Early Childhood Aboriginal Pathways Scholarship recipient Tiffany committed to connecting children to Country
Gamilaroi woman Tiffany Stute is new to teaching but even in the short time she has been in the profession, she has been dedicated to ensuring Aboriginal perspectives are front and centre of the play-based learning approach at her kinder service, recently sharing her story with SBS.
Ms Stute received an Early Childhood Aboriginal Pathways Scholarship, making the decision to build on her dual passions for learning and writing. After completing a Bachelor of Arts, and entering the workforce, she soon realised her true passions lied in working with children.
“I started doing a bit of work as a library assistant and realised I was really loving working with the kids, and just connecting with them,” she told SBS.
Ms Stute first saw an advertisement about the scholarship on Facebook, and credits the scholarship opportunity for allowing her to enrol in early years studies and support her financially while she completed her learning.
“The sense of financial safety gave me that breathing space,” she shared.
“I didn’t feel like I had to try and balance everything. I could give myself the space to really dive into studying because…I wanted to really dedicate myself. I found so much enjoyment in it,” she said.
During COVID-19, she leant into professional learning, investing in short courses which piqued her interest, particularly around learning how to bring Indigenous culture into the classroom, and about social and emotional play-based learning.
Having gained employment after completing her studies, Ms Stute is now settled in a service close to home and has taken on a team leader role, something she hopes will be the beginning of a long career in early childhood education.
“It’s coming with possibilities. It’s not just come in and teach and that’s all for the next 30 years. The possibility of moving up, looking at research or different areas, that’s really exciting,” she said.
For others who are considering early childhood as a career, her advice is simple – “Give it a go, don’t be afraid you know. Don’t be held back by your own fear.”
The Victorian Government’s Early Childhood Aboriginal Pathways Scholarship program provides First Nations students up to $34,000 towards an approved undergraduate qualification.
The program aims to support First Nations people who wish to pursue a rewarding career as an early childhood teacher or educator and prioritises embedding Indigenous perspectives into early childhood education.
For more information, visit: https://www.vic.gov.au/make-difference-early-childhood-teaching.
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