Tanya McDonald admits that her life has completely changed since starting a Diploma of Community Services at South West TAFE.
“The course appealed to me as I felt it was my time to give back to the local services that have provided me with so much support in the past,” she said.
Before starting her diploma, Tanya had worked as a dairy herd manager, bookkeeper and in administration for Kirrae Health Services.
Tanya is the board chair of Kirrae Health Services and also spends time mentoring young girls and taking part in the Aboriginal dance group.
During her Diploma, Tanya also completed a Graduate Certificate in Family Therapy, all while caring for her three children.
She said she was thrilled to be awarded the Koorie Student of the Year at South West TAFE’s Graduation and Awards ceremony in March.
Since completing her studies, Tanya started a role with the Aboriginal Family Violence Legal Service, supporting women with legal issues arising from family violence.
She is now working at South West Healthcare where she is completing the organisation’s Reconciliation Action Plan.
“I love what I do and my plans are to continue to develop my skills and eventually I want to work at a policy level where I can have a real impact on my community and beyond,” she said.