PROUD ACHIEVEMENT: Maclean High School Year 12 student Shanaye Waters (left) earned a Band 5 in Aboriginal Studies and Olivia Skinner-Speirs earned a Band 6.
PROUD ACHIEVEMENT: Maclean High School Year 12 student Shanaye Waters (left) earned a Band 5 in Aboriginal Studies and Olivia Skinner-Speirs earned a Band 6. Jarrard Potter

Success for Maclean duo in Aboriginal Studies

HISTORY was made in this year's Maclean High School Aboriginal Studies course, with two Aboriginal Year 12 students earning a Band 6 and 5 for the course for the first time at the school.

Olivia Skinner-Speirs, a Gumbaynggirr woman, and Shanaye Waters, a Yaegl woman, topped the class and matched the state in their overall HSC results.

Olivia said she was excited with her Band 6 result.

"It was definitely rewarding after all the work that we put in during class and study to get that result," she said.

"It was really nice to get that mark."

Shanaye said she was happy with her Band 5 result in her favourite subject.

"I was so interested in the content and it was really interesting," she said.

"I was learning about my own culture and my own identity, and it helped me for the future.

"It helped me decide what I want to do when I leave school for a career.

"I really want to help indigenous people so I think that can definitely be a part of the job in the future."

 

PROUD ACHIEVEMENT: Maclean High School principal Greg Court, Olivia Skinner-Speirs, Shanaye Waters and Senior Aboriginal Studies Teacher Krystle Jurd.
PROUD ACHIEVEMENT: Maclean High School principal Greg Court, Olivia Skinner-Speirs, Shanaye Waters and Senior Aboriginal Studies Teacher Krystle Jurd. Jarrard Potter

Olivia said she appreciated the way the course was taught by senior Aboriginal studies teacher Mrs Krystle Jurd and it helped her achieve her high results.

"Mrs Jurd didn't just have a westernised approach to the subject, she brought in guest speakers and we were able to talk to people from our community," she said.

"It really helped us understand (the subject) more, more than we already did, and it was rewarding in that way to have a deeper understanding of the subject."

Mrs Jurd said she was proud of all the students who completed the Aboriginal studies course.

"All students finished their HSC with pleasing results, some being the first in their family to complete Year 12: Such an amazing achievement," she said.

"A special congratulations goes to Olivia and Shanaye. Their dedication, diligence and commitment to study has paid an enormous dividend when faced with a tough 2017 HSC Paper.

"These two women are closing the gap for their communities.

"Their achievements are honourable, influential and exemplary to future generations in Aboriginal education.

"Both have proved you can maintain your Aboriginality and be successful in a modern western world," Mrs Jurd said.



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