Kuku Yalanji man Marshall Winkle is one of the most recent recipients of a $5,000 TAFE Queensland scholarship. The opportunity will let him pursue his passion of becoming a leader in the classroom, and is helping provide a pathway to university.
“I want to become a teacher and role model for young children and work in schools in remote Far North Queensland, especially my own community in Bloomfield and Wujal Wujal,” said Marshall.
“I recently graduated from TAFE Queensland with a Certificate IV in Education through the RATEP program, and I am looking forward to enhancing my skills and beginning my diploma studies in 2018.”
RATEP is a community-based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education initiative which aims to increase the number of teachers and teacher-aides working in regional and remote Queensland.
“I have really enjoyed working in classrooms during my certificate studies and through the RATEP program, and feel that I have a lot to offer as a trained teacher,” said Marshall.
“I believe that Indigenous teachers can play a vital part in helping young people see the value of school and stay motivated to learn, while also being able to assist non-Indigenous teaching staff to better understand Indigenous youth.”
“Being an Indigenous youth myself has given me valuable insight into why some students drop out. If I can succeed in my goal of gaining a teaching qualification, I can help to 'close the gap' and break the cycle of disengagement in our young people.”
Through the RATEP program, eligible students can use their diploma qualification from TAFE Queensland to gain credit towards a Bachelor of Education at James Cook University, which is Marshall’s goal.
“TAFE Queensland has provided me an opportunity with this scholarship to access a tutor, as well as purchasing a computer and paying for internet access, which will let me continue with my studies.”
“If I work hard and stay focused on my goal, I will be the first person in my family to gain a university degree,” said Marshall.