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Passionate educator earns Volunteer Alumni Award 2015

Published:09 October 2015

Volunteer Alumni Award 2015 winner Joel Buchholz

Joel Buchholz already has a busy professional life - most recently as Principal of Pioneer State High School - but he has also chosen volunteer roles enabling him to advocate for the wider community.

The Bachelor of Education (Honours - Secondary) graduate from CQUniversity has earned this year's Volunteer Alumni Award.

From 2007-1010, while also working in school leadership roles, Joel undertook a four-year term on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) National Advisory Council, including taking on the role of Deputy Convenor. This position involved representing the community's views and interests to the ABC.

After his ABC National Advisory Council term, Joel was elected to membership of the Education Leaders Committee of the Queensland Teachers' Union. He still holds this position. He also serves as a Principal Union Representative.

Last year, Joel became one of 15 Queenslanders selected as an ambassador for the Queensland Plan - the State's 30-year strategic vision.

Within his local Mackay region community, Joel is the immediate past Chair of the Mackay District Secondary Principals' Association. He has also been a member of the Board of St Mary's Catholic Primary School and a new member (elected in 2015) of the CQUni Mackay Regional Engagement Committee.

Before election to the campus engagement committee, Joel was already heavily involved in a community engagement capacity through the innovative Learning Excellence at Pioneer (LEAP) program that he developed for the school, in conjunction with CQUni Mackay.

Joel is also an accredited Team Chair with the Council of International Schools and regularly travels to other schools within Australia and overseas to assist in their accreditation.

Before commencing his teaching career in the small cane-growing community of Calen, Joel completed a Bachelor of Education (Honours) at CQUniversity, completing his honours thesis in critical literacy. Joel also completed a Graduate Certificate in Cultural Studies at the Pusan National University of Education while studying and teaching on a scholarship in South Korea.

Joel is a passionate advocate for high quality public education. He strongly supports a futures-focused and internationally-oriented curriculum that ensures students are equipped as active, informed, compassionate and digitally-literate global citizens of tomorrow.

Joel has just taken up a new position as principal of Pimlico State High School, an Independent Public School of 1700 students in Townsville. He is looking forward to maintaining a strong partnership with CQUniversity in this exciting new role.