For someone who started out studying law—to find themselves teaching a Year 6 class in the very remote, very far north Queensland community of Aurukun—might seem an unexpected leap.
But as someone who really loves being around kids, Ellie Clark decided that a career in teaching provided the perfect avenue for her to make an impact on young lives.
Although, taking a job in a remote Indigenous community wasn’t initially on the radar for Ellie.
It wasn’t until some conversations with our regional recruiters at the 2018 Teach Queensland Career Fair that Ellie realised an Aurukun adventure was the answer for her.
'The career fairs are so beneficial because you get to talk to the regions, and in those conversations, I was able to nut out what I really wanted,' Ellie said.
'I spoke to the
Central Queensland region first and realised from our chat that going out to the country wasn’t quite right for me because I preferred to be closer to a coast.'
'It also made me realise that I was eager to make an impact on a remote Indigenous community,' Ellie said.
Ellie managed to nab someone from the
Far North Queensland team at the career fair right on closing time.
'Everyone was packing up, but I saw her and asked if I could have a couple of minutes for a quick chat—and she was so happy to give me her time,' Ellie said.
'What’s great about the career fairs is that people want to take the time to talk to you and help you decide where you want to go and what you want to do.'
'Talking to the regions helps you find which area you want to be in, and gives you clarity when you’re trying to decide how you want to navigate your teaching career,' Ellie said.
Ellie said that going to the career fair made finding her job at
Aurukun State School a really easy process.
'Because I had made a connection with the Far North Queensland regional recruiters at the career fair, it was so simple when I called them a few days later because they already knew who I was,' Ellie said.
'By that point I knew I wanted to head up to Far North Queensland, and maybe onto an island, so the recruitment team sent my resume to a few schools that matched my location preferences.'
'And then about a week or so after the career fair, someone called me with an offer!' Ellie said.
Ellie was impressed with the advice and care she received from the department through the process.
'There was no pressure to accept the job offer—the recruitment team was really approachable and amazing,' Ellie said.
'They wanted to make sure I took time to think about the offer and talk to my partner, family and friends before I made a final decision.'
Ellie had some productive and helpful conversations with the principal too before accepting the position.
'He answered all of my questions and helped me understand more about the community and about teaching in Aurukun,' Ellie said.
Her best advice?
'Make the time to go to the career fairs if you can,' Ellie said.
'You get to talk to so many principals, get your resume out there and make yourself known.'
'I have friends who didn’t go and after hearing how it helped me secure a great job, they regretted not going along,' Ellie said.
'I know it’s quite daunting trying to manage being at uni, finishing the last of your studies, trying to find a job, completing your assignments on time, but the Teach Queensland Career Fair opened my eyes to all the opportunities that are out there.'
2020 Teach Queensland Career Fair is scheduled for Monday 31 August. Make the time to come along and you might walk away with your first—or next!—teaching job.