Growing up with six brothers, Amy Gale has been told her whole life she’d make an excellent teacher.
“I guess I’m used to taking control and telling people what to do,” Amy laughed.
“But from a very young age I saw myself in that teaching role and looking after others, and that inspired my interest in how young minds function.”
Putting her life experience into her studies, Amy, 22, last week graduated from the University of Southern Queensland with a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood).
“I have loved the university experience and getting to learn more about the way children make decisions in an educational setting,” she said.
“I really like to look at children as their own person and support their learning by fostering their curiosity.”
One particular aspect of learning that’s close to Amy’s heart, is access to First Nations cultural resources in the classroom, for both students and teachers.
“I was in Year 6 when I found out that I was Indigenous. Following that I had a reckoning when I realised there was so little that I knew about First Nations Australia,” she said.
“I really want to see Indigenous culture linked in with the Australian school curriculum in a way that isn’t trivialised, so that it’s taught and celebrated every day, not just when it is NAIDOC Week.
“I didn’t grow up in community with strong Elders so there’s still a lot for me to learn, but I hope I can absorb those lessons alongside my students in the future and we can connect and study together.”
Amy, who grew up in both Warwick and Julia Creek, was supported through her university degree by an Arrow Energy “Go Further” Indigenous Scholarship worth $10,000.
“The Arrow Energy scholarship was critical in making sure that I could give my undivided attention to study and it afforded me the luxury of having my rent covered for the last three years of my degree,” she said.
“I also have a medical condition that causes chronic pain, so having that financial support made university possible for me. I have no doubt that I wouldn’t have been able to graduate without that help.”
Amy Gale recently graduated from the University of Southern Queensland with the help of an Arrow Energy ‘Go Further’ Indigenous Scholarship. Credit, USQ Photography.