Being announced as a finalist in the Tasmanian Young Australian of the Year award was an incredible honour on its own, but to be announced the winner was something I never could've predicted.
Master of Teaching (Primary)
My journey into education began immediately after I left school, as I saw a need to teach students about business in a fun and engaging manner before they enter the workforce. This desire never left me while I studied my Bachelor of Environmental Design, with me taking time out during the semester to go into schools and teach when I should've been doing other assignments.
I chose to study through the University of Tasmania as a distance student after carefully considering my options, because I was also working full time for most of my studies too. This gave me the flexibility to take control of my own schedule, which helped me continue to do the work in schools that I love, but still get the qualification that I wanted.
For the entire time of my degree, along with working in retail and management positions, I've also been running my own business called illuminate SDF. In the business, I could be helping young entrepreneurs to kick-start their companies, stimulating small businesses to challenge the status quo, challenging communities to understand their potential or teaching hundreds of students to embrace innovation to solve the problems of the future. They are all things I love to do, and through studying my Masters of Teaching, I've had an opportunity to develop some of the skills to help with these passions. At the end of 2014, over 1100 students have completed the business challenges I designed and facilitated, and into the future hopefully many more students across Tasmania and Australia can benefit from the program.
My advice for future students is to be prepared and accountable! Technology and systems never work as planned, and studying as a distance student in Queenstown has seen me have to drive to the nearest campus to complete little tasks - which would've derailed my plans if I was doing everything at the last minute. The same goes for being accountable - I know that doing my studies a little differently meant that I often had to chase documentation and information, rather than expecting it to arrive. These traits will help you excel in anything you do, but extremely important in studying.
Being announced as a finalist in the Tasmanian Young Australian of the Year award was an incredible honour on its own, but to be announced the winner was something I never could've predicted. I don't even know who nominated me for the work that I do, but obviously it is making such an impact that they did! To me, being awarded with this honour is a way of saying that what I am passionate about as an individual is valued by so many more people, which only encourages me to do more and more. I've had an extremely successful year, being announced as Launceston's Young Citizen of the Year as well as the winner of the Leadership & Innovation Award and a semi finalist in the Teaching Award at the Tasmanian Young Achiever Awards - and now with my teaching degree too in hand, I'm ready to impact thousands of students a year to be more innovative, creative - and to believe in tomorrow today.