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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Education and Training and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Rod Welford


    Minister for Education and Training and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Rod Welford

    Friday, February 13, 2009


    Creative thinking is the key to unlocking students’ entrepreneurial skills and readying them for 21st century jobs, says Education and Training Minister Rod Welford.

    Mr Welford today officially launched the Year of Creativity, which will see teachers putting innovation at the top of mind in all aspects of education throughout 2009.

    “Our teachers will help students to develop their creative skills in every area of their learning – from science, maths and technology to humanities and the arts,” he said.

    “By exploring new ways of doing things and moving away from conventional thinking, students may one day help to solve social and economic challenges.

    “They may come up with solutions for climate change, disease and famine, and improve public transport and skills shortages.”

    An inspiring group of role models will help students along, acting as Ambassadors for the Year of Creativity.

    Mr Welford announced the list of ambassadors at today’s launch at the State Library of Queensland.

    Among the talented group, which includes TV presenters, architects, photographers and authors, are actors Leah Purcell and Paul Bishop, writer Rebecca Sparrow, TV chef Alastair McLeod and neurosurgeon and Paralympian Dr William Tan.

    “Creativity is a way of life for our ambassadors and they are fantastic role models,” he said.

    “International research shows thinking creatively improves academic results and problem-solving techniques, and drives innovation and productivity.

    “Creativity is linked with competency, character and citizenship which are critical to students’ education and success in life.”

    Mr Welford said a series of programs and activities would help young Queenslanders to expand their horizons.

    “These initiatives include the Our State, Your Stories writing competition, which is also being held to mark Queensland’s 150th birthday.

    “Students will also be able to share their creative messages, artwork and designs through Launch Your Ideas postcards which are postage paid thanks to Australia Post.

    “I know we have many creative young people across Queensland and this year is a fantastic opportunity to showcase their extraordinary talents.”

    For more information visit

    Media contact: Jo Crompton or Emma Clarey on 3237 1000

    13 February 2009

    Year of Creativity ambassadors

    ·Leah Purcell – award-winning theatre, film and television actor;

    ·Paul Bishop – Brisbane-based actor, presenter, entrepreneur and sustainability advocate;

    ·Alastair McLeod – Brisbane-based multiple award-winning, high-profile chef who stars on TV’s Ready Steady Cook;

    ·Phillip Johnson – Brisbane-based award-winning chef and author;

    ·Dan and Matt Tobin – Brisbane-based designers, founders of Urban Arts and leaders in ethical business practises;

    ·Timothy Hill – Brisbane-based architect;

    ·Dr William Tan – author, neurosurgeon, Paralympian and fundraiser;

    ·Rebecca Sparrow – Brisbane author and newspaper columnist;

    ·Sam Wagan Watson – award-winning Brisbane poet and author;

    ·Michael Lavery – Brisbane-based architect;

    ·Elleni Toumpas – Brisbane music photographer;

    ·Owen Wareham – Brisbane-based national vice-president of the United Nations Youth Association and delegate at the Federal Government’s 2020 Summit;

    ·John Lee – Brisbane-based president and founder of post-production company Cutting Edge;

    ·Melissa Downes – Brisbane reporter and news presenter; and

    ·Brisbane-based children’s TV show The Shak presenters Curio and Picasso.