Each student at Kirwan State High School is taught they are an agent of change.
With 20 per cent of the school identifying as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, teacher Joanne Thomson has developed strong ties to local institutes and global centres to improve her ability to embed cross-cultural perspectives into her teachings.
Joanne uses her passion for Indigenous education, social justice and service learning to explore the curriculum and act on current global issues and problems, Deputy Principal Shannon Carter says.
“During her teaching career, Joanne has initiated and led many student experiences which have all had a common theme, and that is to drive her students to be the impetus for change,” Ms Carter says.
Joanne’s leadership of the school’s Indigenous program when she was Deputy Principal resulted in the school’s receiving a Queensland Reconciliation Award, a Queensland Education Showcase state finalist position and a national Dare to Lead Excellence in Education Award.
More recently, the Global Learning Centre praised Joanne’s work with the school’s new Global Leaders’ subject called ‘Human Technology’.
The subject provides an internationally focused curriculum to help increase students’ understanding of worldwide issues and how they can affect change as young global citizens.
Her most recent role as pedagogical coach at the school has allowed her to mentor and coach her colleagues into not only improving the teaching and learning across all disciplines but also developing social capital in all staff, Ms Carter says.
Joanne has also been credited with helping to revive the subject of Ancient History at the school and her expertise in the area has resulted in her being appointed as a Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority district panel member and chair and also a state panel member for the subject.
Executive Principal Meredith Wenta says Joanne “wholeheartedly lives and breathes” Kirwan High’s mission to provide “educational excellence for tomorrow’s citizens”.
“She has made invaluable contributions to our school and its community across curriculum departments, teaching and learning, student wellbeing and extra-curricular opportunities,” Ms Wenta says.
“Joanne is truly an outstanding educator who has left and will continue to leave an indelible mark on our school.”
Congratulations Joanne on your nomination.