Students' passion for education rewarded

None
Kirsty Steel, Priscilla Strasek, Sophia Brown, Brenda McBride, Tim Long, Jo Nicholls, Rebecca Dodgson, Ashleigh Camp, Raylene Weldon, Crystelle Donnelly, Emily Naden, Amanda Close, Tracey Walford, Jennifer Crump, Jen Shearer.                                     Photo: LOUISE?DONGES

Kirsty Steel, Priscilla Strasek, Sophia Brown, Brenda McBride, Tim Long, Jo Nicholls, Rebecca Dodgson, Ashleigh Camp, Raylene Weldon, Crystelle Donnelly, Emily Naden, Amanda Close, Tracey Walford, Jennifer Crump, Jen Shearer. Photo: LOUISE?DONGES

None

Indigenous scholarship and merit award winners at Charles Sturt University were jumping for joy yesterday, following an assembly to congratulate the early childhood and primary education students on their success.

Rebecca Dodgson's passion for children's education was awarded with two scholarships - an Indigenous Education Scholarship and an Indigenous Access Scholarship.

As well as studying full-time, Ms Dodgson is raising two children, working night shift, and helping her husband with his business.

She is hoping to prove that there's nothing that can't be achieved.

"If you have a goal don't knock it down because you can't do it. Education is the key to success," Ms Dodgson said.

Ms Dodgson said she turned to a career in teaching to prevent the disconnect she faced in school.

"I found it hard myself going through school, nobody was interested in helping me learn," she said.

"I switched off and didn't feel the need to study anymore so I would like to make a better environment for early childhood learning."

She said she wanted to correct the low levels of literacy and numeracy in Indigenous students and lower the high level of students who drop out in year eight.

Tim Long said he began his degree to have a similar impact as Ms Dodgson.

"I come from a low socio-economic area, I was raised by a single parent. I wanted to show people you can become successful and show Aboriginal students they do have a career that's not chosen for them," Mr Long said.

Mr Long was presented with an Outstanding in Professional Practice Award for a high level of achievement at his four weeks placement at Greenhills Childcare Centre in South Windsor.

"Placement teaches you as well. You get a chance to meet other Aboriginal people in their communities and learn about their culture, hear their stories," he said.

The second-year student said after he finishes his Bachelor degree, he plans to add a post graduate degree in Aboriginal Studies and History and then get his Masters.

Ashleigh Camp is also looking to motivate students, proving that if she can do it so can they.

She was thrilled to hear she had been awarded an Indigenous Access Scholarship and used the financial support to purchase a new computer and textbooks to help with her studies.