Ever dreamt of escaping the big smoke and starting a life out bush? If you’re a graduating teacher this might be your chance…

A new campaign has been launched to encourage teachers to regional, rural and remote locations around Queensland to fill the gap made by the move of Year 7 to high school.

Minister for Education, Training and Employment John-Paul Langbroek highlighted the myriad of unexpected opportunities for teachers in these locations.

“We need up to 1,3000 additional teachers in Junior Secondary to support the move of Year 7 to high school next year,” he says. “We are also focused on attracting even more teachers to our schools in regional, rural and remote communities.

“Moving outside the state’s south-east can open teachers up to incredible personal and professional opportunities. I encourage new graduates and existing teachers looking for a new challenge to consider employment in these locations.”

Dalby teacher and recent graduate Jeremy Wood agrees, saying the decision to go to a regional school has enriched him both personally and professionally.

“I knew that it was my best chance of getting a job straight away if I was willing to head out – I welcomed the idea of a new challenge and a change of scenery while I was still relatively young,” he says of the decision to move from Brisbane. “I was welcomed with open arms by the staff, who have been a constant support and encouragement to me my entire time here.

“I love the town, and have grown to well and truly feel part of a community.”

Wood says though the original plan was to stay only three years and then head back to the city, his attitude has since changed.

“I love that I’ve been able to ‘put down some roots’ and have an identity and impact in the school and wider community and would love to continue building on that,” he says. “I don’t know that I’ll stay here forever but I feel that I am learning every day I am out here and that it’s making me not only a better teacher but a more well-rounded and balanced person.

“If you’re young, want a challenge, want to be the best teacher you can be – what’s your excuse for not sharing your energy and experiences with kids who might not always have access to the same opportunities as ‘city kids’?”

Langbroek says positive stories like Wood’s are not uncommon.

“I’ve heard that the lifestyle and career opportunities have kept many teachers there longer than anticipated,” he says. “Young Queenslanders deserve the very best educational experience regardless of where they live and great teachers play a critical role in shaping that experience.”

Have you ever considered ‘going rural’? Let us know your experiences!