STORIES ON THE 2019 TEACHX AWARD FINALISTS AVAILABLE ON THE COURIER MAIL, WINNEWS, 7NEWS, ABC RADIO, DAILY MERCURY, THE AUSTRALASIAN MUSLIM TIMES, THE DAILY EXAMINER, THE MORNING BULLETIN, THE SOUTH-EAST ADVERTISER, THE TOWNSVILLE BULLETIN and QUEST NEWSPAPERS.

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On Friday the 4th of October I completed my secondment of higher duties with the Media Team at the Queensland College of Teachers in support of their work for the 2019 TeachX Awards.  It concluded 10 weeks I had worked full time as a writer for the first time in my life.

In the last two and a half weeks I switched gears from writing about nominees to interviewing 15 of the 30 named finalists and writing media releases based on those interviews. I was guided in this endeavour by the manager of the team who is a former journalist of many years and was preparing the other 15 along with various other work.

The aim with media releases is to have them grab the attention of outlets and good ones can go out with very little changes made by the publication when they print the story. I did what I could and through the efforts of my manager and with some luck, the TEACHX Awards received unprecedented media coverage.

 

The 15 Finalists I interviewed included the following below of which I placed links to their initial nominee pieces published on the Queensland College of Teachers website.

Beginning to Teach

Kirra Gold from Marsden State High School

Dr Susanne Sprungala from Kirwan State High School

Gabrielle Milne from Nursey Road Special School

Outstanding Contribution to School Community

Mitchell Robertson from Marsden State High School

Canan Coskun from Wisdom College

Excellence in Teaching

Ruth MacLean from Indooroopilly State High School

Catherine Nicholson from Chancellor State College

Michelle Ragen from Brisbane Grammar School

Innovation to Teaching

Wendy Goldston from Frenchville State School

Thomas Patterson from Marsden State High School

Excellent Leadership in Teaching and Learning

Tamara Sullivan from Ormiston College

Patrick Egan from Emmaus College

Lynne Hardy from Mackay State High School

Outstanding Contribution to Teaching

Catherine Heiner from Sheldon College

Kirsti Ellerton from the Brisbane School of Distance Education

 

Each one of these 15 were extraordinary teachers and first rate human beings, it was just a privilege to speak to them. Their own individual stories were endlessly fascinating and their passion for their chosen profession and the students they taught shone through.

Amongst them were people who had worked in remote communities, flown into burnt out Dili, become teachers after careers as biologists, engineers, lawyers and builders. Others who had known from a young age there was no other job they were going to do.

Whether they were immigrants, windswept travellers, beginning teachers or experienced lifers they all still burned with a passion for educating the next generation of kids.

Teachers involved in virtual reality and holograms, others part of programs that taught trade skills, grew cultural pride and knowledge and empowered local communities. Ones that taught at special schools, private schools, independent non-denomination schools, state schools and distance education schools.

In the days since my secondment ended I have been updated on where their stories have appeared and will now direct you to links although many are behind paywalls which is fair enough as media outlets strive to remain viable in this digital era.

Media Sponsor The Courier Mail wrote a large article about the Awards and all Finalists.

The Courier Mail also wrote an article about Marsden State High School and theirfour finalists Kirra Gold, Mitchell Robertson, Andrew Peach and Thomas Patterson.

The Courier Mail also wrote an article about Finalist Cathy Nicholson and online posted an article on Canan Coskun.

The Australasian Muslim Times also wrote an article on Canan Coskun.

Regional newspaper The Daily Examiner wrote about Finalists Belinda Rule and Lynne Hardy.

Regional Newspaper Daily Mercury did a whole article on teacher Lynne Hardy.

Regional newspaper The Morning Bulletin wrote an article about Finalists Patrick Egan, Wendy Goldston and Norah Parsons.

Local Quest newspaper wrote an article about three Finalists Michael Senior, Carla Trott and Ruth MacLean and another on Marsden State High School and three of it’s four finalists Kirra Gold, Mitchell Robertson and Andrew Peach.

Quest also wrote an article about Finalists Catherine Heiner and Tamara Sullivan.

Local newspaper The South-East Advertiser wrote an article on four finalists Megan Pearse, Gabrielle Milne, Kirsti Ellerton and Lynne Schylder.

The Townsville Bulletin wrote an article on Finalist Dr Susanne Sprungala.

Thomas Patterson was interviewed by Rebecca Livingston on ABC Radio Brisbane.

Lynne Hardy received television news coverage from 7 News.

 

7News also did a story on Finalist Tamika Megawatt.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2623881621002589&id=100453416678768

 

Finally Wendy Goldston received Televison coverage from WINNews and then a competing network Channel 7 a few days later.

 

The TeachX Awards were held last Thursday night at the grand old building of Customs House with Finalists, Sponsors and VIPs attending.

84 year old Miss Merline Muldoon was there with the award category Innovation in Teaching recently named after her. I was lucky enough to wait on Miss Muldoon and her sister Janette.

Merline and Janette spoke to all finalists in their category and various VIPs who were keen to talk to them. Merline also presented on stage to each Innovation Finalist their Certificate and then congratulated the winner Jennifer Irving.

We were very lucky to have Miss Muldoon and other eponyms in attendance and I was honoured to spend time with her. She has a remarkable legacy in Queensland education.

A particular proud moment for me was when I was introduced by my manager to the finalists as the individual who had interviewed half of them. I was lucky enough to speak to a lot of them in person on the night.

It was noted by one winner Andrew Peach, on the night, all the positive energy in the air from the event and how we need to take that with us out into the education sector and through out our lives.

A full list of the winners can be found on the QCT website here https://www.qct.edu.au/news/2019-TeachX-Finalists

The awards had proven once again a success, the next day The Courier Mail printed a story on the winners on their front page and second page, a full feature on page 35 and an editorial piece by QCT Director Deanne Fishburn.

As for me, all I can say is, I was grateful for the opportunity. It bears repeating the event was a huge undertaking requiring a lot of work from a group of strong professionals. The aim was to recognise some of the great work that teachers are doing and to help elevate the profession.

When teachers such as these are involved and the people doing the work are so talented and committed it comes as no surprise to reflect the 2019 TeachX Awards were an unprecedented success.

I was thrilled to be in the room with such people.

-Lloyd Marken

INTERVIEW WITH COMEDIAN SAM SIMMONS AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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The first time I came across Sam Simmons was late at night on the ABC where he had a running segment on a panel show called Dirty Laundry Live. The show covered entertainment news and satirically took on gossip media. Simmons was their LA correspondent in search of meeting actor Richard Dreyfuss amongst other things. It didn’t really matter because you never really knew what to expect from Simmons and that was part of his charm.

I enjoy his surreal comedy Sam Simmons and he is about to do his latest show 26 Things You’ve Been Doing Wrong with San Simmons at the Brisbane Festival which is already running in my fair city.

I was lucky enough to speak to Sam twice working for the great Scenestr magazine and as always the finished piece doesn’t reflect all we discussed but hopefully gets across a little bit about what makes him and his comedy so great. I have also tried to grow a little bit as a writer with this piece building on my recent secondment writing full time at the Queensland College of Teachers.

Let me know what you think, you can read the interview here http://scenestr.com.au/comedy/comedian-sam-simmons-is-doing-something-right-with-his-new-show-20190903

Produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises Scenestr. is an online national magazine with local offices around Australia. Having started in 1993 they’ve excelled at moving into the digital realm but they remain at heart from the streets.

They still publish magazines in print for Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland every month.

-Lloyd Marken

INTERVIEW WITH ‘CLUEDO! THE INTERACTIVE GAME’ DIRECTOR XANTHE JONES AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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It has been a while since I’ve done an interview for Scenestr magazine due to a variety of reasons. Thankfully it was a delight to get back in the saddle for them and interview theatre director Xanthe Jones.

Saying Jones has multiple talents does not even remotely do her justice.

She wrote and directed Cluedo! The Interactive Game and is also the Artistic Director for Brisbane Immersive Ensemble which produced the show.

We spoke just after they had their preview night where she had stepped into the role of Miss Scarlett at the last minute.

Talking to her was a pleasure as she described genre tropes, having fun with the audience and what she tries to impart with her work.

You can read my interview here http://scenestr.com.au/arts/brisbane-immersive-theatre-gives-cluedo-new-life-20190510

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Produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises Scenestr. is an online national magazine with local offices around Australia. Having started in 1993 they’ve excelled at moving into the digital realm but they remain at heart from the streets.

They still publish magazines in print for Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland every month.

This interview was published in print on page 38 of the Queensland issue for May 2019.

You can read a digital version of the printed Queensland edition here http://scenestr.com.au/read/QLD/2019/1117-QLD/scenestr-QLD-1117.html#p=39

-Lloyd Marken

INTERVIEW WITH DR KEVIN LARKIN AVAILABLE AT QUEENSLAND COLLEGE OF TEACHERS

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Where I currently work, I have been given the occasional opportunity to interview some remarkable people. During the middle of March I spoke to Dr Kevin Larkin who was recently awarded the 2018 Australian University Teacher of the Year. Dr Larkin has a passion for teaching, even at a young age he has always sought out new challenges and considered the bigger picture. Yet no matter how far reaching his work becomes, it remains centred around the individual relationship between teacher and student and how to get the best out of that.

It was privilege to speak to him and you can find the published interview here. Getting to do this work at the Queensland College of Teachers affords me the opportunity to learn from experienced and talented writers.

Teacher stories highlight the profession and promote the achievements of some great individuals. In their individual experiences are examples we can all learn from.

You can read many more inspiring stories on the QCT website.

-Lloyd Marken

INTERVIEW WITH DR JUDITH GRIMES, OAM AVAILABLE AT QUEENSLAND COLLEGE OF TEACHERS

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Last month I was given the opportunity to use and develop my skills as a freelance writer where I currently work in my ‘day job’. An opportunity that I am very grateful for and presented with it a lot of different ways to grow and learn from some very experienced people.

Over the course of one day I interviewed three remarkable individuals who were recently awarded the Order of Australia Medal on Australia Day, 2019. All three are, or were, teachers and I interviewed them to promote the profession and to highlight their achievements. The three interviews have now been edited and published on the Queensland College of Teachers website.

The third interview of that day was with Dr Judith Grimes, OAM and can be found here.

The citation for her OAM can be found here on the Australian Honours website.

The Order of Australia Medal is often awarded for service to community over several years and often with volunteer organisations. Judy Grimes is a scientist, historian and teacher who has had a large impact on the various communities she has served. It was great to talk to her and share some of her story.

You can read many more stories of such individuals on the QCT website.

-Lloyd Marken

INTERVIEW WITH KATHYRN GEORGE, OAM AVAILABLE AT QUEENSLAND COLLEGE OF TEACHERS

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Last month I was given the opportunity to use and develop my skills as a freelance writer where I currently work in my ‘day job’. An opportunity that I am very grateful for and presented with it a lot of different ways to grow and learn from some very experienced people.

Over the course of one day I interviewed three remarkable individuals who were recently awarded the Order of Australia Medal on Australia Day, 2019. All three are, or were, teachers and I interviewed them to promote the profession and to highlight their achievements. The three interviews have now been edited and published on the Queensland College of Teachers website.

The second interview was with Kathryn George, OAM and can be found here.

The citation for her OAM can be found here on the Australian Honours website.

The Order of Australia Medal is often awarded for service to community over several years and often with volunteer organisations. Kathryn George created with others a school marching band that has performed all around the world. Perhaps more importantly she has inspired and improved the learning of countless individual students through her passion for music. It was a privilege and a joy to get to speak to her.

You can read many more stories of such individuals on the QCT website.

-Lloyd Marken

INTERVIEW WITH KEITH GRAHAM, OAM AVAILABLE AT QUEENSLAND COLLEGE OF TEACHERS

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I am lucky enough to be a freelance writer, whenever asked about it I am at pains to express that it is merely a side gig – one for which I am very grateful. My regular job is working in office administration and recently I was given the opportunity to build upon some of the skills I’ve accumulated in my ‘other job’ in my day job. An opportunity that I am very grateful for and presented with it a lot of different ways to grow and learn from some very experienced people.

Over the course of one day I interviewed three remarkable individuals who were recently awarded the Order of Australia Medal on Australia Day, 2019. All three are, or were, teachers and I interviewed them to promote the profession and to highlight their achievements. Over the past two weeks, two of the interviews have been edited and published on the Queensland College of Teachers website.

The first was with school principal Keith Graham and can be found here.

The citation for his OAM can be found here on the Australian Honours website.

The Order of Australia Medal is often awarded for service to community over several years and often with volunteer organisations. Keith Graham has been making a difference for a long time and it was a privilege to interview him. You can read many more stories of such individuals on the QCT website.

-Lloyd Marken