Charlie is the Director, Governance, Strategic Implementation and Governance, Schools and Student Support at the Queensland Department of Education. His role is to design and direct a systems governance function, strengthening approaches to project management, risk and improved culture. Charlie also provides strategic, operational and tactical advice on complex matters across the broader education portfolio in Queensland and Australia.
Charlie Palupe, Executive Member
His work experience spans 16 years working for the Queensland Government, currently in the Department of Education, and previously in the Department of Transport and Main Roads and former Department of Main Roads.
Reflecting on his upbringing, Charlie acknowledges those who sacrificed much so that he could have certain opportunities and privileges and those who offered a helping hand, shared life experiences, or opened doors. Born in Moto’otua in the early-1980s, Charlie grew up in Lalovaea and attended Marist Brothers School in the Mulivai in Apia, Samoa. Charlie migrated to Australia in the early-90s, where he first learned to speak English fluently and developed a love for reading and writing. Today, he resides in inner Brisbane with his partner Kayne, and their fur children (chihuahuas), Chino and Willow.
Charlie explains that while he’s proud to see Pasifika engaged at all levels of education, his beliefs are rooted in public policy, and he hopes to see Pasifika people consider decision-making positions that positively impact our communities.
“Our family stories, our cultural experiences, our lived social and economic struggles navigating the Australian way of life – balanced with our deep connection to our Pacific identity and religion; enables us to provide meaningful contributions to the development of both private and public educational policies.”
Charlie considers himself a living example of the transformative power of education. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and Government and postgraduate qualifications in policy analysis, public sector administration and management. Charlie says his personal story underpins his professional passion for public services and fierce determination to enhance educational policy outcomes. He hopes this passion will improve the life and wellbeing of individuals so they may be empowered to thrive for themselves, their families, and their communities.
“I am a Pacific Islander migrant who did not learn how to speak English fluently until I was 10 years of age. I grew up in a low socioeconomic area and have personal experiences of the deep struggles associated with social and economic hardship." Through these experiences, Charlie understands the value of education and public services in enabling himself and his family to reach their potential, lift their standard of living, and become productive and thriving citizens.
On his advice for Pasifika educators, Charlie says that “while there is much we can teach our students, children, and communities; there is much more they can teach us.”