Rebecca Smith

REBECCA SMITH

Teacher at Education Queensland, Australia

Active in country: Australia

DTP ALUMNUS: Dili, East Timor 2006

“As a DTP alumnus, I absolutely see the value in investing in human rights training”

Rebecca Smith is a Darug woman who was born in Blacktown, New South Wales. She is a teacher at Education Queensland who strives to ensure a diverse range of people can access educational opportunities. She is currently based in the Toowoomba region (southern Queensland). Some of her current students include deaf and hard of hearing, recently resettled refugees (Yazidi), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, and autistic students.

Rebecca is an alumna of the 16th Annual Program held in Timor Leste and the 2010 Oxfam UNPFII Preparatory Program – Australia. In her work she has found that order to allow equitable educational access to people from diverse cultures, it is imperative to understand the challenges facing different cultures as well as being able to communicate with a diverse range of people to fix their specific problems regarding education. DTP has helped Rebecca gain “A better understanding and capacity to engage, form meaningful relationships and appreciate people from all cultures”.

Though she attended her first DTP program 13 years ago, Rebecca continues to use the skills she developed during the DTP programs in her everyday teaching.

“I have actually taught a legal studies group at high school (although I am primary school trained) on the history of the UN and the opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to engage with its mechanisms. I draw on my rich experience every day in supporting students and ensuring they are supported to find their voice and use it to grow into confident active citizens.”

In addition to her teaching, Rebecca has used the skills learnt in the DTP program to help others access and engage with the UN.

“After DTP I supported a range of young people to access the UNPFII in NY. It opened my eyes to how the doctrine of discovery impacted all Indigenous People within our region. I met delegates from Tahiti, Syria, and other smaller nations that seemed to have less capacity to engage in the UNPFII when compared to the large Australia delegation.”

She has also worked in a volunteer capacity to raise funds for funds for a range of school based programs including support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island young people to access education opportunities and pathways.

One of the greatest outcomes from the DTP program for Rebecca were the meaningful relationships formed among the DTP alumni. Relationships and networks of support that continue to this day.

We have a “Great support network and friendships where we share our families success stories over the years and where our careers have taken us. We have such similar views on the world and passion for creating a positive change in the communities where we work. Even though we are scattered throughout the globe. In Timor we quickly formed such a close connection. We have lost 2 of our alumni over the years (its been 13 years now!!!!) many children have been born and know of each other but have never met.”

Our group in Baucau November 27th, 2006

 

 

Profile written February 2019.