Jumping in deep end pays off handsomely

YOUNG ACHIEVER: Rachael Muller (left) with two of her students who completed subjects towards their year 11/12 leaving certificates at Imanpa College.
YOUNG ACHIEVER: Rachael Muller (left) with two of her students who completed subjects towards their year 11/12 leaving certificates at Imanpa College.

AFTER graduating from SCU with a teaching qualification, Rachael Muller said she didn't want to "wait around for a job" because she knew finding places in NSW was extremely difficult.

So she threw herself to the winds of opportunity and landed a job in the tiny Aboriginal community of Imanpa, two hours from Uluru.

"I was up for an adventure and it was really rewarding," she said.

In her three years teaching at the secondary college at Imanpa she saw enrolments and attendance rates increase significantly and she has been short-listed for the Northern Territory's Young Achiever Awards in the 'Regional and Rural Initiative' Category.

She is currently living back in Dunoon doing some casual teaching in the region and flies to Darwin on Friday for the award ceremony on Saturday night.

"When I started there was another teacher for the first six months and then I was on my own, so I was definitely thrown in the deep end."

The college had students from 12-20 years of age and Rachael was able to help two of the students complete units for their year 11/12 school leaver's certificate, which was the first time that had been achieved.

The nomination from the community praised Rachel for her dedication and commitment to the students.

The 25-year-old said living in a community of 150 people in such a remote location was a challenge, but over time she gained the community's trust and was regularly invited hunting and gathering with the women. And she got to take a group of students to Melbourne, which was the first time any of them had been on a plane.

Rachael has also been nominated for SCU's Young Alumni of the Year.

Topics:  indigenous education teaching

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