From galvanising her school to champion the release of a student from immigration detention, to setting up relationships with community organisations and businesses to provide scholarships for students, Jessica Walker has made an invaluable contribution to Yeronga State High School (YSHS).
Ms Walker has proactively recruited multilingual staff from across the world to best support students. About 40 per cent of YSHS students are refugees, with 70 diverse cultural groups represented across an enrolment of about 750 pupils.
The YSHS teacher’s extraordinary dedication to the wellbeing of her students, and to helping them achieve and succeed, are just some of the reasons she has been named a finalist for the Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) Outstanding Contribution to School Community Award.
Ms Walker, who has taught English, EALD (English as an additional language or dialect), SOSE, Mathematics, Science, Dance and Special Education, set up a daily volunteer program to help students with literacy, numeracy and ICT in the classroom, and a Homework Club program.
She played a key role in the ‘Free Mojgan’ movement, initiating the campaign to release the Year 12 student from immigration detention.
Ms Walker has also led the welfare team, acted as the YSHS principal, and led the Multicultural Festival at the school over the past decade.
Congratulations Jessica on being named a finalist.