Frank Peach

Interviewed by
Danielle Miller & Chris Salisbury
Sep 16 2010
Frank Peach
Time Summary Keywords
00:00:00 Frank Peach recalls his early education including his time at Marist Brothers in Ayr, Marist Brothers Novitiate Mittagong and Mount Carmel Christian Brothers College. Following the completion of secondary college he attended the University of Queensland College where he completed a Diploma of Education in 1969. In 1970 he began teaching at Cairns High and held subsequent positions at Bamaga High School, Loganlea High School and Inala High School.
00:01:43 Frank Peach explains the difficulties in gaining a position as a school inspector. He attributes some of these difficulties to being a well known Queensland Teachers' Union representative. Bill Wood, Cabinet, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, Teachers Union
00:03:34 Frank Peach details some of the policy changes stemming from his involvement as chair of the Teachers' Union Accommodation Committee, namely the development of the first teachers accommodation policy in Queensland. Teachers Union
00:04:30 Frank Peach discusses his roles within the school inspectorate. He details his involvement with the Focus on Schools report which recommended a complete restructure of the department including the abolition of the school inspectorate. He comments on his appointments as Deputy Director General in Charge of Curriculum, Deputy Director General Corporate Services and in 1994 as Director General of Education. Education Department
00:06:30 Frank Peach discusses the changes to the public service following the reforms of the Goss Government. He discusses the historical changes in the role of director general and the impacts of election promises on policy direction. Frank Peach provides some detailed commentary on the limitations and challenges associated with New Public Management. Bjelke-Petersen Government 1968-87, Goss Government 1989-96, Peter Beattie, public sector reform
00:12:20 Frank Peach discusses his appointment to Director General of Education and his transition to the role. Education Department, Roger Scott
00:13:37 Frank Peach discusses his professional relationships with the Queensland Teachers' Union after he was appointed Director General. Bob Quinn, Borbidge Government 1996-98, Ian Mackie, Mary Kelly, Teachers Union
00:16:33 Frank Peach discusses his relationships with the private school sector and describes the natural tensions that occur for any Director General of Education. He discusses the issues and problems associated with school closures. education, Education Department
00:20:30 Frank Peach discusses the role of interest groups in education policy and compares these interest groups with those in Corrections. He comments on his involvement with reforms to school curriculum. He discusses the process of legitimising and expanding vocational education in schools to provide a range of valid pathways to work and further education. education
00:27:08 Frank Peach comments on the proposal to introduce preparatory education in Queensland and outlines the reasons why this was a difficult policy to implement. He describes the various approaches of several education ministers. Borbidge Government 1996-98, David Hamill, education reform, Paul Braddy
00:31:10 Frank Peach offers the view that regionalisation is an ongoing debate with little merit. He describes the big structural issues during his time as Director General of Education; the teacher transfer system, appointment of staff to schools, school maintenance and internet access in schools. He expands on the difficulties of getting funding for schools and the differences between capital expenditure and ongoing expenditure. education, Education Department
00:35:46 Frank Peach discusses the public service during the Borbidge Government. He explains how he wasn’t made redundant and the surprise this caused some members of  the Labor Party. He describes his shift to Corrective Services. Hit List, Smart State
00:40:39 Frank Peach discusses the proposal for the preparatory year of education and the process involved in presenting policy proposals to the government. He outlines how elections impact favourably on policy development. education reform
00:43:03 Frank Peach discusses the numerous stages within the budget process and the role of the minister and the director general in this process. budget process, Cabinet Budget Review Committee
00:46:36 Frank Peach explains the proposal and implementation of internet access for schools. He comments on the continuing challenge to governments to choose the right policies to fund. Innovation
00:48:54 Frank Peach comments on the educational reforms during the Goss era. He discusses several reforms including the broadening of the curriculum, the introduction of technology and the Leading Schools program. He explains that the drive for this type of reform was to improve student learning outcomes by empowering schools. David Hamill, education reform, Public Works, Teachers Union
00:53:56 Frank Peach comments on the Gillard Government's move towards a national curriculum which he says was almost implemented during his time as Director General of Education. education reform, Robert Schwarten
00:55:28 Frank Peach discusses the impact of the Borbidge Government on education reform. He speaks on the notion of giving schools more flexibility and the role of the Borbidge Government in developing these initial ideas. He outlines the problems associated with the teacher transfer program. David Hamill, education reform
00:58:27 Frank Peach discusses the review conducted in Corrections. He outlines the role of governmental accountability and associated issues with public and privately owned prisons. Frank Peach outlines the context of these debates including the escape from the Sir David Longman Correctional Centre. Brendan Abbott, Corrective Services, prisons, privatisation, Russell Cooper, Tom Barton
01:01:53 Frank Peach comments on the wage cuts implemented for 27 executives and the process by which this occurred. He discusses the practice of privately owned prisons in Queensland and explains how this approach was in part due to the government's drive for innovation, both in terms of cost and rehabilitation for prisoners. Bob Atkinson, Corrective Services, prisons, privatisation, Wayne Goss
01:05:58 Frank Peach comments on his appointment as the Director General of the Families portfolio. He outlines his initial approach to gaining credibility and forming relationships in this portfolio. Family Services, Glyn Davis
01:09:13 Frank Peach comments on the difficulty of securing funding for the Families portfolio and how he views this as a failure in leadership. He states that the Families portfolio was not a budget priority for the Beattie Government. Family Services, Ken Smith, Leo Keliher, Stolen Generation
01:11:10 Frank Peach briefly reflects on the apology made to the Stolen Generation. Ken Smith, Stolen Generation
01:12:07 Frank Peach comments on the role of non-government service providers in delivering services. He outlines the benefits and disadvantages of these organisations and commends many of the providers on their commitment to providing services. Crime and Misconduct Commission, Family Services, non-government agencies
01:16:54 Frank Peach explains the events leading to the CMC inquiry and the associated freedom of information issues that this raised for him and the department. child sexual abuse, Crime and Misconduct Commission, Freedom of Information, Judy Spence
01:22:53 Frank Peach explains why he was unable to continue with the Department of Families and implement the recommendations from the CMC inquiry. He discusses the difficulties and challenges of the Family Services portfolio. Cabinet Budget Review Committee, Courier mail, Crime and Misconduct Commission, Family Services, Judy Spence, Peter Beattie
01:30:09 Frank Peach reflects on his short time as Director General of Housing and his decision to retire from the public service. housing
01:32:15 Frank Peach discusses the difficulties of summarising the greatest achievements of his career. He highlights the Leading Schools program and the policies surrounding this, the reforms implemented in Corrections and the Families portfolio. He discusses his time at Inala and Bamaga schools and his role within the Queensland Teachers' Union. Bill Hayden, Jim Elder, Wayne Goss
01:34:33 Interview ends.