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Teaching success just the beginning

Thursday, 08 December 2011


Education graduate Sharon Attree’s passion and dedication for teaching has been recognised by the WA Department of Education, who named her as one of the 2011 WA Beginning Teacher’s of the Year.

Currently the coordinator of the Yaakiny Senior School Engagement Program for Year 11 students, Sharon teaches Aboriginal students who are labelled ‘at risk’.

“I remember a lecturer in Indigenous education at university explaining that my culture – white and middle class – will be the dominant culture in the classroom if we teach in major regional or metropolitan areas,” Sharon said.

“I’ve been lucky enough to experience being the minority culture in my classroom. Through building trust and honesty with my students they were kind enough to let me in.”

Sharon is currently balancing her teaching with studying for a Master of Education at ECU’s South West Campus.

“I quickly discovered that much of what I had learnt at university during my degree is really only hitting schools now so I’ve taken myself back to university to stay up-to-date. It’s also an incredibly motivating environment at university, and I missed it!”

Sharon hopes to continue her work educating Aboriginal youths.  

“I treat every day as a new beginning and don’t judge a student if they haven’t attended for a week or two – it’s just great when they do attend. They know how much I love to be in the classroom with them and that teaching is what I love to do, because I tell them.”

As the winner of the WA Beginning Teacher of the Year, Sharon will receive $3000 which will go towards professional development. She plans to use the money to head overseas and pursue further indigenous cultural awareness training.

For more information on the awards visit the Department of Education website.

For more information about teaching at ECU South West visit


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