact the surrounding residential neighbourhoods,” the applicants’ consultant, Planning Initiatives, stated.“Education facilities are considered consistent and complementary with the locale given the proximity of the site to the nearby existing school campuses.” 

Padua College and Mount Alvernia College bought the Stafford Depot property from the Council in 2019 for its planned expansion. In a letter to the students’ parents, Mark McSweeney and Michael O’Brien, the school board chairmen, said that they will come up with a masterplan for the “long-term future” of this education precinct.

Kedron Catholic Schools to Undertake 30-Minute Stop Work Action

School staff at 206 Queensland Catholic schools, including three schools located in Kedron, will undertake a 30-minute stop work action on Tuesday, 19 November 2019.

Mount Alvernia College, Padua College, St Anthony’s School are among the authorised Catholic schools to participate in the short work stoppage. The latest action was announced by Independent Education Union – QNT following a range of work bans on 7 November.

The work bans undertaken in 195 authorised Chapters include the banning of attendance at any meeting of staff; banning duties during scheduled meal breaks; banning supervision or cover periods; banning playground/transport supervision; and banning employer requests for data collection or analysis.

Whilst an agreement was reached on a number of issues raised during the Single Bargaining Unit (SBU) meeting, IEUA-QNT said that they were left with no choice but to escalate their campaign after employers failed to implement meaningful interventions to address work intensification, resolve middle/senior leader issues, and  continued to stand against $1250 on-off payment to all school staff.

“The 30-minute stop work will allow Chapter members to meet to consider the employers’ positions and the member actions necessary to address our final remaining issues.”
Independent Education Union – QNT

Authorised Queensland Catholic schools will participate in a 30-minute stop work action from 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on 19 November as a result of “employers’ continued failure to put in place meaningful interventions to deal with work intensification or resolve middle/senior leader issues,” Independent Education Union – QNT said.

The outstanding issues that led the union to consider a 30-minutes stop work action include: striking a better work-life balance; middle and senior Leaders issues; and contemporary pay and wage parity.

Queensland Catholic Education Commission, on the other hand, announced that Catholic schools will be open and operating on 19 November and said that all students would be appropriately supervised and that QCEC would keep the impact of the stop work action to a minimum. Moreover, QCEC said that employers are still keen on finalising the negotiations as soon as possible.  

“Employers have put forward an offer that includes a 2.5 per cent general wage increase, a generous package of improved benefits for Middle and Senior Leaders and increased pay for Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers,” QCEC Executive Director Dr Lee-Anne Perry said. 

“Employers have also offered to cut classroom contact time for primary teachers to allow more time for collaboration.”
The full list of 206 authorised Catholic schools can be found here.