Bright future and great lifestyle ahead for the Outback 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

Outback Queensland communities 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 Outback Queensland are kicking goals.

“In total engagement in education, training and employment for the most recent graduates has risen to 91.9% in 2022 from 87.9% 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.”

Minister Grace said the survey results show the Palaszczuk Government’s plan for economic recovery from COVID-19 is ensuring students from Outback Queensland have a strong pathway to their future careers.

“The 2022 Next Step survey shows us that young people in the outback 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 Grace 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 Year 12s from Outback Queensland 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 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.

Spinifex State College Class of 2021 graduate Mitchell Thinee was accepted into the University of Queensland to study a dual bachelor's degree in Mathematics and Engineering in 2022.

“Programs such as the QMEA Mining and Metallurgy Camp (Oresome Mines), a partnership with Spinifex State College, Glencore, and QMEA, which I undertook in Year 12, were influential in my choice of study and gave insight into what working in Engineering would be like after school,” Mitchell said.

“Additionally, I had the privilege of undertaking work experience in the Term 3 holidays of Year 12, where I spent a week with chemical engineers in the Copper Smelting Department at the Mount Isa Mines, understanding what their job entailed and how they went about solving the problems at hand.”

Mitchell praised the constant support and encouragement of the teaching staff.

“This included teachers putting on before-school revision classes leading up to final exams, or making themselves available after school for questions about drafts or exam-style questions, as well as constant interviews and conversations with the school leadership team about how I was going academically, physically, and mentally throughout a jam-packed senior year.”

Spinifex State College Principal Christopher Pocock said staff worked hard to inspire success and create opportunities to allow students to follow their chosen pathway when they leave school.

“The 2021 graduates represented another 120 students who will enter work, university or other pathways and build on the success they achieved at school,” Mr Pocock 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

Outbcak Queensland data was calculated with survey results of students from the LGAs of Barcaldine, Blackall Tambo, Cloncurry, Flinders, Longreach, Mount Isa, Murweh, Paroo and Winton.


Media contact: Bryce Heaton 0434 575 237