Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Year 12 Outcomes by School Posted

A story by the Brisbane Times today announced the release of Year 12 outcome information by school on the Queensland Studies Authority (QSA) statistics page. The report lists Queensland Schools and the numbers of pupils achieving different benchmarks such as obtaining an OP or vocational certification level:
For each school, the report includes information on the number of students awarded certificates and qualifications, the proportion of OP-eligible students with OP 1 to 15 and the proportion of QTAC applicants receiving a tertiary offer.
An associated FAQ mostly attempts to dissuade anyone from using the statistics to compare schools. Direct comparison of schools is also made more difficult by the formatting and file format of the document.

I pulled out some figures from local schools* and made some graphs. Broadly all the schools compared were comparable:

Also on the QSA website is a report showing NAPLAN 2010 outcomes.

Monday, May 23, 2011

May Wilson Update

4 Days ago a fresh Wilson Update arrived in my email box. The Wilson Update is a monthly newletter published by Geoff Wilson, State Member for Ferny Grove. This particular newsletter has an unusually high component of news as opposed to photo opportunities (contrary to my recent post).

This newsletter contains a brief update on the new train station design for Ferny Grove, including one of the computer graphics on display at the recent Hills Carnivale. The interesting and in my experience unusual feature of the station is the plaza entry and what the newsletter describes as Central-Station style automated ticket gates.

(North West news issued a fluff piece about the progress of the Rail Upgrade last week.)

The newsletter contained some information about national local awards:
And other upcoming community events (refer to the newsletter for details):
  • National day of thanksgiving at a Samford Church on May 28
  • Dawn Ceremony at Teralba Park Commemorative Plaque Site at on Thursday 26 May
The newsletter also included a notice about paid work available collecting the census during July and early September in addition to spreading the word about the 'dob in a pothole' program (in case you are wondering, phone 13 19 40).

You could normally find the Wilson Update on Geoff's publications page but for whatever reason this month's newsletter isn't being served. Until the Geoff's publishing system is fixed you can find it here. If you want to receive future editions of the newsletter in your email, you can also subscribe on his website.

Pine Rivers Art Awards

I can't find a corresponding news story, but a tweet from Pine Rivers Press alerted me that a Ferny Hills woman, Wendy Sonnenburg, has picked up an award at the Pine Rivers Art Awards for 'Top Local Artist Gong'. See the information-free Photo Gallery for an idea of the art on display this year. Maybe a corresponding story will appear soon.  Congratulations Wendy!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Hills Carnivale

Hills Carnivale at Leslie Patrick park was yesterday. I dropped in on the event and took a few pictures. The star of the day was Dora the Explorer, whose presence might have gone unnoticed to some because of the wall of enthusiastic parents which kept the intrepid over-sized explorer permanently mobbed:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Followup: Meet Dale Shuttleworth

Dale Shuttleworth - LNP candidate for the State electorate of Ferny Grove,  now has a Facebook page.

I asked the question Who is Dale Shuttleworth? in April. I've since asked Who is Geoff Wilson? My argument in both posts was that the sitting member for the State electorate of Ferny Grove (Geoff Wilson) and his opponents  (in this case Dale Shuttleworth for LNP)  could be doing a better job of letting us get to know them online.

Dale originally left a comment on the April story that he was looking into ways to improve his online visibility, but a recent Blogger issue seems to have removed this comment and my own reply. Hopefully they will be restored soon.

Setting up the Facebook page was a good start for Dale. Notice that his entries so far are informative and give us a window into what he is up to and how he interacts with people. This is exactly the visibility that I would like for all candidates for Ferny Grove in this election. Well done Dale and please keep it up.

(In case you are wondering, I am currently politically undecided, and don't want to take any particular political slant on this blog. So any candidate who wants me to give a shout out to their online efforts is welcome to contact me.)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Opinion: Who is Geoff Wilson?

Recently I asked the question Who is Dale Shuttleworth?, referring to the LNP candidate in the upcoming State Election and the lack of any real information on the internet about him. I thought it was only fair to take a look at his opponent, incumbent and Minister for Heath, Geoff Wilson.

Unlike Dale, Geoff has his own website and distributes PDF newsletters from his site and via email. Geoff definitely does have internet presence. I teased in the post that Geoff's internet strategy was not necessarily something Dale should emulate, and I will take the opportunity to explain what I mean.

To be clear, Geoff might be an excellent Member for the seat of Ferny Grove. But I have no way to come to understand that.

Geoff's website hosts monthly or bi-monthly stories which seem to center on photo-opportunities at the sites of road upgrades and school building openings. These good news stories tell us very little about what Geoff actually did to make them happen (if anything) or how they came to be. They don't tell us anything about Geoff, what he does on a typical day, how (if) he responds to members of the electorate, what problems he thinks the electorate has or how he thinks we should fix them.

The monthly newsletter has some interesting community news, along with a summary of the recent photo-opportunities that have been published on the website. I'm not sure how much time is spent creating this PDF file for print, but perhaps it would be much better spent making the news available as an RSS news feed, on Twitter or on Facebook. If the community news was directly on the website it might even be findable with a Google search (lest someone not know about Geoff's site).

Those are slightly technical complaints, however, and I don't want to overshadow the larger point - That Geoff's website and newsletter misses the opportunity provided by the internet.

Reminder: Hills Carnivale

As previously mentioned, the Hills Carnivale is on this weekend at Leslie Patrick Park from 12 noon to 6pm. It will feature performers, Dora the Explorer, activities and rides for the kids, and other entertainment.

The event does not seem have its own website, so I was interested when the ABC radio breakfast show (Family Affairs) described the event in their blog. I was going to quote their colorful description until I realised that both the ABC and Our Brisbane copied their description straight from the performer application form (probably with permission, but the lack of disclosure irks)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Taxi Driver Robbed at Knife Point in Arana Hills

The police are reporting that a taxi driver was robbed at knife point while parked on Jane Street in Arana Hills last night at 11:50pm. The Caucasian robber got away with cash and a mobile phone. Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Fatality at Keperra Train Station

An elderly woman died on Saturday at Keperra train station when she apparently lost control of her mobility scooter and was struck by a train. The woman died later in hospital. Train services were impacted for the remainder of the day as police conducted their investigation. (reported by Brisbane Times, Ninemsn)

Over the past month Queensland Rail has been conducting an agressive rail safety awareness campaign with the slogan 'Who would you miss?'

Hopefully QR has procedures in place to offer effective counselling to the woman's family and friends as well as the unfortunate train driver.

During the service disruption, Queenland Rail characterised the problem as a 'police incident'. Some commuters, myself included, will have more reason to pause the next time a service delay is described as such.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Exchange students first day at Ferny Grove State School

You might have noticed the welcome message for exchange students posted outside Ferny Grove State High School recently. The students involved (from Germany) have posted a report on their first day on April 27th. Makes interesting reading for those of us who have been out of the school system for a while. Four 90 minute periods per day?