A proud Bundjalung woman from New South Wales, Tiesha Martin-King has always had a lifelong aspiration to work with and inspire Indigenous children and communities.

From past experience, 19-year-old Teisha knows how important role models can be to young Indigenous children.

“I understand the importance for Indigenous children to have a strong, positive Indigenous role model in their life to identify with and look up to, as it was something I didn't have growing up,” she said.

Tiesha's drive to be a positive influence paid off when she was offered a job while on placement as part of her Certificate III in Education Support (CHC30213) studies.

As an Indigenous Support Worker at Ormeau State School, Tiesha provides social, emotional and academic support to over 30 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. Tiesha said she was proud to be helping each student become successful learners at school.

“Being a role model is an important part of my position and I feel privileged to be in a job whereby I can help improve awareness and understanding of Indigenous culture at school,” she said.

Tiesha is currently working on incorporating Indigenous culture into the school learning environment to promote diversity.

Deputy Principal of Ormeau State School, Teneale Harker said the school is very lucky to have such a talented and energetic educator support person on their staff.

“We were excited to be able to offer Tiesha a position after seeing her in action during vocational placement,” she said.

“Her natural affinity with children, her knowledge and understanding of learning support and her passion for her work stood out.”

Ms Harker said Tiesha was already making a real difference to the learning outcomes of students.

“Her ideas and activities improve the whole school’s understanding of Indigenous culture and allow us to introduce Indigenous culture into the school environment in engaging ways.”

Not only did Tiesha gain practical skills and ultimately a job during her training at TAFE Queensland, but she also boosted her self-belief.

“My confidence grew while studying with TAFE Queensland and it has been invaluable in the workplace which has made me a strong leader, communicator and team player,” said Tiesha.

“I now have the confidence to openly share my ideas about Indigenous issues at the school and in the education system that should be addressed."

Earlier this year, Tiesha was recognised as a top achiever with two finalist positions in the 2020 South East Queensland Training Awards - Vocational Student of the Year and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year.

To someone who is thinking about studying at TAFE Queensland, Tiesha said to not let any hesitations hold them back.

“Studying with TAFE Queensland opened up so many great opportunities and provided me with a job outcome; so if you’re thinking about it then you should definitely do it,” she said.

“I wouldn’t be on the right career path and closer to my dream without the training and support from TAFE Queensland.”

When the time is right, Tiesha wants to spread her wings and take her skills and passion across Australia to help Indigenous children in other Aboriginal communities.

“My aim is to one day be able to travel around to remote Aboriginal communities and help the children that need it most,” she said.

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