In honour of NAIDOC week, QUT Indigenous Australian alumni Pauline Hannam writes about what her time at QUT meant to her.
Pauline is a Durumbal, Birra Gubba, and Turrbal woman who graduated from QUT in 1997 with a Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood). In her time, Pauline has worked as a nurse, a school teacher, and a child safety officer in rural Queensland. She is a member of the Brisbane Aboriginal Council of Elders, and visits prisons in south east Queensland from her home in Meanjin.
In Pauline’s language she was given the name Wadja Bimbi, meaning good talker, or teller. This name is fitting – she has written a book of over thirty poems in the past few decades, and hopes to publish with the assistance of QUT.
An Ode to QUT
By Pauline Hannam (Wadja Bimbi)
Like trees we sprouted and grew
But alas, along the way, we became a few
For some did not endure, the nurturing not enough,
But we knew from the beginning, that it would be tough
In Santrock and Berger, we learnt of the ‘greats’,
Such as Erickson, Freud, Piaget and Maslow who became like mates
Learning about the development milestones, where children from birth to eight should be,
We strived to earn our Bachelor of Teaching, Early Childhood degree
We learnt the techniques and procedures to cater to the needs of each child,
To encourage their potential, not falling through the cracks, to be forgotten or to become wild
Teaching the curriculum subjects, as specified in Education Queensland’s syllabus guidelines and manual books,
While following and using the specified procedures and tools to achieve objectives and outcomes is what we undertook.
So, for all the teachings and learnings you have instilled in others and me,
Empowering us with your wisdom and knowledge, I say “Thank you, QUT”.