CDU and students sweep NAIDOC awards 

Lisa Braedon received the Female Indigenous Apprentice of the Year award at the NAIDOC closing ceremony, held in Alice Springs

Charles Darwin University (CDU) and its students have won awards of excellence at this year's NAIDOC closing ceremony, held at the Alice Springs Convention Centre last week.

CDU won Education Provider of the Year and Tennant Creek student Shannon Johnson, won Male Indigenous Apprentice of the Year.

Alice Springs student Lisa Braedon also took out the award for Female Indigenous Apprentice of the Year.

The awards were presented at the closing ceremony of NAIDOC 2006, a week long celebration of Indigenous culture and achievement.

Lorraine St Clair and David Reilly, Indigenous academic support lecturers accepted the University award on behalf of CDU.

David said it was great opportunity to highlight the 268 Indigenous students completing higher education units at CDU.

”Pathways from high school to higher education are very important to assist Indigenous education,” he said.

“It was heartening to hear the young people on stage talk about where they will be in five years time and to hear so many people consider higher education.”

Lisa Braedon says she was shocked to win the award.

“I thought I was not going to get it and was very proud,” Lisa said.

At the start of year 11, Lisa enrolled in a Certificate I in Children’s Services at CDU while completing studies at Centralian College. Her interest in the industry quickly grew and after completing Certificate II, she worked full time for Central Australia Aboriginal Congress, as an apprentice. She has now completed Certificate III and will continue further studies at CDU.

Her ex-lecturer, Heather Wilson and work supervisor Ann-Marie Smith nominated her for the award.

Heather says Lisa faced many challenges in her apprenticeship.

”Many of the child care students were older and Lisa entered this environment with ease and did very well in her studies,” she said. “Her work practises and commitment to work and study were excellent.”

Shannon Johnson was unable to attend, with his award being accepted by Lorraine St Clair.