Business background helps new teacher take lifestyle leap into NT classroom

Claire Halliday
Claire Halliday
The Northern Territory offers a lifestyle change for professionals heading north. [Stock photo]

Training in effective communication, time management and experience dealing with high levels of stress have helped Tim Brown transition from city life in small business to a new career as a maths teacher.

Mr Brown says teaching mathematics had always been in the back of his mind, but only became a reality at the beginning of the 2024 school year, after completing the Teach for Australia program and taking a position at Centralian Senior College.

When term two starts soon, he says he is keen to add a digital technology class to his teaching experience and says the change of careers has also taught him some valuable life lessons outside the classroom.

“It involves considering and juggling various ideas at once, communicating effectively, impeccable time management, plenty of sacrifice and dealing with high levels of stress – I also had to learn how to switch off and be truly present in life outside of work hours,” Mr Brown says.

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“All these skills and challenges have been invaluable in the classroom.”

Former Canberra music venue owner Tim Brown relocated to Alice Springs to teach maths at Centralian Senior College through the Teach for Australia program.

Tim Brown relocated to Alice Springs to teach maths at Centralian Senior College through the Teach for Australia program.

From urban music venue to remote school

Mr Brown – who transitioned to teaching after a career as a music venue operator in Canberra through the Teach for Australia program – says he loves his new role.

Describing himself an “atypical math geek”, he says he enjoys encouraging students to see the subject creatively as a “canvas to promote problem-solving” is challenging but “incredibly rewarding”

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“Things don’t always land, but if you have the curiosity to learn it’s an insightful window into how our minds work, and you learn plenty about yourself,” he says.

“Every day is entertaining – kids are hilarious. It’s also really fulfilling – even the smallest wins make a big difference.”

There are more than 120 teacher vacancies across the NT according to the Teach in the Territory site and for Mr Brown, teaching in Alice Springs offers a particularly unique experience that he says teaches him as much as he teaches the students.

“You’re intimately close to fascinating stories and Country, and there’s always plenty you’ll learn from the kids themselves,” he says.

“There aren’t many places like this where students teach and yarn about how to weld a dirt bike, wrangle a bull or cook kangaroo tail.”

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Claire Halliday has an extensive career as a full-time writer - across book publishing, copywriting, podcasting and feature journalism - for more than 25 years. She lives in Melbourne with children, two border collies and a grumpy Burmese cat. Contact: claire.halliday[at]