Bright future and great lifestyle ahead for Central Queensland Class of 2022

Published Friday, 18 November, 2022 at 10:30 AM


Minister for Education, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Racing
The Honourable Grace Grace

Assistant Minister for Education
Ms Brittany Lauga

The Central Queensland community has farewelled graduating Year 12 students on their last day of school, wishing them all the best for the future.

A recent survey shows that future is brighter than ever, with their predecessors, the Class of 2021, recording a major increase in engagement in education, training and employment after graduating.

Education Minister Grace Grace said the 2022 Next Step survey showed graduates from Central Queensland are kicking goals.

“Across the Rockhampton and Livingstone local government areas, total engagement in education, training and employment for 2021 graduates has increased to 90.1% in 2022 from 86.3% in 2019,” Ms Grace said.

“Meanwhile in Gladstone, total engagement in education, training and employment for the 2021 graduates has risen to 89.9% in 2022 from 84.6% in 2019.

“This year’s graduating Year 12 students can celebrate their success knowing a bright future of good jobs and a great lifestyle lies ahead of them.

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to ensuring all Queensland students get a world-class education, regardless of where in our state they live.”

Assistant Minister for Education and Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga said the survey results show the Palaszczuk Government’s plan for economic recovery from COVID-19 is ensuring students from Central Queensland have a strong pathway to their future careers.

“The 2022 Next Step survey shows us that young people in Central Queensland have been highly resilient in their learning during the COVID pandemic, and they’re now in a position to prosper in life after school,” Ms Lauga said.

“It’s pleasing to see the rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander graduates engaging in education, training or employment in Queensland has continued to improve, up 1.2 percentage points from last year to 76.7%.

“This constitutes an increase of almost 7 percentage points since 2019.

“This is an excellent result and shows the Palaszczuk Government’s continued focus on improving learning outcomes for all Queenslanders is working.”

Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rouke wished Central Queensland Year 12s all the best in their future endeavours.

“The last day of your school life is a celebration of all you have achieved at school and an exciting time to think of all that is to come,” Mr O’Rourke said.

Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said between university, TAFE or employment, there were many great options for Central Queensland students in their first year out of school.

“The Palaszczuk Government is focussed on making sure school students from regional Queensland are ready to take on careers in local industries and contribute to their communities,” Mr Butcher said.

Participation in employment by last year’s Year 12 students across Queensland increased 3.2 percentage points to above pre-pandemic levels and the highest rate since 2009, while participation in education and training has also reached pre-pandemic levels.

Bachelor Degree studies remain the most popular destination for Queensland Year 12 students after graduating.

Toolooa State High School Class of 2021 graduate Drishti Salaria is currently studying a Bachelor of Advanced Finance and Economics (Honours) at the University of Queensland.

“A huge part of my success definitely goes to this school; without the support of the teaching and non-teaching staff, I would not have excelled so highly,” Drishti said.

Toolooa State High School Principal Justin Harrison said the school was proud of Drishti.

“She epitomises our school's core values, and is such a positive role model to her peers,” Mr Harrison said.

Gladstone State High School Class of 2021 graduate Kaydo Wirihana is an apprentice spray painter and automotive finisher at Lowry’s Automotive and Smash Repairs, who completed a number of Certificate Is and IIs while at school.

“It was all these opportunities that helped pave my journey into this career and in November I will transition into the second year of my apprenticeship,” Kaydo said.

More than 51,000 Year 12 students from 2021 were invited to participate in the 2022 Next Step survey, with more than 39,000 providing a response.

For more information on the 2022 Next Step survey, and for full regional breakdowns of statistics from right across Queensland, visit


Media contact: Bryce Heaton 0434 575 237