The University of Notre Dame Australia’s first on-country graduations – designed to make the ceremonies accessible to families, local communities, colleagues and peers – were held in the East Kimberly from June 18-21.
Conferred by Professor Caroline Mansfield, Dean of Education (Fremantle), the ceremonies were conducted at three schools taking part in the Vocational Education Training (VET) education support training program delivered by Notre Dame’s Broome Campus to Aboriginal Teaching Assistants under the University’s current Catholic Education Western Australia (CEWA) agreement.
A total of eight students took part in three graduation ceremonies: at St Joseph’s School in Wyndham; St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Kununurra; and at Ngalangangpum School, Warman Aboriginal Community.
The graduands in Certificate III in Education Support were Renee Arnold and Vanessa Thomas.
The graduands in Certificate IV in Education Support were Sunny Duinker, Latarney Johnson, Sally Johnson, Judith Brennan, Sandra Kelly and Sonia Bray.
The ceremonies were also attended by Broome’s Dean of Education, Primary Program Coordinator, Patrick Hampton and VET Education Course Coordinator, Jo Camilleri and representative of CEWA.
“It was wonderful to see the graduands acknowledged and applauded by their families, local communities, colleagues and peers,” said Jo Camilleri, Notre Dame’s Course Coordinator, School of Education (Broome)
“Importantly, it also offered the opportunity for the children of each school to witness the tremendous efforts and achievements of their community role models.
“The ceremonies also gave us unique insights, the opportunity to meet with school principals and alumni teaching staff and develop a deep and clear understanding of opportunities to better support rural and remote teacher training as well as articulated pathways between the VET and higher education programs offered through the university,” she added
Photo: At St Joseph’s Kununurra, graduates Sandra Kelly and Judith Brennan are congratulated by fellow teaching assistants Bernice Dann and Susan Swan
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