New principal tackles biggest position yet
FROM the dusty Outback to the blue waters of Hervey Bay, Matt Winter has taken on his biggest role yet.
The new principal of Urangan Point State School started his career in rural Queensland as a physical education teacher before taking on a different role.
Mr Winter said he stepped up as teaching principal for three small schools, which prepared him for his next adventure.
"The past few years I've slowly moved up to working for bigger schools and Urangan is my biggest now," Mr Winter said.
"Prior to Urangan, I was down at Pittsworth, which had 300 children and this school has 400.
"It's fairly similar to where I was before, but here we have a few more staff in middle management, which helps.
"I'm also lucky, everyone knows their roles here really well, so it's business as usual."
The school's community spirit was an instant attraction for Mr Winter, whose children also attend the school.
"It's a very community- minded school," he said.
"We have multi- generational families.
"We have a very proud and large indigenous population whose families have a real sense of connection with the school, which is fantastic.
"Within the first hour of my first day, I knew I'd come onto a winner."
Aside from having a strong passion for his staff and students' wellbeing, Mr Winter is adamant every child at Urangan Point State School will have a literate future.
"My number-one priority is to ensure every child can read, write, spell and communicate effectively," he said.
"The fundamental skill of reading is everything.
"Whether you're looking at technology or communication, to filling out forms, reading is everywhere."
He encouraged all parents or caregivers to read a book with their children.
"I can't emphasise the importance of reading enough.
"Whether your child has a favourite book and they hear it every single night, they're still seeing the written text, they're hearing it and the inflections in your voice.
"The changes in society and technology are impacting jobs, but you'll always need to read."