This represents an increase of 20 per cent on the number of applications received in 2014 and we are confident that this number will continue to rise. Over 50 per cent of applications received were from candidates with STEM backgrounds, demonstrating that Teach For Australia is an outstanding model for injecting top STEM talent into teaching.
Last year, we were honoured to be listed among The Australian and GradAustralia’s Top 100 Graduate Employers of 2015. We were listed again this year, jumping 60 places up the rankings and becoming the only non-profit organisation to make the Top 100 in 2016. Additionally, our Pass It On recruitment marketing campaign was awarded the Most Popular Integrated Marketing Campaign (Private Sector) by the Australian Association of Graduate Employers in 2015.
This expansion was made possible with the support of our Transformational Partner, Shell Australia, who are committed to fund out work in Western Australia until the end of this year. Through this expansion, we were able to partner with five schools in metropolitan Perth in 2015 and a further six schools across Western Australia in 2016.
With growth in existing partner states and territories, this brought out total number of partner schools to 64 in 2015, allowing for the placement of 67 Associates. In 2016, we have partnered 58 schools, placing a total of 124 Associates in our largest ever cohort.
Teach For Australia is committed to developing regional hubs in communities of the highest need. In order to support Associate development and ensure depth of impact in regional communities, Teach For Australia endeavours to place Associates in clusters – either within schools or within communities.
One example of such a hub is Horsham in northwest Victoria, where 16 Associates so far have been placed at Horsham College. Currently, 16 Associates and Alumni work at the College, including Alumnus Adam Ross (Cohort 2012) who this year became Acting Assistant Principal. Alumnus Michael Briggs-Miller (Cohort 2010) was also an Acting Assistant Principal at the College until earlier this year when he was appointed Acting Principal of nearby Warracknabeal Secondary College, another Teach For Australia partner school.
We seek to continue to grow in existing communities in the Australian Capital Territory, the Northern Territory, Victoria and Western Australia with continued focus on regional and Indigenous communities and to expand our program nationally into New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania. In order to achieve our vision of an Australia where all children, regardless of background, attain an excellent education, we also seek to serve all students, growing into the primary education sector.