RATEP – Community based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Teacher Education Program

Hi my name’s Katherine Coleiro. I’m a teacher at Northern Peninsula Area
State College. I teach at Bamaga Primary Campus. I’ve been teaching for three years and loving every second of it. I gained my education through a RATEP program, which is a remote area teacher employment program – and that was a five-year course. I was a teacher aide for a Grade 5 class and the teacher at the time had asked me to apply for RATEP and he had a bit more faith in me than I did, but I gave it a go and I was thankfully accepted. I studied two years at the Far North Queensland TAFE and three years at James Cook University, which enabled me to study onsite at Bamaga. To gain a degree in any field I think you
need to have determination, commitment and direction and you need to have a complete support network surrounded by your family and friends to ensure that you can achieve those goals and be the person that you want to be. Higher education has enabled me to teach in my home community and has allowed me to be an inspiration if not, hopefully for some
of the people in this area. I think the most positive thing that you can gain from any success is being enable to do something that you truly want to do and inspire others to do what you’re doing as well. I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting new people in the program. I had the privilege, as well, of giving the graduate address at the university graduation so I thought that was a massive highight and a great achievement. My family were very proud of my successes and I was very grateful for their support – and you can’t get far without family and
friends. For those who want to get out there and have a go at teaching, especially Indigenous people, I thoroughly recommend you take on board RATEP, it’s a great process and it’s a path that you won’t look back on. You’ll get to meet new people, you’ll
learn new things and as you develop through your career once you become a teacher you’ll continue to engage and learn with the children and community.

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