The reach and repercussions of the global COVID-19 pandemic have only deepened and expanded since the previous edition of IE.

Outbreaks have led to lengthy lockdowns in Victoria, NSW and the ACT, and shorter disruptions in other states and territories. This means teachers and support staff have again risen to the huge challenge of online teaching and learning.

In this edition, we talk to one of the scientists at the forefront of Australia’s pandemic management, Professor Catherine Bennett, the inaugural Chair in Epidemiology at the Institute for Health Transformation at Deakin University in Victoria (click to article).

A go-to epidemiologist for media seeking expert information, Professor Bennett traces her brilliant career for us, traversing fields as diverse as archaeology, population genetics and paleo-forensic work.

As Professor Bennett talks about her lifelong love of learning and her support for women studying science and developing careers in STEM, we can’t help but notice the prevalence of female scientists in Australia’s pandemic response.

Elsewhere we explore another health issue impacting teachers: vocal injuries (click to article ). New research reveals the extent of the problem and we explore ways of preventing and responding to this professional hazard. Information overload is another headache, and we look at strategies for sifting through the ongoing avalanche (click to article).

As all school staff know, not every student automatically thrives at school. Some experience social disadvantage, others live with disabilities, whether physical or intellectual. All have a right to a good education. In ‘Second chance school’ (click to article) and ‘Inclusivity enables us all’ (click to article), we talk to the principals, teachers and education assistants who make it happen.

On the legal front, we explore the potential impacts of One Nation’s proposed Parental Rights Bill in NSW (click to article) and the federal Religious Discrimination Bill (click to article).

Three times a year, IE brings you news and views from our members and branches throughout Australia. We trust you will enjoy this issue, and we encourage you to share it with your colleagues and invite non-members to join us.

Carol Matthews
Acting Secretary