In December 2013, teachers, students, family and community members gathered at TAFE in Cairns for the annual RATEP graduation. Pictured are most of the 35 Certificate IV and 15 Diploma graduates of 2013, along with the TAFE, Education Queensland and James Cook University RATEP teachers and support staff.

RATEP 2013 Graduation
RATEP 2013 Graduation Ceremony. Story and picture supplied.

Keynote speaker was Wik woman and RATEP graduate teacher, Fiona Wirrer-George Oochunyung. Whose key message to the graduates was to never underestimate your own abilities as life is a long journey and success comes to those who don’t give up.

Quotes by RATEP Diploma graduates

Studying through RATEP … has helped me to better understand many issues we face as Indigenous people and I feel the knowledge I have gained will help me overcome barriers that may have held me back previously..

It is a scary thought to change careers with a wife and children to consider. But RATEP has helped me make the move and I am proud to be a positive Indigenous, male role model in schools.

I aim to help improve the education levels of our kids, in both Western schooling and their cultural history/practices in my future work as a classroom teacher and Indigenous mentor.

I want to be able to lead the Indigenous children on the right path to success with guidance and understanding.

Studying in an Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander context has helped me to embrace my cultural heritage to an even greater extent. I have become the best version of myself, someone my daughter can look up to and a leader for my people.

I have been encouraged to explore the impact of my identity on my life and my work in Education. I have high expectations of all students and high expectations of myself which I believe makes a student strive for their own goals.


RATEP LogoRATEP is a community-based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education program that aims to increase the pool of registered Indigenous teachers in Queensland.  RATEP achieves this aim through the delivery of culturally relevant and academically rigorous courses to Indigenous peoples living in their home communities and towns.

RATEP is a joint initiative of Tropical North Queensland Institute of TAFE (TNQIT) Cairns, Education Queensland (EQ – the government schools sector) and James Cook University (JCU) Townsville.

Since 1990, over 150 fully qualified Indigenous teachers have come through the program, along with almost 1000 TAFE level graduates.

See RATEP presentation at MATSITI National Forum, 2012.


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