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Curtin graduate passes on her knowledge to Timorese teachers

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23 September 2008

Rebecca Shaw may have only recently graduated from Curtin University of Technology, but that’s not stopping her passing on what she’s learned to teachers in struggling Timorese schools.

Rebecca is the youngest of a team of four teachers from Strathalbyn Christian College who will travel to Dili later this month to run a professional development course for local Timorese teachers.

Despite being relatively new to teaching, this will be the second trip Rebecca makes to the country to provide valuable support and advice to teachers in one of the poorest countries in the world.

“It is incredibly rewarding to be able to take what I’ve learned through my degree and my experience in the classroom and pass it onto teachers in Timor,” Rebecca said.

“In Australia we take it for granted that we can go to university and learn the latest techniques using state of the art technology. More often than not, teachers in Timor have had no formal training and have to make do with what little resources they have.”

Rebecca graduated last year with a Primary Bachelor of Education through Curtin’s Centre for Regional Education at the Geraldton Universities Centre. She was offered a job as a Year 4 teacher while she was completing her final work experience unit at Strathalbyn Christian College.

“Being able to study what you want, where you want is a privilege that many people don’t have,” she said.

“My first trip to Timor really opened my eyes to what amazing learning and professional development opportunities we have in comparison to other countries. It also helped me to see different ways to live out my faith in God. He’s the One who inspired me to do this.”

The week-long professional development course Rebecca is involved in is backed by the Timorese government, but is fully funded by donations from Strathalbyn, with all teachers volunteering their time.

“I’m more than happy to donate my time – I see this as a great learning opportunity for me as well as the Timorese teachers we’ll be working with,” Rebecca said.

Rebecca will return from her trip to East Timor on 6 October.

Contact: Rebecca Shaw; Strathalbyn Christian College; 08 9921 5115; 0417 908 117;

CRICOS provider code: 00301J

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