Education students make a mark at schools

Education students make a mark at schools

Nicola Rusten"Teaching in the Tiwi Islands was an incredible experience, both professionally and personally. It gave me the opportunity to experience education in a unique setting and helped me to develop skills that will enhance my future teaching."

Nicola Rusten and Victoria Thwaites
Bachelor of Arts with Diploma of Education students

Early in 2013 Bachelor of Arts with Diploma of Education students Nicola Rusten and Victoria Thwaites completed a teaching placement with a difference. They travelled to the Tiwi Islands, 80 kilometres off the coast of Darwin to work in schools that cater to the Indigenous Nguiu Community. Nicola and Victoria spent 20 days working at the Xavier Catholic College Wurrumiyanga and Murrupurtiyanuwu Catholic Primary School as part of the Across Country program run in conjunction with PACE.

The Across Country program was initiated by Macquarie students Nik Dawson and Mitch Donaldson, ex-Knox Grammar school pupils, who developed strong ties with the Nguiu Community in 2010. The program builds a sustainable relationship between Macquarie, Knox and the two Tiwi schools.

Demand for educators is high in the Northern Territory and difficulty in recruiting teachers has put a strain on its education system. It is hoped that through the establishment of this program, Macquarie education students will gain knowledge about the benefits of teaching in a remote community, and in turn a diverse range of teachers will be attracted to work there.

"Teaching in the Tiwi Islands was an incredible and enriching experience, both professionally and personally," says Nicola (pictured above). "It gave me the opportunity to experience education in a unique setting and helped me to develop valuable skills that will greatly enhance my future teaching."

Due to the great work of Nicola and Victoria the school principal has asked for the program to be extended. Later this year two more Macquarie students will go to the Tiwi Islands to complete a three-week professional experience placement with PACE.

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