TAFE NSW graduate Josh Wright is putting his personal learning experience and qualifications to use by supporting young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students at St Patrick’s Primary Lochinvar as they face their own challenges learning from home, and beginning to return to school as disruptions to school patterns continue.
While parents, teachers and students are under pressure in the current environment, Mr Wright has secured employment as an Aboriginal support worker at St Patrick’s providing guidance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families thanks to the skills he learnt studying Certificate III in Community Service at TAFE NSW Port Macquarie.
Nine per cent of students at St Patrick’s Lochinvar are Indigenous (1) and Mr Wright is supporting their educational achievement by strengthening relationships with Aboriginal families and the wider community and looking for opportunities for reconciliation and acknowledgement.
St Patrick’s Primary Principal, Jacqui Wilkinson, said “At St Patrick’s Primary we actively try to meet the cultural and academic needs of Aboriginal students and the Aboriginal support role provides direct assistance to teachers, students and families to achieve this."
This includes directly supporting students with personalised plans, promoting indigenous culture to staff, students and parents, providing an Aboriginal perspective on lessons and school events and implementing programs to meet school objectives.
Mr Wright said studying at TAFE NSW unlocked an “unexpected passion” which taught him about responsibility, consistency, passion, organisation and bringing a positive mindset to learning new things.
He now applies his interpersonal skills, self-reliance and dedication with professional techniques and practical skills to make positive change to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.
“My TAFE NSW course equipped me with the skills that I need to talk to and understand my students’ needs and to discuss support plans with teachers and parents,” Mr Wright said.
On completing his course and securing employment, Mr Wright said he feels a great sense of accomplishment. He said he has taken a big step from when he first started at TAFE NSW to now being able “build a relationship and discuss a plan to manage any issues” in a sensitive and caring manner.
Current students of the Certificate III in Community Services will continue to study at TAFE NSW this term using web conferencing technology. This type of connected learning supports social distancing, while enabling students to progress their studies.
Media contact: Andrew Woodcock, TAFE NSW Media and Communications Business Partner, 0409 324 379