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From Teaching Assistant to Empowering Indigenous Youth

For Terri-Anne Logan, the journey into teaching wasn’t initially in the plan. However, eight years ago, she developed a love for working alongside children. This spark ignited a passion to uplift and empower Indigenous youth.

When Terri-Anne embarked on a Bachelor of Primary Education and Early Years course in 2020, she was already making a difference as an Aboriginal Teacher Assistant. It was during this time that she found her motivation to delve deeper into Indigenous education.

‘Enrolling in this course was a step forward to enhance my role within Catholic Education Western Australia,’ Terri-Anne reflects.

NIKERI paving the perfect path

Living in Western Australia, Terri-Anne didn’t follow the usual path of a Deakin student completing her course with Deakin University’s National Indigenous Knowledges Education Research Innovation Institute.

‘Deakin, through NIKERI, offered me a unique opportunity to engage in weekly intensives. The support and guidance from the staff were absolutely extraordinary. I genuinely believe that I wouldn’t have reached this milestone without the opportunities provided,’ she says.

Navigating through her degree amid the challenges of the global pandemic in 2020, Terri-Anne faced the shift to virtual learning with resilience.

‘The year 2020 brought the onset of COVID-19, which meant a significant portion of the course shifted online, conducted through weekly Zoom sessions,’ she recounts.

Over three trimesters, she pushed through the difficulties, ultimately crossing the graduation finish line in 2022.

Throughout her course, Terri-Anne set her sights on becoming an Aboriginal Education Consultant.

‘I run Aboriginal playgroups, and I felt that a Bachelor of Early Years and Primary was the perfect complement,’ she says.

Be yourself and everything will fall into place

Terri-Anne can’t stress enough over the importance of reading and taking in every aspect of support provided while completing the course.

‘Do it at your own pace, don’t rush and make sure you read and do more reading. Everything is provided and the support systems are in place to help you through, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it,’ she says.

While all of this is important, it’s also essential to enjoy the course and take each day as it comes.

‘Have fun! Don’t sweat on the small stuff or big stuff, it’s okay if you don’t know everything, I didn’t and still don’t! You don’t have to be the smartest person in your class, just be yourself and everything will fall into place,’ she explains.

She says it is essential to embrace every minute of this story and take nothing for granted. ’work hard make friends and if things feel overwhelming take a breath’, she continues. ‘Life is one big book and this is an amazing chapter, embrace every minute of it.’

The next chapter

Looking forward, Terri-Anne has her sights set on pursuing a PhD.

‘I’m currently completing my graduate diploma in Indigenous Research, which is keeping me occupied. Once this is concluded, I’m diving into my PhD with a dedicated focus on Aboriginal Education,’ she envisions.

Her aspirations are anchored in her desire to continue her journey with Catholic Education WA.

‘In the years ahead, I hope to secure a role as an Aboriginal Education Consultant with Catholic Education WA, and perhaps, one day, ascend to the role of Aboriginal Education Team Leader. That would be truly phenomenal,’ she says.

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