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Tahnee is empowering people to achieve better health outcomes

TAFE Queensland’s Toowoomba Indigenous Student of the Year, Tahnee Hooper, has been recognised for her outstanding achievements during her studies and in her role within a Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health organisation, as she guides clients towards a healthier tomorrow.

The Diploma of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health (HLT50113) graduate received the special award in front of her family and friends, and more than 600 students celebrating the completion of their studies, at a recent TAFE Queensland Darling Downs and South West Graduation Ceremony for the graduating class of 2022.

Putting into practice the advanced community health skills and knowledge she gained during her course, complemented by her existing experience in the health sector, Tahnee is leading the delivery of holistic, whole-of-life care programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Toowoomba and the wider Darling Downs region.

“I want to make a difference in people’s lives and to help our mob and communities achieve better health outcomes,” Tahnee explained.

After a positive experience completing another diploma course with TAFE Queensland, Tahnee undertook the Diploma of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health (HLT50113) course full-time over 18 months. She enjoyed the opportunity to attend a week of classes in person once a month at the TAFE Queensland Toowoomba campus.

“I looked forward to attending classes on campus and meeting students from all walks of life,” Tahnee said.

“My teachers, Leanne and Mandy, were very inspiring, kind, and compassionate. I was able to approach them easily and ask for guidance, support, and advice in-person and through emails,” she added

Tahnee’s studies have enabled her to advance her career in an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health organisation within Queensland Health.

“Since completing my qualification, I’ve progressed in my team from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Trainee Health Worker to an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker Professional Lead,” Tahnee said.

TAFE Queensland Nursing and Health educators, Amanda Beetson and Leanne Morgan, praised Tahnee’s diligence and persistence throughout the course.

“Tahnee was organised, efficient and her approach to her role is professional, caring, supportive and engaging at all times,” Ms Beetson said.

“She also demonstrated a willingness to learn ideas and concepts beyond her course and a commitment to continue her life-long learning within the health sector.” she added.

With more than six decades of combined experience working as registered nurses across acute care, primary health, Indigenous health and in the Australian Defence Force, together Ms Beetson and Ms Morgan equipped Tahnee and her classmates with the confidence to pursue successful careers in the region’s ever-growing health care industry.

Ms Beetson believes Tahnee has a bright future ahead of her, with sought-after team leadership abilities.

“Tahnee is an extremely valued part of the multidisciplinary team she works within and provides professional support and guidance to her colleagues in order to provide holistic and culturally-respectful care for clients accessing the local Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander Health Service,” Ms Morgan commented.

Despite a busy family life as a mother of three, a challenging role in community health and her studies, Tahnee credits an optimistic outlook for her success, and she recommends others take that approach when considering training with TAFE Queensland.

“Have a positive attitude and a ‘can-do’ mind set,” she advised.

“The power of positivity in your life can help you achieve anything you put your mind to.”