Bright future and great lifestyle ahead for Mackay 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 Health and Regional Health Infrastructure
Mrs Julieanne Gilbert

The Mackay 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 Mackay are kicking goals.

“In Mackay, total engagement in education, training and employment for the most recent graduates has risen to 91.9% in 2022 from 88.1% in 2019,” Ms Grace said.

“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.”

Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said the survey results show the Palaszczuk Government’s plan for economic recovery from COVID-19 is ensuring students from Mackay have a strong pathway to their future careers.

“The 2022 Next Step survey shows us that young people in Mackay 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 Gilbert 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.

“I’d like to wish Mackay 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.

“Between university, TAFE or employment, there are many great options for Mackay students in their first year out of school.”

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.

Mackay State High School Class of 2021 graduate Ella Anderson is studying a Bachelor of Vision Science/Master of Optometry at QUT.

“Studying at Mackay State High School prepared me for my tertiary studies by providing me with the resilience, dedication and hardworking nature required,” Ella said.

“Being provided with the opportunities to learn high level subjects such as Physics, Chemistry, Math Methods and English with experienced and engaging educators further prepared me, as I have developed a fundamental knowledge of core topics addressed throughout my first year of university.”

Mackay State High School Principal Felicity Roberts said the school’s 2021 cohort was encouraged to ‘chase the best version of yourself’ and to ‘be better than you were yesterday’.

“It is with great pleasure and pride that we see that they have taken that advice to heart and continue to succeed in their lives beyond the bounds of our school community – they give us hope for the future,” Principal Roberts 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

Mackay data was calculated with survey results of students from the Mackay LGA.


Media contact: Bryce Heaton 0434 575 237