Incentives for teachers is only one small step: COGSO


Sir – We welcome the Commonwealth’s new education measures, which would remove all or partial HELP debts for about 3,100 students wanting to work in remote areas.
However, we need a government that recognises that for incentives to work in the Territory they must include our regional towns in addition to remote areas.
Our families need bigger thinking and incentives to ensure regional and remote communities are attractive to teachers, allied health professionals and health workers.
We desperately need governments to recognise that all children and families have a right to access teachers and services from speech pathologists, occupational therapists, psychologists, paediatricians and other specialists.
This means providing incentives such as the removal of HELP debts for substantial work periods in these roles, for all regional and remote communities across the Northern Territory.
Families from communities often ask us, “how is it fair that Darwin children can access services and we have nothing”.
Despite ongoing recruitment campaigns allied health positions remain vacant today.
These important roles support our children with health and learning, guide families on care and support our schools to deliver an individual needs-based education.
NTCOGSO also supports APO NT and Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance NT chief executive John Paterson’s call for a program targeted at health workers to attract and retain staff in remote NT.
To truly close education and health gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Territorians, we must have education and health viewed as intrinsically linked in all initiatives and programs for children and families in the Territory.
This needs to include incentives to retain key education and health staff across the Northern Territory.
Tabby Fudge (pictured)
President of the Northern Territory Council of Government School Organisations


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