Teach Rural Update

by | Oct 12, 2023 | Bush Voices

CEP’s Teach Rural program offers pre-service teachers a unique opportunity to experience their placement within a rural school and connect with the local community.

CEP, DE and the local rural community offers Teach Rural PST’s the chance to immerse themselves within a rural setting and experience a placement unlike any other! With the support of a mentor PST’s are offered a peer networking day to explore the town and connect with peers, connected to other like minded PST’s who are also completing placements, exposed to a varied range of classroom settings and opportunities to learn, supported in a positive,collaborative learning environment, develop skills, confidence and community connections and get a taste of lifestyle in a rural area. It truly is a unique experience for students to take advantage of.

Some of the most recent placements have just wrapped up in Echuca and Marlo, read below to find out what the PST’s thought about their rural placement experiences.

“An unforgettable experience that offered many opportunities to explore rural education and the outdoor environment. A home away from home allowed me to become a more independent person.”

– Freeman Chee, 

“My placement in Echuca has been fantastic, the people I’ve met have been amazing and the location has been incredible. I have really appreciated the way the teachers and parents at the school have welcomed me into the community, checking in on us every day we are at the school, and providing recommendations on things to do and places to eat. Overall, placement in the rural setting has been really good, and I would not hesitate to apply through CEP again.”

– Aiden Sutton

“It was a terrific experience!

 I just really appreciated the experience as a whole, it was great to be at a good school with an amazing mentor, in comparison to the less-than-stellar experience I encountered last placement.

Orbost Primary was an excellent community that was very warm to the three of us and open to helping us in any way they could. In fact, my experience in the community entices me to spend some time out that way if any roles do come up.”

– Lewis freeman


“The rural placement at Swift’s Creek was awesome. I’m so glad I bit the bullet and decided to travel there for placement. The school was small enough that we knew who all of the (Tambo campus – secondary school) students were by the end of the placement. It’s an experience that I would recommend more students to do, despite the town being quite far from Melbourne. 

The teachers are all very supportive and flexible, my mentors were great and very thorough with feedback, there is less stress due to the small class sizes, and there’s a lot of opportunity for socialising as most of the staff live in the town. I was fortunate to have attended the football final where Swifts Creek won, so it was great to entrench myself in the community. The town welcomed us with open arms and Erin, Sasweeni and I are keen to return for placement in 2024. 

 Furthermore, Barbara Napthine from CEP was wonderful. She is a great asset to the town and the school and her wealth of knowledge about the local community helped us a lot to settle ourselves in the tiny town.

Placement at Swifts Creek was such a wonderful experience and I’d recommend others to take the chance.”

– Matt Siddell

“Overall I’m very satisfied with all that the CEP have provided me, Lewis and Loretta. They were even nice enough to extend my stay in Marlo to make up the days I missed during placement, so I really am grateful for everything they’ve done throughout these 5 weeks.

 I’m extremely satisfied with the experience and I am now seriously considering regional teaching in the future!”

– Steven Cheng

“It’s hard to believe that those five weeks have already come to an end, and I’m back home again. It was a wonderful experience, and we all cherished every moment. The feeling of leaving this past weekend was bittersweet. We were incredibly fortunate to be placed in such a warm and supportive school/community. This experience has sparked my passion for rural work after completing university, and I’m eagerly looking forward to starting my career.

I want to express my gratitude once again for organizing this opportunity; we are truly appreciative. CEP’s organised day trip was a highlight for myself – having a day dedicated to sight-seeing and relaxing, while also meeting the other UniMelb students.  

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I would highly recommend it to anyone considering rural work.”

– Loretta Stewart