10 May 2022
The QCT remembers the late Dr Keith Ernest Tronc OAM and acknowledges his lifelong dedication to the teaching profession.
Dr Keith Ernest Tronc passed away on Friday 18 March 2022. He was 86. It is a measure of this remarkable man that tributes to his contribution to so many fields have been provided by an array of organisations, including the Queensland Law Society, the Bar Association of Queensland, the Australian Council for Educational Leaders, and the St Andrew’s Anglican Church South Brisbane. The Queensland College of Teachers is honoured to add to these tributes in acknowledgement of Dr Tronc’s contribution to education in Queensland.
Keith Tronc was born on 20 May 1935. He began his career as a schoolteacher, and subsequently had roles as principal, university lecturer, TAFE teacher, solicitor, barrister at law, radio presenter and consultant, among many others. He taught at five universities, attaining the title of Associate Professor of Education at Griffith University. Dr Tronc embodied education earning the following degrees — PhD in Educational Administration (Alberta); B.A., B.Ed. (Hons.), M.Ed., M. Pub. Admin [Queensland]; M.A. (Hons.), Dip. Ed. Admin [New England]; LL.B. (Hons), Grad. Dip. Legal Practice [QUT].
He was an author, co-author or editor of over 40 books on education and the law, education administration, parenting and organisational theory. He authored more than 200 legal articles for professional journals and wrote more than 1000 expert witness reports for courts in Australia.
He was widely acknowledged as the nation’s foremost expert practitioner in training teachers and educational administrators in matters of professional duty of care and had been honoured with Fellowships of the Australian Institute of Management and the Queensland Institute of Educational Administration.
Dr Tronc was a consultant to government in JP reform, having written the 1989 green paper on which the Justices of the Peace and Commissioners for Declarations Act 1991 was based. He wrote all nine of the official government training manuals and instructors’ handbooks for JP training. Of particular note, he was the only lawyer who had been invited to speak at every Australian Plaintiff Lawyers Association National Conference throughout Australia since the inception of the organisation.
In 2013, the Keith Tronc Award for Outstanding Teacher Leadership was awarded by ACEL in his honour and in recognition of his exemplary ongoing commitment and service to ACEL. In 2016 he was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for services to the education and the legal profession.
Dr Keith Tronc’s contribution to teachers in Queensland is exemplary on many levels.
His Master of Public Administration thesis on ‘The establishment and development of the Queensland Board of Teacher Education’ has become the seminal piece on this early history of the QCT. The BTE was the first predecessor of the College (followed by the Board of Teacher Registration) and Dr Tronc’s work wove this important interplay of public policy, public administration, union advocacy, and conceptual understandings of professionalisation and professionalism into a highly valued historical and reflective artefact.
His many publications on schools and the law were texts in initial teacher education programs throughout Queensland. He continued to be extremely generous in presenting to graduating students at universities to prepare them for their new careers and the legal challenges which may be part of their school experience. He also continued to advise practising teachers and school leaders through presentations at conferences. As recently as 2018 he was providing responses for legal questions from school principals in the Australian Educational Leader (Tronc, 2018).
Teachers in Queensland have much to be thankful for in the contribution of Dr Keith Tronc to their history and to their knowledge.
Tronc, K. (1978). The establishment and development of the Queensland Board of Teacher Education. Dissertation presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Public Administration, The University of Queensland.
Tronc, K. (2018). 'Schools and the Law.' Australian Educational Leader, 40 (1), 76-77.