David Keating Voluntary Service Award
This award recognises the significant voluntary contribution made by a Queensland individual or group in capacity building for active and healthy lifestyles in the school or wider community.
Joint Winner: Michael Beattie, Yarrabilba State Secondary College
Few teachers are as committed to making a difference in their students' lives as Michael Beattie. Throughout his teaching career Michael has continually sought ways to bring life-enriching opportunities to his classes in innovative and engaging ways. The most successful of these opportunities and the reason for this nomination, is his Youth Development Program in partnership with Kirra Surf Life Saving Club. In addition to leaving the program with their First Aid and Bronze Medallion, students also leave with more advanced 'real world ' skills. Their certificates include (but are not limited to) the following: CPR, Radio Operators, Certificate 2 in public safety, Advanced resuscitation, IRB crewman, IRB drivers, ATV/4wd/tractor's licence.
Michael has dedicated countless hours into ensuring the program is successful and is determined to provide students’ access to a positive environment to spend their free time and foster the feeling of community that comes with volunteering through the surf club.
Michael’s commitment to his students is evidenced by the continual delivery of aspects of this program outside of school hours, Michael has been an active patrolling member since 2007 and lead by example as he completes voluntary patrols alongside his students on his weekends. Additionally he has gained over 130 awards and his involvement in lifesaving has included: Chief Training Officer, Vice Club Captain, Club Captain, Patrol Captain, Emergency Care Trainer with SLSQ, State Trainer and Assessor, Volunteer during the 2010 QLD Floods.
He is invested in the success of the program, so much so that he is currently working on establishing a Life Saving Academy at his new school, Yarrabilba State Secondary College where youth opportunity is even more limited due to lack of access to transport and other sporting opportunities within the suburb.
Having grown up locally, Michael recognises the negative influences that can sometimes come with living in a lower socio-economic area such as Logan. With a determined vision to ‘give Logan youth who display promising standards of behaviour and effort, the opportunity to learn life-long skills and increase their mental and physical health through the practice of volunteer work’, and commitment to both the surf club and his students, Michael continues to make an impact on the lives of those in his program long after graduation. This can be seen by their continued membership with the club, and their willingness to return in their free time as Michael’s helpers, at Program camps, year after year.
Another positive impact of this program aligns with Education Queensland’s vision; through collaboration with community partners, it contributes to reducing the impact of disadvantage and helps to develop a skilled workforce.