BEING named as a finalist in the WA Training Awards has continued an amazing year for Karawara resident Marika Councillor.
Mrs Councillor won the Polytechnic West Geof Gale Medal for top overall student earlier this year and was encouraged to nominate for the upcoming awards, for which she has been announced as a finalist in the WA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year 2016.
A passion for teaching inspired her to complete a Certificate Certificate III in Education Support at Polytechnic West.
Mrs Councillor said being a finalist in the WA Training Awards was humbling.
“I’m not the type of person who looks for praise, it’s not that it doesn’t sit well with me but it’s still surprising,” she said.
“When I won the Geof Gale Medal, I was up against engineering students and students from other disciplines so I didn’t expect it.”
Mrs Councillor’s love for teaching began when she began her teaching degree at Deakin University in Geelong during 1994 but she had to drop out to look after her baby after meeting her future husband.
After a number of government jobs, she returned to teaching as a part-time teacher’s assistant at Good Shepherd Catholic School in 2013 before taking up her current full-time position at Clontarf Aboriginal College.
Mrs Councillor said she was enjoying teaching because it did not feel like a job.
“It’s really rewarding because at a school like Clontarf, we are looking after all their needs such as their emotional needs,” she said.
“It’s different from a mainstream school because it’s all Aboriginal kids; I feel like I’m giving back to my own people.
“I feel like kids are too focused on Facebook and Instagram these days, I want to see them give back to society.”
Mrs Councillor said after not expecting to win the Geof Gale Medal, she had no expectations about taking home a prize at the WA Training Awards.
“When I went to the dinner, I didn’t have a speech prepared and I was really gobsmacked, I basically had to walk off the stage before they asked me any questions,” she said.
“This time, I’m a bit more prepared; I’ve written a small speech, nothing over the top.”