Social worker to take caring ethos into classrooms | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Social worker to take caring ethos into classrooms

After a decade working in frontline child protection, Hervey Bay's Tanya Jackson is planning to transition her skills from social work to the school environment.

The 40-year old is enrolled in a Primary Education degree (Graduate Entry) at USC Fraser Coast to expand her career opportunities to include roles as a primary school teacher and school guidance officer.

“I needed a change after 10 years working as a case manager in Child Safety, Youth Detention and Youth Residential Care,” said Ms Jackson who has a degree in Psychology.

“Today, careers and jobs are far more fluid than they used to be – and an Education degree qualifies you for far more than just teaching.”

She said working as a school guidance officer, providing advice and counselling to students on issues ranging from mental health and family to education and behaviour, seemed a logical career progression.

In Queensland, school guidance officers must be registered teachers and have a Master of Guidance and Counselling or a four-year degree in Psychology.

“My background in child safety and youth care will assist greatly in developing targeted planning to help students, schools and families in tangible and meaningful ways,” she said.

“The role fits well with my ethos to work in professions where you help people.”

The Aboriginal mother of three is also interested in working back in Community Services to support Indigenous families.

“I hope that by having qualifications and experience in both social work and education, it may open doors to a career in the government sector where I can help to create and implement strategic social and educational initiatives for Indigenous communities,” she said.

“I want to help build our next generation of leaders, parents, and successful champions.”

Ms Jackson chose to study at USC’s Fraser Coast campus because of its emphasis on face-to-face learning.

“Being able to attend lectures and tutorials and interact face-to-face with my lecturers and fellow students helps greatly in the quality of education I receive.”

— Clare McKay

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