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    Premier
    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    QUEENSLAND TEACHER TO STUDY DESIGN AS SMITHSONIAN FELLOW

    Premier
    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    Friday, June 13, 2008

    QUEENSLAND TEACHER TO STUDY DESIGN AS SMITHSONIAN FELLOW

    NEW YORK: A Queensland teacher will soon be jetting off to New York to study design education in an innovative partnership between the State Government and the Smithsonian Institution’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.

    Premier Anna Bligh said the teacher would work with the award-winning education team at the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum to learn more about integrating design and creativity into Queensland classrooms.

    Ms Bligh is on a seven-day trade mission to the United States.

    “This lucky teacher will have the unique opportunity to learn from some of the world’s most creative and talented minds in the field of design,” Ms Bligh said.

    “The Cooper- Hewitt National Design Museum has developed a prestigious reputation for its world class expertise in integrating design and creativity practices into education curriculum.”

    Ms Bligh said the fellowship would be one of the first awarded under her plan for the next stage of the successful Smart State strategy.

    “Last month I launched Smart State 3, allocating $120 million over four years with a shift in focus from ‘bricks’ to ‘brains’,” she said.

    “We have built the foundations for the Smart State economy with a massive investment in infrastructure and now I want to invest more in our best and brightest.

    “We are trebling our investment in our people spending around $43 million providing scholarships, fellowships and other research grants to individuals. This will fund around 280 scholarships and fellowships – 190 more than in the past.”

    Ms Bligh said the new fellowship would build on the relationship already developed by the Queensland Government with the Smithsonian’s many museums, research and education centres.

    “Great design not only evokes pleasure but is essential in responding to changing social and environmental conditions,” she said. 

    “The best place to begin an appreciation of quality design is in the classroom and this is best facilitated through the professional development of our teachers.

    “This partnership will give a Queensland teacher access to first-class design resources and some of the world’s leading thinkers on design and creativity in education.

    “Through this program, the teacher will be able to take students beyond appreciating design on a purely aesthetic level and help them understand how good design creates ways for us all to enjoy a more sustainable, environmentally-friendly lifestyle.

    “For example students at the Museum have looked at how design can help in the recreation and revitalisation of New Orleans following the devastating Hurricane Katrina.”

    Ms Bligh said details of the fellowship were currently being finalised between Arts Queensland and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.

    She said the partnership also included a State Government collaboration with Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum to develop a range of education design resources to be shared by students and teachers in Queensland.

    The design resources will be held by the State Library of Queensland to make sure they are accessible to teachers across the state.

    “These design resources for teachers will take the expertise of the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum into classrooms across Queensland,” she said.

    “This initiative also has the capacity to build strong relationships between Queensland and US teachers who are exploring design and creativity in the classroom.”

    This latest partnership builds on the existing relationship between the Queensland Government and the Smithsonian Institution through the Queensland Smithsonian Fellowship program.

    The program allows three Queenslanders to undertake a research project at the Smithsonian’s many museums, research and education centres each year.

    13 June, 2008

    Contact: Premier’s office 3224 4500