In 2017 Shalom Christian College is celebrating its 25th year and one way the college is celebrating this is through its annual NAIDOC Day which will be held on 8 September.
Tanya Salam has been a part of all the NAIDOC Day celebrations at the college throughout the years. Tanya is a secondary school teacher and has been contributing to the college for almost all of its 25 year history.
Gerry Maguire, Shalom’s CFO/Business Manager, sat down with Tanya to reflect on her time at Shalom and how she would like to see the college in 25 years’ time.
Gerry Maguire: Why did you want to be part of Shalom 25 years ago?
Tanya Salam: As a staff member since mid-year in 1992, it is a great privilege to still be a part of the college and be able to look back on Shalom to see the progress and developments made since opening its doors. The number of staff and students as well as volunteers that have walked through the front gates and worked tirelessly and proudly to make the school what it is today … it makes you feel very proud and privileged!
Gerry: What jobs have you done at the college?
Tanya: Over the years I have worked both in the primary school and high school as a classroom teacher from Preps to Year 3, Secondary Lit Classes for both junior and senior classes. I have also spent some time as a Learning Support teacher for primary students and as Acting/Head of Primary School.
Gerry: What has kept you with the college after all these years?
Tanya: My passion for working in Indigenous Education as a positive role-model and hopefully making a difference in raising the expectations and standards when it comes to teaching our Indigenous students. Also to be a part of and working at a very unique new school, particularly set up to be a leader and lighthouse for Indigenous Education has kept me here at this college for so long.
Gerry: What has been the highlight?
Tanya: The highlight has been building relationships particularly with the many students and their families as well as staff that have come through our doors over the years and to see the progression students have made to where they are now. In addition, the gradual development of our college and its’ successes over the years have been a true blessing.
Gerry: What has been your funniest experience?
Tanya: My most memorable and funniest experience at our college would have to be when I had prepared my whole class to sing and wish my Teacher Aide a surprise Happy Birthday after being told by a student that it was her birthday, only to find out that after surprising and singing to her, that it was not her birthday after all and the student was just playing and the joke was on me.
Gerry: What do you think the college will look like in 25 years’ time?
Tanya: In 25 years, I would love to see the college come to full fruition in terms of the original vision and concept which is:
- Creating a supportive network to surround the college
- Provide quality education for our Indigenous students
- Ensuring commitment to the Christian Ethos, Cultural Studies, Academic Excellence and Community Development.
Gerry: How important is the celebration of NAIDOC Day for Shalom?
Tanya: The celebration of NAIDOC Day at Shalom is always a proud moment in terms of looking, listening, sharing through song, dance, stories, relationships (catching up with family, friends and colleagues etc.) and upholding the special pride that takes place every year in celebrating and sharing Indigenous culture at a very unique school such as Shalom. We come together and open our doors to the wider community to celebrate as one big happy and proud family. Fond memories always!