6 December 2021
The appointment of Australia’s first Regional Education Commissioner will help support better outcomes
for regional, rural and remote education, the National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC) Executive
Director Jacinta Collins said today.
As Regional Education Commissioner former Senator Fiona Nash will apply her long-term commitment to
regional Australia and oversee the implementation of recommendations from the National Regional,
Rural and Remote Tertiary Education Strategy (the Napthine Review).
Ms Collins said nearly 40 per cent of the 1,755 Catholic schools were in regional, rural and remote areas
“We know that students outside of metropolitan areas are not performing as well as their peers in the
cities,” Ms Collins said.
“2019 NAPLAN data shows that students in very remote areas are about three years behind their peers in
major cities and it is critical these issues are addressed.
“The Commissioner’s appointment will bring a greater national focus to the challenges facing
schools in our regional, rural and remote areas and the educational disadvantage students experience.
“These challenges, including addressing the shortage of teachers and specialist teachers in regional
areas, were identified in our recent Catholic sector National Regional and Remote Workforce Strategy
Ms Collins said the summit focused on recruitment and retention of teachers, formation and professional
learning of teachers and community partnerships to support student learning.
“Another key challenge facing school communities in regional, rural and remote areas is the increasing
need to support student mental health and wellbeing, particularly over the past two years of the
Ms Collins said she looked forward to working closely with Ms Nash as the NCEC continued its advocacy
for the improvement of education policies to better support students in regional, rural and remote areas.