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Rural and regional teachers are making mathematics vital in Sydney

19 January 2005

More than 400 mathematics teachers from schools across Australia have assembled in Sydney this week to take part in the Making Mathematics Vital conference at the University of Technology, Sydney.

For 11 of these mathematics teachers, the opportunity to attend the conference has been made possible through the Commonwealth Bank Foundation Teacher Support Program in collaboration with the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers (AAMT).

Hosted by the AAMT, and sponsored by the Commonwealth Bank Foundation, the 20th biennial conference is an opportunity for teachers to undertake professional development and to be brought up to date with the latest industry trends and teaching practices.

Offered in conjunction with the conference, the Foundation’s Teacher Support Program awarded 11 mathematics teachers from rural, regional and remote areas throughout Australia the opportunity to attend the conference and present their work to their peers.

The 11 teachers were granted more than $1,000 each to support their attendance at the conference and have travelled from as far away as Kununurra and Cue in Western Australia, Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, and Fregon in South Australia.

AAMT President, Mr Barry Kissane, said the recipient teachers were chosen for their outstanding commitment to their local community, significant contribution to the profession and innovative teaching practices.

"The AAMT is delighted to be partnered with the Commonwealth Bank Foundation in making the 2005 AAMT conference more accessible to teachers from rural and regional areas," Mr Kissane said.

"The awards make it possible for these teachers to reap the significant benefits of attending the conference and it’s an opportunity they, and their students, may not have otherwise had."

Mr Kissane said professional training and development for mathematics teachers had become recognised worldwide as crucial for the improvement of students’ numeracy and problem-solving skills, and the development of scientific and technological capability.

"Mathematics is now considered the key science subject that all students must understand and appreciate to ensure their long-term career opportunities," he said.

The Commonwealth Bank Foundation Teacher Support Program covers each teacher’s conference registration fee, attendance at the conference dinner and accommodation. The Teachers Support Program is one of a suite of programs the Foundation offers in support of education, in particular financial literacy education.

The Commonwealth Bank Foundation is the major sponsor for the 2005 Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers (AAMT) Conference – Making Mathematics Vital – at the University of Technology Sydney Broadway campus from Monday 17 January to Thursday 20 January 2005.