Trainee teachers of the Catholic Education Wilcannia-Forbes Teaching Schools Hub include (back row) Rachel Toomey, Ashley Place, Paula Leadbitter - Head of Learning and Teaching with Catholic Education Wilcannia-Forbes (CEWF), Laura Kirk, and Tiffani Townsend; together with (front row) Macy Lloyd, Olivia Dauth, Bridgette Larry (St Joseph’s Parish School Condobolin), and Janelle Thompson. Image Contributed.


Trainee teachers of the Catholic Education Wilcannia-Forbes (CEWF) Teaching Schools Hub met in Forbes for two days of face-to-face professional learning recently.
Bridgette Larry from St Joseph’s Parish School Condobolin was among the eight teachers of tomorrow who gathered together for this training.
The CEWF Teaching Schools Hub is an initiative which gives people who have a passion for working with children the opportunity to gain their Bachelor of Education (Primary) without leaving the comfort of their home. The program is a three way partnership between the University, the local Catholic school and the CEWF Teaching Schools Hub.
Eight participants travelled to Forbes, coming from locations including Cobar, Balranald, Condobolin, Parkes, Peak Hill, Trundle, and Hillston. One participant was unable to travel from Broken Hill, however, joined via Zoom.
The CEWF Teaching Schools Hub program has been running since July 2022. The program offers trainee teachers an online option to gain their teaching qualifications whilst staying in their local community with their family and friends. They are fully supported throughout their study journey by other trainee teachers within the Wilcannia-Forbes Diocese who are on the same path.
The trainee teachers come together once a week via Zoom to meet and discuss the practical aspects of the role of a teacher in a primary school setting. In addition, the trainees work one day per week in their local Catholic school where they have the opportunity to begin teaching under the supervision of a highly trained mentor.
“This was the first opportunity that the trainees of the CEWF Teaching Schools Hub have had to come together as a group and meet face to face. The participants have become great friends and are supporting each other throughout their journey to become a teacher, with this support being the crux of the success of the program,” CEWF Teaching Schools Hub Manager, Vicki Cavallaro, explained.
According to Vicki, the trainees had the opportunity to observe a lesson at St Laurence’s Parish School in Forbes and were all inspired by the high-quality teaching and learning they saw.
“The Hub program is a massive opportunity for me and many others in our Wilcannia-Forbes community,” Laura Kirk, who is completing her School Hub day at St Joseph’s Parish School in Peak Hill commented.
“It allows me to stay in my local area and not have to relocate because of the ability to complete the degree online.
“While working in my local school I gained first-hand classroom experience with the guidance of a mentor. Recently, I met with the amazing ladies from all over the diocese who are completing this degree with me face to face; this was a vital and massive learning experience. It allowed us to build relationships with each other, and explore St Laurence’s, where we went on a learning walk and observed some amazing infants’ teachers. The Hub program is an incredible opportunity for us to learn on the job and better prepare for our future teaching careers.”
This program helps passionate educators stay in their local communities and train on the job, Vicki said.
“At the moment, we have a critical shortage of teachers around the country which is only predicted to worsen,” Vicki commented.
“Having people who are passionate about working in the profession that are training on the job while they study will produce incredible teachers with a well-rounded education, who are committed to staying in their local communities which are amongst the most remote in our state.”
If you would like any further information on the CEWF Teaching Schools Hub please feel free to contact Vicki Cavallaro on 6853 9345 or go to the CEWF website – – and look under careers for the Teaching Hub.

Last Updated: 05/04/2023By

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