Bright future and great lifestyle ahead for North 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

Minister for Resources
The Honourable Scott Stewart

North Queenslanders have 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 the North are kicking goals.

“In Townsville, total engagement in education, training and employment for the most recent graduates has risen to 89% in 2022 from 85.7% 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 Townsville Scott Stewart said the survey results show the Palaszczuk Government’s plan for economic recovery from COVID-19 is ensuring students from the North have a strong pathway to their future careers.

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

Member for Mundingburra Les Walker said it was pleasing to see the rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander graduates engaging in education, training or employment 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,” Mr Walker said.

Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper wished Year 12s in North Queensland all the best in their future endeavours.

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

“Between university, TAFE or employment, there are many great options for North Queensland 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.

William Ross State High School Class of 2021 graduate Chloe Roddom this year began an undergraduate degree in Nursing Science at James Cook University.

“After finishing first year I’m looking at gaining a part time job in the health industry to create more opportunity and experiences to further learn and gain insight into my chosen career.” Chloe said.

William Ross State High School Class of 2021 graduate Caitlyn Arnold this year began a Bachelor of Primary Education at James Cook University.

“While at William Ross State High School I chose to keep my options open and studied a range of subjects where my teachers were all helpful and supportive,” Caitlyn said.

“These teachers inspired me to pursue a career in education.”

Northern Beaches State High School 2021 graduate Emily Donaldson completed a Certificate III in Engineering and secured a full-time job.

“I had the opportunity to do engineering in Year 11 and 12 and my teacher inspired me to pursue it as a career,” Emily said.

“School gave me the opportunity and skills to complete my studies. I now work in a male dominated industry, where I am exceeding all their expectations and I love what I do.”

Northern Beaches State High School Principal Robin Sprott said last year’s graduates have gained employment in a wide range of industries such as retail, hospitality, early childhood, disability services, engineering, plumbing, concreting and tourism to name a few.

“Other graduates have begun their studies in engineering, teaching, health sector, law and arts,” Ms Sprott said.

“Over the last 10 years we have found our broad curriculum and certificate courses have positioned our students well to be successful beyond school.”

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

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


Media contact: Bryce Heaton 0434 575 237