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Wonderful Woori - the inspirational principal and dedicated teachers behind school's success

Wonderful Woori - the inspirational principal and dedicated teachers behind school's success

Published:01 June 2017

TOP: CQUni graduate Beresford Domic who spent years building attendance and Woorabinda State School. BELOW: CQUni graduates who are helping to continue this success, L-R Samantha Abel, Johanna Clunn, Emma Roseworne, Lisa Wogand, Jacob Howie and Kristy Forrest.

Great parents send their children to school The Woori Way.

So says the sign at Woorabinda State School, where attendance rates are now tracking at almost 93% - not only above the State average for all schools but also in the Top 5 across Australia for schools based in Indigenous communities.

The groundwork for this success was implemented over a seven-year period by CQUni graduate Beresford Domic,  who has established a student wellbeing-focused culture of learning across the school and within every classroom.

This 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.

As Principal of Woorabinda, he focused for seven years 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," Beresford says.

"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."

Beresford 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.

Lisa says her staff have picked up Beresford'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.

"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.