Bright future and great lifestyle ahead for Wide Bay 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

The Wide Bay 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 the Wide Bay are kicking goals.

“In Wide Bay total engagement in education, training and employment for the most recent graduates has risen to 87.7% in 2022 from 81.4% 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 Bundaberg Tom Smith said the survey results show the Palaszczuk Government’s plan for economic recovery from COVID-19 is ensuring Wide Bay students have a strong pathway to their future careers.

“The 2022 Next Step survey shows us that young people in Wide Bay have been highly resilient in their learning during the COVID pandemic, and they’re now in a position to prosper in life after school,” Mr Smith 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 Hervey Bay Adrian Tantari wished Wide Bay 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 Tantari said.

“We invest in students through improved facilities to give them the best tools to success in their future.”

Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders said between university, TAFE or employment, there are many great options for Wide Bay students in their first year out of school.

“The Palaszczuk Government is preparing students for secure, good local careers, like those in Maryborough’s train building industry,” Mr Saunders 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.

Urangan State High School Class of 2021 graduate Lachlan Manson said that the school helped prepare him with the relevant skills to gain entry into the Royal Australian Army in the role of Artillery Observer.

“I appreciated the guidance and assistance I received along the way from the teachers, which has prepared me for this life. Thank you to all those who believed in my abilities and pushed me to be the best I could be,” Lachlan said.

Urangan State High School Principal Tony McCormack congratulated Lachlan on his success after school.

“Lachlan had identified from early in junior school his desire to join the ADF and worked diligently throughout his senior years to gain successful entry," Mr McCormack 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

Wide Bay data was calculated with survey results of students from the Bundaberg and Fraser Coast LGAs.


Media contact: Bryce Heaton 0434 575 237