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Full marks for finishing

Thursday, 3rd March, 2011

MAKING HISTORY: (from left) Donna Scotti (TAFE teacher), Maari Ma CEO Bob Davis, trainees Katy Jasper, Nicole Hughes, Belinda King, Chris O’Donnell, Tracy Goodwin (TAFE teacher), Codi King, Tiffany Cattermole, Shannon Hinton, Douglas Jones and Graeme Phillipi (TAFE teacher). Absent: Stevie Kemp, Dimity Kelly and Kelly-Anne Mackay. MAKING HISTORY: (from left) Donna Scotti (TAFE teacher), Maari Ma CEO Bob Davis, trainees Katy Jasper, Nicole Hughes, Belinda King, Chris O’Donnell, Tracy Goodwin (TAFE teacher), Codi King, Tiffany Cattermole, Shannon Hinton, Douglas Jones and Graeme Phillipi (TAFE teacher). Absent: Stevie Kemp, Dimity Kelly and Kelly-Anne Mackay.

Eleven local Aboriginal health care trainees have become the first in the State to achieve a 100 per cent completion rate of their course.

The nine women and two men from Broken Hill and district started the primary health care course more than a year ago and they were presented with their graduation certificates last week at the Western Institute of TAFE in Broken Hill.

They have each gained a Certificate IV in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health (Practice) and will now do another five months of practical training with the local Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation. 

After that they may decide to continue on as primary health care workers or use their qualifications to further their careers.

The traineeship is a combination of study and on the job training over two years and their certificates were for the study component of the course, said

Maari Ma's Chief Executive Officer, Bob Davis.

Mr Davis described the trainees' achievements as "outstanding".

"The students have all applied themselves and worked very hard to obtain their qualifications," he said.

Mr Davis said some of the trainees had families to look after and apart from the five from Broken Hill the others had to travel in from their homes in

Ivanhoe, Menindee, Wilcannia and Dareton to do their training.

"Their dedication has been exemplary and I would like to congratulate them all.

"They have set a good example to others."

Mr Davis also noted that the head teacher of the course was Aboriginal and that this too had set a fine example to the students.

They will continue their workplace training with Maari Ma until August this year when they will become fully qualified primary health care workers, he said.

Mr Davis said Maari Ma would be doing all it could to help the students once they graduated in August.

"Our highest priority will be finding jobs for them," he said.

Mr Davis said the students could continue as primary healthy care workers or use their qualifications to become registered nurses or to work in other specialised areas such as midwifery, child and family health, diabetes, primary mental health, alcohol and other drugs, or nutrition. 

It was the first time that the Certificate IV in Aboriginal Primary Health had been taught in Broken Hill.

The teachers came across to the city from the Dubbo TAFE to deliver the week-long teaching blocks. There were also weekly video conferences.

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