Young Indigenous educator Debbon Webb has taken out the 2016 Group Training NT (GTNT) school-based Trainee of the Year award, presented at a recent ceremony held in Alice Springs.
Webb, from the remote Hart’s Range community in the North-East of Alice Springs, has been recognised for his outstanding achievements and commitment to his study in Certificate III in Education Support at Batchelor Institute and the knowledge and skills that he has been sharing with the Aboriginal children to support their learning at Bradshaw School.
Webb said he is proud of winning the GTNT apprenticeship award because he has had to overcome numerous challenges. He has been working at the school for over a year and was searching for the right career development opportunity. “I was thinking of a solution. I said to myself ‘do something’ and I came out of my comfort zone with a vision to become an Aboriginal educator.”
“Completing the qualification in Education Support at Batchelor Institute was instrumental in my success. It is a great course because it built my capacity to become a better educator and now I am in a better position to provide assistance and support to teachers and students. I am enjoying being part of the school, helping children with additional needs and supporting them with learning,” Webb said.
He also said there are rewarding careers in the education field for Aboriginal people; they just need to set their goals and start studying. “Schools in NT need more Aboriginal educators and together we can really bridge the gap.”
Bradshaw School’s Aboriginal and Islander Education Worker Shannan Clarke said the school’s community is very proud of Webb. “He lives in two worlds and has done an amazing job of balancing his cultural responsibilities and education commitments. Debbon is highly liked by his students because he understands their culture, as he has lived it.”
“Students really listen to Mr Webb and he’s having a positive influence across the school. He also speaks language with Aboriginal children and makes them feel proud of their Aboriginal identity. The students feel connected to school with Debbon around. He is also very helpful to the teachers because he does cultural awareness sessions and builds strong working relationships,” Clarke said.
Webb’s learning journey started when he completed Year 6 at Bradshaw School. He then went on to Centralian Middle School, St Phillips and Centralian Senior College where he completed Year 12 last year.
Debbon is the only member of his immediate family to finish high school and get a job.
Bradshaw School, Assistant Principal, Jennie Ward said he is not only a role model to the younger students but also to older people who have seen Webb persist with his education and complete it. “This helps instil a positive self-belief that other Aboriginal people can achieve what they want with determination”.
GTNT provide assistance for people to undertake an apprenticeship or traineeship right across the NT.