Joanne - On Track to Teach the Children of Tibooburra
Hailing from the tiny outback town of Tibooburra in far northwest NSW, Joanne had worked in administration at the Tibooburra Outback School of the Air for nine years when she began to feel that she could make a bigger difference in front of the class rather than in the office. “Our little school finds it hard to employ teachers due to our remoteness and isolation,” Joanne said. “Working in such a remote location doesn’t appeal to many people, so often our teachers come here and don’t really like it because it’s so far away from their friends and family.”
Joanne is currently studying a Bachelor of Educational Studies full-time by distance through Charles Sturt University in Dubbo. Once she has finished her degree she’s determined to put it to good use. “I’m passionate about ensuring everybody can get a good education. I really want to encourage the children of our town to stay at school and get an education in order to improve their lives,” said Joanne.
The RAS Foundation Scholarship that Joanne received has meant she’s been able to afford
to travel the 1800km round trip to attend residential school each term in Dubbo and buy textbooks. “Last year I found that by the time I received my textbooks from the library, it was almost time to send them back,” Joanne said. “Having my own textbooks on hand has made studying a breeze and I am very grateful to have received the scholarship which helped me to afford them.”
Despite the many kilometres behind the wheel and the challenge of juggling full-time work and study, as well as raising three children, Joanna has taken it all in her stride and even achieved excellent marks this year. It’s been a lot harder than she thought it would be, but it’s the connections Joanne has made with other students which are helping to beat the isolation of long distance study. “I’ve been really lucky to meet some amazing and inspiring fellow Aboriginal people doing the same course who also feel passionate about encouraging our children to understand the importance of education,” Joanne said.