Katanning Students Tanya Ritchie, Keona Pickett, Tianna Ryder, and Jamie McVee are celebrating completing their Certificate III in Education Support and moving straight into employment. All are now working in either primary or secondary schools in the local area.
Tanya is an Education Assistant at Braeside Primary School and Nyabing Primary School, and Keona has been appointed as the Deadly Sista Girlz Program coordinator at Katanning Senior High School.
Tianna and Jamie are employed as Aboriginal Islander Education Officers, with Tiana at Katanning Senior High School and Jamie at Kojonup District High School.
Jamie was working in a school canteen and initially had no plans of studying Education Support. She had just come into TAFE along with her friend who was enrolling in the course.
SRT Education Support Lecturer Andrea Rundle encouraged Jamie to enrol in the course too.
Jamie said she was nervous, saying she lacked confidence as she wasn’t the best student in school, but after a little bit of convincing from Andrea, she enrolled, and it was the best thing she ever did.
“Supporting the younger Aboriginal students coming through the school and guiding them through their education is my biggest success” Jamie said.
At the moment, Jamie is providing general student support services to Aboriginal Students at school.
“Younger students often struggle with separation from their family and dealing with strangers, so I offer a safe place for these students to come and be with someone who understands them.”
Jamie is also looking to develop and implement a Reconciliation Action Plan program for the school this year.
Jamie loves every day at work and hopes to continue her training by completing the Certificate IV in Education Support. She has even recommended the course to her mum who has previously worked with Aboriginal students.
For now, Jamie plans to keep growing her new role into something that will have long lasting benefits to future students.
Jamie’s advice to anyone considering further training or the Education Support pathway is to “take every opportunity as it comes. Take it on with confidence, believe in yourself and know you can do it. Because you can.”
Andrea said she is so proud of these bright women. They are fantastic role models and provide an excellent example to all community sectors. These women were prepared to work hard from day one and were interested in learning about education support. Andrea said she couldn’t have asked for more from her students.
Andrea had intended to retire and travel with her husband before taking on her lecturing role. However, now in her seventh year of lecturing, Andrea still finds herself inspired by students like these four women.
Andrea explained the course continues to attract future education sector leaders from the Indigenous community. There are currently three more Indigenous students studying the course who have also gained employment in local schools while they finish their studies.