Qld Chapter Update – July 2023
16 Jul 2023
Reflecting on Christchurch, New Zealand
The re:Activate - generating a city of learning Conference held in Christchurch, New Zealand in May was a resounding success. The Queensland Chapter had the privilege of attending and was inspired by the discussions around the power of an authentic indigenising narrative within educational design. At our Chapter meeting in June, we reflected on the vibrant cultural narrative witnessed during the conference, which was embraced and cherished by the community.
Cam Calkoen, an inspirational speaker, reminded us that life is what we make of it, sharing his own transformative story. As the Queensland Chair and Principal of a culturally responsive high school (Yeronga State School), I was particularly moved by the importance of building a strong sense of community, valuing connection, belonging, care, and sustainability. The site tours offered valuable insights into the deliberate changes made by educators in schools to improve their learning spaces, including the impactful use of Mauri language for contextualised significance. While we acknowledged the progress made, we also recognised that Australia still has a considerable distance to travel in this regard.
Disruption to Transformation - Thursday, 27th July from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
We are excited to announce that our highly anticipated event, "Disruption to Transformation," is now live! Join us on Thursday, 27th July from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at URBIS, Level 32, 300 George Street, Brisbane. This event will feature thought-provoking presentations by industry experts who will explore the evolving landscape of education. Presentations will be delivered in a 'Pecha Kucha' format, providing a rapid overview of the various educational disruptions impacting Queensland.
Sustainable Transformations - Sunshine Coast Summit, Thursday 24th August & Friday 25th August
Our planning committee is diligently finalising the agenda for the site tours, which will focus on sustainably planning schools. We will visit Immanuel Lutheran College and the new Palmview at the Sunshine Coast on Friday, 25th August. These tours will showcase how these schools have incorporated environmental considerations into the planning and design of their learning spaces. To kickstart our Sustainable Transformations showcase, the Queensland Chapter will host a special event at the Mooloolaba Surf Club on Thursday, 24th August.
Post-pandemic, school toilets have become a prominent topic of discussion among educators. We have been reviewing our response to various issues such as vaping, vandalism, student privacy concerns, and emerging TikTok trends. While many schools have invested in updating their facilities, there is a growing focus on enhancing supervision to address these challenges. Parent groups have expressed concerns about students avoiding the use of school toilets due to behavioural issues, vaping, or privacy concerns in traditional toilet blocks.
In response to these issues, as the Principal of my school, I initiated a live art project in collaboration with Griffith University and Queensland College of Art. Students participated in a design workshop, sharing their stories and developing unique concepts and artwork for the school's toilet block. Through collaboration and the exchange of ideas, students created the final artwork design called 'Collective Effects,' which draws inspiration from the surrounding landscape and built environment. This transformative project has not only enhanced the aesthetics of the facilities but also fostered a sense of ownership and community among the students.
The Queensland Chapter has initiated a discussion with the Queensland University of Technology to research the impact of school toilets on the student experience. Some of our educational members are planning to investigate this topic further in an event called the "Great Flush" in October, which will involve industry and student reviews of toilet design and the student experience. We will keep our members updated on the progress of this investigation.
We look forward to continued engagement and collaboration within the Queensland Chapter as we strive to create optimal learning environments for all students.
Timothy Barraud, Chair - Qld Chapter
Article & photography by: Timothy Barraud