Vocational qualifications for teaching assistants offered at Broome Campus

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Winter 14-7-2011

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame, Fremantle Campus

Publication Place



An increasing number of Indigenous teacher assistants seeking vocational training are taking the unique opportunity to study at The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Broome Campus.

Certificate III Education Support Lecturer at the Broome Campus, Cathy Borthwick, says many teacher assistants in remote Western Australian schools have years of experience but no formal qualifications.

“The majority of students are employed in very remote independent Indigenous schools in the Kimberley and travel up to 1200km to attend block training sessions, three for each school term, in the nationally accredited Certificate III in Education Support,” Ms Borthwick said

“Completion of this Certificate can lead to teacher assistants gaining entry into the University’s Bachelor of Education to receive fully accredited teaching qualifications.”

The 12 month course delivers training and provides on-and-off the job assessment opportunities to further the students’ study and computer skills and enhance their employment prospects.

A strong emphasis has been placed on structuring course components for Indigenous relevance (including the use of Indigenous languages) to improve teaching outcomes in remote schools.

Students then return to their communities where they continue to work on achieving competency in their assessment tasks, including the coordination of classroom activities in their workplace.

“By qualifying local community people, the chances of improving Indigenous education outcomes are far greater than before,” Ms Borthwick said.

“I feel privileged in my role to facilitate improved education for Indigenous students.”

As a Registered Training Organisation, Notre Dame offers Vocational Education Training courses which provide opportunities for teacher assistants to gain an entry level qualification in their chosen occupation.

For more information, contact Notre Dame’s Broome Campus on (08) 9192 0600.

Media Contact: Leigh Dawson (+61) 8 9433 0569, Mob (+61) 0405 441 093