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A Brewarrina educator is ensuring that Aboriginal communities across 1,000 kilometres of Western NSW continue to have access to education and fresh food throughout COVID-19.
TAFE NSW graduate Naomi Train is a Mobile Children’s Services Teacher who provides early childhood teaching consultation, practice and modelling to targeted Aboriginal communities and properties such as Hebel, Weilmoringle, Carinda and Kia Ora.
“Whilst being unable to travel and after seeking permission from the Elders, my team and I were able to have fruit parcels delivered and post or email packages of education programs and documentation to outlying communities, while adhering to COVID-19 social distancing, health and hygiene protocols,” said Ms Train.
“We’ve already had positive feedback that community groups are incredibly happy not to have been forgotten. If we had not taken this initiative, children who are already extremely isolated would not have had education materials to keep their minds active and stay up to date with their lessons.”
A Brewarrina local, Ms Train recently completed a Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care with TAFE Digital to complement over 10 years’ of work and training she already had in classrooms in the formal early childhood education and primary school sectors.
Studying online with TAFE Digital was a critical success factor to Ms Train completing the Diploma in the timeframe she was targeting, as she could set her own study schedule, undertake research and work on assignments at her own pace, all while still working.
“I am passionate about reflection and evaluating what is and what is not working in our industry, especially within isolated rural and remote communities.”
TAFE Digital Head Teacher, Anna Hamilton, was invited to visit Ms Train in her home town and observe her mobile education service.
“Naomi is a proud Aboriginal woman who has a close relationship to her people and her land. During my visit to Brewarrina I was enthralled to walk the paths of some of her ancestors and hear the stories they shared with her, which she in turn shared with me in her own words,” said Ms Hamilton.
“She has to be creative and innovative with her resources, as she has limited space in her van. Watching how she can use one toy to build on multiple skills and interests in children across different age groups is representative of the strength of her teaching ability and skill.”
The mobile education services she provides, the community programs she runs, and her in-depth cultural knowledge, makes Naomi Train the incredible teacher and very special person she is.
Media contact: Bonny Gunn, TAFE Digital Media and Communications Business Partner. M 0417 134 048.