South Metropolitan TAFE Thornlie campus graduate Tanya Evans has won the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year Award.
The TAFE awards recognise students’ achievements in teaching and other leadership qualities.
Ms Evans completed a Certificate III in Education Support, while also maintaining her job as an Aboriginal Teaching Assistance at Aranmore Catholic College in Leederville.
The qualification is specifically designed for Aboriginal Teaching Assistants (ATA’s) working in Catholic education.
“Many schools in the metropolitan area have a number of students who come down from up North to attend school, they are away from their families, friends and communities and it can be hard sometimes for these students to adjust to their new environment,” she said.
“I believe that I can make a difference as a teacher and education is delivered in the classroom when it comes to Aboriginal students.”
After graduating in 2019, Ms Evans decided to undertake a Bachelor of Education at Deakin University, and she is expected to graduate by 2023.
Ms Evans’ passion for teaching was inspired by her mother’s educational journey, where she put herself through university at the age of 55, after not having the option to do so when she was younger.
“She set a great example for me, and I hope that my students and own children are equally motivated in their own lives through the example I have set for them,” she said.
“It’s about self-belief.. I want young children to have courage in the classroom to raise their hand and ask questions, to believe in themselves, to step out of their comfort zone and know that it is okay to make mistakes in the classroom.
“Do not waste time thinking about the things you can’t do, focus on the things that you can do.”
Ms Evan’s undeniable passion for education is evident in multiple aspects of her life. Senior client engagement officer and panel chair Nate Stuart said she was most deserving of the award.
“Through completion of her education support certificate and now in her university studies, she has a strong desire to make a positive impact on the lives of children and is a fantastic advocate for learning in her school community and beyond,” he said.