Woorabinda leading the way with school attendance
SENDING kids to school "The Woori Way” has paid off for the Central Queensland community, with attendance rates in the top five for Indigenous schools nationally and above the state average for all schools.
It's been a seven-year process for CQUniversity graduate Beresford Domic to lay the foundation for success, with attendance rates now tracking at almost 93%.
A focus on student wellbeing and a culture of learning in every classroom has been key to success at Woorabinda.
Mr Domic, a proud Indigenous man, completed his own secondary education at TAFE Rockhampton in the mid-1980s and then graduated with a Diploma of Teaching from the University College of Central Queensland in 1989.
He completed his Bachelor of Education Inservice while teaching in 1997.
His focus as principal of Woorabinda has for the last seven years focused on community engagement, empowerment and capacity building, ably supported by key staff including CQUni alumni Catherine Domic and Lisa Wogand, along with Nick Hills.
"We have focused on building the capacity of teaching and non-teaching staff to deliver a top-quality, high expectations-driven teaching and learning environment,” Mr Domic said.
"There has been a focus on building strong partnerships with government and non-government agencies and advocating to ensure government-funded agencies delivered programs to provide wrap-around support for families.”
Mr Domic aimed to build in sustainable practices at the school that could "out-last the individual”.
So when he took on a secondment as acting principal at Palm Island's Bwgcolman Community School this year, he knew that Woorabinda State School would continue to thrive.
Current acting principal Lisa Wogand, four teachers, and the guidance officer are all graduates of CQUniversity and make up around half of the staff at Woorabinda State School.
Ms Wogand said staff have picked up Mr Domic's enthusiasm and guidance to continue shaping the school's success.
"We have found that CQUni graduates are well prepared for the demands of rural teaching and the transition from their studies to the classroom is a natural progression,” she said.
"Here in Woorabinda there is a strong partnership between the school and the community.
"The community is actively involved in fostering great educational outcomes for our students.
"The school prides itself on employing local community members, many who attended the school themselves, and who are role models for the next generation.”
Lisa's CQUni graduate team includes guidance officer Jacob Howie and teachers Johanna Clunn, Kristy Forrest, Samantha Abel and Emma Roseworne.