and Remote Education Inquiry Briefing Paper
for staff in isolated communities is essential to the success of the teaching
placement (Kalkaringi school meeting, WA, 13 May 1999). In isolated communities
where there is no housing stock available for rental, teachers are dependent
on the accommodation provided by the education department. Currently there
are a number of subsidies and provisions for teacher housing across the
States and Territories, though there is no nation wide consistency in
these housing allowances (see table above, 'Comparison of Australian State
and Territory Teacher Allowances and Incentives').
The quality of the
accommodation in rural and remote communities is also an important determinant
in the success of the teaching appointment. Factors such as extremes in
temperature combined with isolation from family and peers can make the
teaching placement very demanding. Housing that is relatively safe, comfortable
and air-conditioned is desirable for all teaching staff. Limited housing
stock can mean that staff are forced to share accommodation and this can
also lead to tension amongst the teaching community.
It is also important
to note that in the Northern Territory and in Western Australia, Aboriginal
and Islander Education Workers who teach in their own communities are
not eligible for housing subsidies (Robert Laird, Australian Education
Union (NT), Darwin public hearing, 10 May 1999; Michelle White, Australian
Education Union (WA), oral submission, 1999).
current moment, our most remote communities are short of teachers that
they are entitled to under the staffing formula of the Department of Education.
They're short of teachers because there is a national shortage of teachers,
but they're also short of teachers because there are no facilities for
those teachers to live in, so there's a shortage of housing. This is on
top of the shortage of housing that's already been referred to by my colleague
from Milingimbi, and the entirely discriminatory practice of not providing
public housing to Indigenous teachers in their own communities, the so-called
local recruits clause (Robert Laird, Australian Education Union (NT),
Darwin public hearing, 10 May 1999).
updated 2 December 2001.