Click here to download printable pdf version


President’s Wrap

My education story is our education story

I’ve been in public education one way or another for most of my life; first as a student, then as a teacher, a parent and over the last decade as a proud advocate of our amazing public education system.

My story is one of privilege, privilege in the fact that when I started both my schooling and my career, it was in a time when government schools were well funded, educators had the respect of the community and we had time! Time to focus on our core business of teaching and learning.

And you know what keeps me up at night? It’s trying to understand how education in this country has changed so drastically in 40 years?

Those of you in my generation may have similar stories to share, but the younger of you will have quite a different experience.

Click here to read the full story…


New Member Welcome

A big, warm welcome to another huge list of new members joining the AEU – we’re getting stronger every day. We’ve broken recent records as a union, with 495 new members joining in 2020. Do you have a colleague who hasn’t joined yet? Send them this link to join securely online:

  • Alicia Heine, Teacher Assistant, Andrews Creek Primary School
  • Niamh Baly, Acting Assistant Principal, Boat Harbour Primary School
  • Ursula Hart, Teacher, Bowen Road Primary School
  • Corina Van Essen, Teacher, Burnie Primary School
  • Caroline Van Driel, Teacher Assistant, Cambridge Primary School
  • Amy Needham, Teacher, Cambridge Primary School
  • Sophie Moran, Teacher, Campania District School
  • Harrison Allanby, Teacher Assistant, Campbell Street Primary School
  • David Thomas, Teacher Assistant, Claremont College
  • Natalie Venettacci, Teacher, Claremont College
  • Brent Williams, Acting Assistant Principal, Claremont College
  • Solvejg Wilson, Teacher Assistant, Cygnet Primary School
  • Emily Grant, Teacher, Deloraine Primary School
  • Dallas Harris, Teacher Assistant, Devonport High School
  • Jessie Smith, Teacher Assistant, Dodges Ferry Primary School
  • Natasha Murfet, Teacher Assistant, East Devonport Primary School
  • Narelle Traill, Youth Worker, Elizabeth College
  • Robert Varga, Teacher Assistant, Exeter High School
  • Dianne Poulton, Principal, Forth Primary School
  • Jenine Ellis, Teacher, Glenora District School
  • Annette Langham, Administrative and Clerical Officer, Havenview Primary School
  • Jennifer Sweeney, School Business Manager, Havenview Primary School
  • Kelly Turnbull, Teacher Assistant, Havenview Primary School
  • Claire Cotton, Advanced Skills Teacher, Howrah Primary School
  • Brendan Sculthorpe, Teacher VET, Huonville High School
  • Meeghan Toohey, Canteen Manager, Huonville Primary School
  • Meghan Edwards, Teacher, Invermay Primary School
  • Nina Bestwick, Teacher, JRLF – Senior School Campus
  • Kirsty Russell, Teacher Assistant, King Island District School
  • Sandra Harvey, Teacher Assistant, Kings Meadows High School
  • Debbie Lathouras, Teacher Assistant, Lindisfarne Primary School
  • Damien Chapman, Teacher, Montrose Bay High School
  • Erin Leder, Teacher, Montrose Bay High School
  • Christine Williams, Administrative and Clerical Officer, Mountain Heights School
  • Jeffrey Andrews, Teacher, New Town High School
  • Trudy Rogers, Library Technician, Newstead College
  • Maryse Bannon, Teacher Assistant, North West Support School – Devonport
  • Katrina Turmine, Teacher Assistant, Northern Support School – Ravenswood Road
  • Katrina Rudolf, Advanced Skills Teacher, Ogilvie High School
  • Jason Gunn, Principal, Ravenswood Heights Primary School
  • Jannine Charlwood, Teacher Assistant, Reece High School
  • Ashlee Greene, Teacher, Relief N
  • Teresa Drozdz, Teacher, Relief S
  • Phillippa Finter, Teacher, Relief S
  • Rachael Tempo, Teacher, Riverside High School
  • Rupert De Quincey, Teacher, Rokeby Primary School
  • Layla Porter, Teacher, Romaine Park Primary School
  • Vanessa Wheeler, Teacher Assistant, Scottsdale Primary School
  • Jennifer Brazier, Laboratory Technician, Smithton High School
  • Sebastian Wishart, Teacher, Snug Primary School
  • Sarah Fielding, Assistant Principal, Springfield Gardens Primary School
  • Chloe Williams, Teacher, Springfield Gardens Primary School
  • Emma Skinner, Teacher Assistant, Summerdale Primary School
  • Marcel Kerrison, Teacher, Tasmanian Eschool-North
  • Paul De Soza, Teacher TAFE, TasTAFE-Bender Drive/Claremont – Metals
  • Dean Lovell, Teacher TAFE, TasTAFE-Burnie-Electrotechnology-D Block
  • Noella Buchanan, Teacher TAFE, TasTAFE-Hobart Campbell St Campus
  • Karen Hayes, Administrative and Clerical Officer, Ulverstone Secondary College
  • Maree Johnson, Laboratory Technician, Ulverstone Secondary College
  • Amanda Colgrave, Teacher Assistant, Waverley Primary School

Join AEU Tasmania – we’re for educators:



Some members experienced a DoE block on the ‘Thank You Tassie Teachers, Support Staff and Principals’ website link below. We have talked to the DoE and you should now be able to access the link below to send your thank you – please share this with your school communities.

We’ve said it before and now it’s time for the community to join in. You really have earned the respect and recognition of the whole community this year. We’ve setup a way that they can all show their appreciation towards the end of the year.

Click on the image above to thank your Tassie teacher, principal and support staff colleagues and make sure you share the link with all your friends.


AEC Election Re-Do

In case you missed it, the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has written to all AEU members to inform you that the AEU Tasmania elections they are conducting will have to be re-done in early 2021.

Our union rules specify the AEC as the independent body that conduct our internal elections where members nominate and vote for the positions of President, Deputy Presidents, Executives and Branch Council who govern and make key decisions for your union.

In a very unusual and rare event, the AEC made a number of errors in preparing material for the current round of AEU elections and as a result have set aside the materials sent to members and have requested that you securely destroy and dispose of the ballot material sent to you.

New ballot packs, including candidate statements and voting materials, will be sent to all members on 1st February 2021 and the new ballot will close on 1 March 2021.

Ballot papers sent in 2021 will be a different colour. Only these differently coloured ballot papers which are returned will be included in the count.

The “irregularity” referred to by the AEC in their email to members included failing to publish candidate statements from several candidates for different positions, despite the statements being correctly submitted by the candidates.

Proceeding with the election in this circumstance would clearly have unfairly disadvantaged some candidates and the AEC has recognised this in setting aside the materials sent out and sending out new, corrected ballot packs on 1st February 2021.

It would also seem that the AEC has recognised that conducting an AEU election during the summer Term break would not have encouraged the largest possible member participation.

Please take note and ensure you vote in these important elections in February 2021 when you receive your updated, complete ballot pack.


Primary Instructional Load – new definitions and 21 hours to be implemented in 2021

While a DoE survey has confirmed that the 21 hours of primary instructional load won in the latest AEU Agreement has been implemented successfully by most schools, it was also clear there is some work to be done in some schools for full implementation commencing Term 1, 2021.

Learning Services and AEU representatives have worked together with Principals during Terms 3 and 4 to provide flexibility where schools were experiencing some difficulties with implementation, however the DoE has made it clear that the transition period is now at an end and the 21 hours per week must be implemented from Term 1 2021.

DoE has also confirmed that both daily PE and timetabled supervised eating in the teacher’s classroom are activities that are to be included when calculating instructional load.

Kindergarten Teachers

AEU advocacy has also seen the DoE confirm that the full 0.7 FTE funding allocated for Kindergarten teachers is to be used for the kindergarten teacher’s on class (0.6) and release time (0.1).

The maximum instructional load for a kindergarten teacher who is 0.7 FTE is 14.7 hours per week.


Union wins of 2020

Despite the disruption of 2020, AEU members have a growing list of union wins that add to the recognition won for going over and above this year to support our students and communities.

Click here to download a poster of 2020 AEU Member Wins.

This summer break is even more important than usual to recharge drained batteries, but we’re already looking forward to 2021 – a year that will see AEU members develop a new log of claims for what you want to see in new Agreements. Negotiations will commence for Agreements that determine your wages and conditions at work and it’s a great time to be involved with your union and the campaign for quality education and better conditions for all AEU members.

A new tool for AEU members to keep informed and get organised is the AEU Tasmania members-only website. Take a few minutes to login, have a look around at the resources and check your details are up to date – the members-only website will be a key tool in the 2021 campaign.

Click here to download a members-only website poster and let’s start 2021 with new energy and inspiration to make public education in Tasmania the best it can be for our students and for educators.


Welcome new AEU State Manager Brian Wightman

A big AEU welcome to Brian Wightman, who commenced as AEU Tasmania State Manager in November. As a former teacher, principal, Attorney-General and Minister for Education and Training, Brian brings a lifetime of passion for public education to the role.

Educated in Tasmanian public schools, Brian fulfilled teaching and leadership roles in Northern public schools and remains active in the School Association of his children’s public school.

Brian holds a Masters Degree from the University of Tasmania and has a continuing column in The Examiner and Advocate Newspapers. He is a passionate first generation Tasmanian after his parents migrated from Belfast, Northern Ireland.

He is married to Katie and they are the proud parents of fraternal twins.


Christmas Break Office Closure

The AEU office will close at 5:00pm on Wednesday 23rd December and re-open at 8:30am on Monday 4th January 2021.

For any urgent matters, please email AEU State Manager, Brian Wightman on


Stand Down or Retiring? Let us know!

Are you an ESP/support staff member who will be stood down over the holiday break?

Perhaps you are retiring but considering some relief work in 2021?

Changing your work circumstances will change your membership contributions – tell us your plans and discuss options with your AEU membership team: or call 6234 9500 or 1800 001 313


Fixed Term members – update your details

It’s important that Fixed Term members update your details or let us know about any expected changes in your workplace arrangements for next year before you head off on your well-earned Christmas break.

You should have received an email with a link to a nifty little online form for you to complete – it’s only a couple of quick questions.

Alternatively, please call us on 6234 9500 or 1800 001 313 (Freecall outside the Hobart metro area) or email

Now you’re ready for the holidays!


ESP/Support Staff News

Christmas Pay Rise!

ESP/support staff members can expect a well-deserved Christmas boost in your next pay. In union, AEU members won 2.3% wage increase as part of your current Agreement.

Our collective strength and the actions of members broke through the government’s unfair and misguided pay cap. The community has had a great reminder of the value Education Support Personnel bring to their students and communities this year and it’s good to see that value reflected in a reasonable pay increase.

Your ESP/support staff Agreement includes another additional pay rise of 2.35% next year in December 2021 when we will also commence negotiations for a new Agreement.

Make sure your colleagues are aware that these pay rises are won by union members and our strength is in our numbers – to further improve working conditions and wages now is a great time to encourage anyone who hasn’t yet joined their union to do so. A secure online form or printable pdf form is available here:

2021 Easter Holidays – Paid Leave Days

As you are probably aware, the DoE has changed Term 1 dates to reduce disruption to student learning. The Easter break will occur at the end of Term 1 with the term break beginning immediately after Easter on Wednesday 7th April.

As the Easter public holidays fall within Term 1, these days will be paid holidays for those normally scheduled to work:

  • Friday 2nd April – Holiday with Pay
  • Monday 5th April – Holiday with Pay
  • Tuesday 6th April – Holiday with Pay

The new Time Off In Lieu clause for public holidays that fall in term breaks will not apply as these days remain in Term 1, 2021.

Permanent Top-Up Hours

The big union win for Education Support Personnel (support staff) members of long-term top-up hours being made permanent continues to be rolled out. Thanks to strong AEU advocacy, the DoE has agreed to make long-term top-up hours for part time staff permanent.

Offers have been sent to some members, but it will take time to work through some cases and for accepted offers to be processed.

Cases can be considered on an individual basis and your AEU Member Support Centre team is here for you if you need advice or support: or call 6234 9500


2021 AEU Wall Planner

Always hotly anticipated, please note that the 2021 AEU Wall Planner will be delivered to workplaces for the beginning of Term 1, 2021.


Save big with Member Benefits and Discounts

Member Benefits are available to every AEU member in partnership with the ACTU.  As a union member, you can take advantage of the collective buying power of more than 1.8 million members to get big discounts from a great range of companies.

Save money with member benefits on:

To find out more visit the Benefits page or register for access through the secure ACTU site.


STEM Teacher of the Year – Trudy Ward

Congratulations to AEU member Trudy Ward from Rokeby Primary School, who received the Tasmanian STEM Primary Teacher of the Year award for inspiring her students through STEM inquiry.

Trudy Ward is a great example of the quality and capability of science, technology, engineering and mathematics professionals and educators in Tasmania’s public schools and colleges.

We asked Trudy to tell us a bit about herself and her approach to teaching.

I am currently employed as a Digital Technologies Specialist Teacher three days per week and teach a Year 4/5 Class two days. I studied a Bachelor of Education and then extended to complete a Graduate Certificate in Design and Digital Technologies though a partnership with the Department of Education and UTAS.

Clarendon Vale Primary was selected as a pilot for the Digital Technologies in Focus project and I was chosen to manage and lead the project over three years. The purpose of the project was to develop and grow staff and student confidence surrounding the authentic integration of digital technologies into every day teaching, using a whole school approach.  I spent a week in January this year at the offices of ACARA for a Digital Technologies intensive summer workshop where I got to meet colleagues and experts in field from all over the country, an invaluable experience.

When I think about who inspires me, my family are always front of mind, who are the centre of my world. My husband Simon, who has suffered through many years of single parenting and housework whilst I completed numerous assignments and projects. He is always there when I need him and my number one supporter.  Without his support and encouragement I wouldn’t be able to do what I do. Everyone needs a husband like him! My other inspiration are my three children. They force me to think about how I can be a better teacher for the future generations, and how I can use technologies they are interested in to my advantage in providing inspiring lessons within multiple learning areas. They have also been guinea pigs for many of my projects and ideas, all with ‘minimal’ complaint.

Another person who has inspired me and who I am thankful for is my mentor Peter Lelong. He is the Project Officer for ACARA and CSER Adelaide and a constant source of information and support. Peter was who first introduced me to the DTiF project run through ACARA and we quickly formed a professional network, that has now extended for over 4 years. He is so supportive of the numerous questions I have and is always happy to lend an ear to discuss any issues or problems surrounding technologies. I have always enjoyed watching the way Peter inspires and promotes the use of digital technologies and the way in which he motivates teachers to ‘have a go’ and ‘try a new approach’ to their learning. Peter is the perfect mentor in the sense that he has always been a positive advocate for me in relation to extending my reach and pushing me to be a better version of myself and my teaching limitations. I am so honoured to have someone as wonderful as Peter as a friend and mentor. He is by far the most dedicated and loyal mentor I have ever known.

Thinking ahead, I would love a leadership role and the opportunity to lead teachers including within the area of technologies. I feel that many teachers are still fearful of the digital technologies curriculum and feel they don’t have the knowledge or the skill set to teach it. This is simply untrue. Every teacher who is planning and preparing quality lessons for their students are teaching digital technologies every day, it is simply being able to recognise and understand the componentry and systems thinking behind planning lessons and integrating it purposefully into lessons and units of work. Our students want to learn using the technologies they have available to them outside of school, so as teachers we need to inform our practice to reflect the growing need and teach accordingly. Technology is so engaging for all students, it allows those students who are often disengaged a necessary ‘hook’ to gather their interest in other subjects.

I am extremely fortunate to work within such a wonderful and supportive school. The staff at Rokeby Primary School are all engaging, motivating and inspiring educators. They are also extremely supportive of the authentic integration of Digital technologies into their everyday teaching. This is exciting for me as it means that the 45 mins a week I spend teaching students about everything from systems thinking, algorithms, computational thinking, data collection, recording and representation and coding can be extended further into the classrooms by these amazing teachers. Digital licences, cyber safety and safe user agreements all provide students with knowledge, skills and understanding of the importance of being safe online and the potential situations they may come across, so it is vitally important that students are provided lessons that are centred around this understanding.

Using my knowledge learned through my graduate certificate at UTAS, I am able to plan integrated, engaging, differentiated digital technologies lessons that are accessible to all students. Some of the lessons and units of work I have created have now become published on the Digital Technologies Hub.

I am also proud to be selected as a part of the teacher reference group for the Australian Curriculum Review and a part of a Digital Technologies Project with the Department of Education that is improving access and ideas for the teaching of digital technologies integration. I am so incredibly passionate about inclusive practices so each lesson is tailored to the particular cohort of students I am teaching. This ensures that multiple intelligences are catered for and all students feel successful. To me there is no better feeling than seeing students get excited when they know it is time for their digital technologies lessons. That tells me the program I am running for them is hitting the mark.


AEU Member Contributions Update

AEU member contributions have not increased for three years now and there were some inequities in how contributions were distributed across different categories of members that needed to be addressed, so we’ve done an update.

Your AEU Branch Council and Executive have endorsed a new, simpler and fairer member contributions scale that will be put in place for members on direct debit this week.

The new contributions scale means that around 2,000 members will actually see a small decrease in their member contribution amount while over 2,200 will see no change at all. For those members who notice a small increase in contributions, this is reflecting the amount that other members on similar salary scales have been paying for some time.

Don’t forget – all AEU member contributions are tax deductible.

We’ve made our contributions scale fairer, with a focus on maintaining low contribution amounts for members on lower incomes. You can click here to see the new contributions scale on our website – there’s now one scale for all members, regardless of sector.

Fairness is what we are all about as a union and going into 2021, a year when we will begin negotiating new Agreements for all AEU members, we need to encourage all our colleagues to join with us in union for quality public education and fair working conditions for Tasmanian educators.

Please encourage any colleagues who are not yet members of the AEU to join today – here’s the link to join securely online or download a membership form:


Principal Classification

DoE has provided this update on the Principal Re-classification that was a significant win from the new AEU Agreement:

The DoE Executive and AEU representatives met earlier this week to progress the Principal Re-classification work, a key outcome from the 2019 Teachers Agreement.

There was a shared understanding that this project will take significant shape in the first half of 2021.

The two parties have undertaken to develop a model that enables principals to demonstrate growth, incorporates a more appropriate measure of school complexity and provides for additional site-specific parameters, where required. Additional work will be required to ensure alignment between principals and other school-based leadership roles.

This project will continue to be developed in partnership between the DoE and the AEU, with strong consultation through principals and representative groups.

Further, due to this work continuing, Principal HDA’s will continue to be calculated by the same measures in 2021 as was implemented this year.

AEU Contact: John O’Rourke, Principal Organiser:


Review into Reporting for Families Update

Together we won a review into report writing as part of last year’s successful EBA campaign and now AEU members, along with parents, have had their say. Workload was always going to be front and centre of this review and thanks to member participation this is now better understood by DoE and school communities.

You can find out what teachers, families and School Associations had to say and what’s next for the review by visiting the Review into Reporting to Families webpage.

Here’s a visual summary:

Feedback from the consultation will help to inform recommendations for a reporting system that continues to meet the needs of learners, families and schools in the most meaningful and manageable way.

The Reporting Review recommendations will be submitted to the Minister for Education and Training for consideration in March 2021. If approved, the recommendations will be implemented from the beginning of 2022.

Please note that the reporting requirements for 2021 are unchanged from 2019/20 advice (pre-COVID). The Review into Reporting to Families will not have any impact on reporting practices in 2021. Recommendations from the Review will be considered for implementation for 2022.

You can find the reporting requirements for 2021 on the DoE Teaching and Learning Centre site here:


AEU Noticeboard Competition winner

Congratulations to Forest Primary School for winning the 2020 AEU Noticeboard competition.

The President’s award went to Goulburn St Primary School for obvious reasons.

Both schools enjoyed a morning tea and special visits for their creative and inspiring efforts.

How is your AEU noticeboard looking? Full of up to date member information and inspiring reasons to join the AEU and be a proud union member? Or does it need a bit of a lift?

Now’s the time to update and upgrade your noticeboard – handy materials are available on the AEU members-only website here:

There’s also updated fact sheets (printable version links at the bottom of each fact sheet page) for all members here:


A heartfelt thank you from Teachers Health

As the only health fund exclusively for the education community, we’re proud of our close relationship with the AEU TAS. Working together to support our members, the education community and their families is at the heart of what we do.

It’s been the toughest of years, but we’ve got your back

For the long days, late nights and unfailing dedication you’ve shown our children and families during a time like no other, we say thank you. From the heart. We know you regularly put the needs of others before your own. So that’s where we come in.

Teachers Health is focused on you, your health and wellbeing. And as a not-for-profit, you can count on us to put our members first.

Already a Teachers Health member?

When you refer an eligible friend, colleague or family member – who joins Teachers Health – we’ll send you a $50 eGift card^ as a token of our appreciation. Learn more

Not a member yet? You’re welcome to join us

As a union member, you’re eligible to join the Teachers Health family. Which not only gives you the reassurance of Hospital and Extras cover, but things like:

To get you off on the right foot, you’ll even get 6 weeks’ free cover* when you join with Hospital & Extras by 31 January. Plus, you’ll skip the 2 & 6 month waits on Extras like general dental, optical and chiro*.

You can find out more on our website or by chatting to us on 1300 764 288.

* Eligibility criteria and conditions apply. See full terms and conditions. Teachers Federation Health Ltd ABN 86 097 030 414 trading as Teachers Health. A Registered Private Health Insurer.

Changed your work arrangements?

Notify us now!

If anything about your work arrangements has changed such as your FTE status, or you’re taking maternity leave, or you’re retiring soon then you must let us know straight away so we can make appropriate amendments to your membership subscription payments.

There are several quick and easy ways to let us know about any changes to your circumstances: