As the eldest of five children, it's no surprise that Rothanna Ahwang is making a career in caring for children, and all the while she's striving to be a role model within her community too.

With a strong connection to family and community, Rothanna has made it her mission to educate herself to help shape the future of the children she works with.

The dedicated Torres Strait Islander woman has completed her Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care (CHC30113), and is now enrolled in a Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care (CHC50113).

"I am passionate about children and giving them the best start in their early childhood journey," Rothanna said.

Thanks to the Queensland Government's free apprenticeships for under 25s funding, Rothanna was able to choose TAFE Queensland to help her reach her career goals while mostly remaining within the community and her workplace.

"Culture and family is a very important part of being an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person, and connecting with community is a top priority for me. Some people go to uni, I chose to stay, work and study through a traineeship pathway. I am connected to my family and this was an important decision for me staying on Thursday Island," she continued.

"The certificate III has impacted my life by inspiring me to study further for a better career."

"My training has really helped me to grow in this industry and I am thankful for the opportunity, and thankful for the teachers who have been such an inspiration."

Not one to shy from a challenge, Rothanna, who also has a serious medical condition, managed to study and work full time throughout the pandemic.

"We were cut off from the rest of Queensland - my teacher was grounded and missed two visits. But we found a way to study through FaceTime," she said.

"It was difficult, but I was confident that I would be able to complete my study and assessment."

Rothanna's commitment to learning and being a great role model in her community has earned her recognition at a state level, recently being announced a top five finalist in her category for the Far North Queensland Training Awards. The regional winners will be announced mid 2021.

Free apprenticeships for under 25s is providing eligible young workers access to fully subsidised training across a range of priority apprenticeship or traineeship qualifications including electrotechnology, engineering, child care and health.

Learn more about free apprenticeships for under 25s

Learn more about child care

Information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students


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