TAFE graduates a step closer to teaching careers
A GROUP of TAFE students is celebrating taking the next step in higher education, which they hope will lead to teaching careers.Tegan Green, Jasmine Johnstone, Fallon Blewonski and Leanne Taylor are among 50 indigenous students who graduated from the Tropical North Queensland TAFE Remote Area Teacher Education Program yesterday.
Mother-of-five Ms Green, of Cairns, said that without the program, she would never have achieved a higher education.
"I was pregnant when I came in for an interview," she said.
"I definitely wouldn't have thought about university if it hadn't been for this course." Ms Green said the course also allowed her to bring her newborn to class for the first three months and she now plans to become a primary school teacher.
Ms Johnstone, who grew up at Malanda, said she would be proud to teach in an indigenous community after visiting Badu Island in the Torres Strait as part of the remote area teacher program.
"It was amazing to see the different sort of lifestyle," she said.
"It is so different and all the children are really bright. After being there, I would have no problem working in a community."
She said having an indigenous background helped teaching at the remote school because of her understanding of the culture and social issues.
Nineteen-year-old Ms Blewonski, of Toowoomba, said she would continue her studies at a Brisbane-based university next year to become a senior drama teacher while Ms Taylor will complete a Bachelor of Education at James Cook University.
Now in its 22nd year, the program which is predominantly studied externally is open to indigenous students across Queensland.
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Class act: Graduates from the Diploma of education Tegan Green , Jasmine Johnstone , Fallon Blewonski and Leanne Taylor. Picture: ANNA ROGERS