Tamara Creamer is Senior Practitioner, working in the Practice and Workforce Development Team at QATSICPP. Tamara graduated from the Graduate Certificate in First People’s Community Practice on 29 July 2023.
We asked Tamara about her learning journey through the QATSICPP Scholarship program.
How did you find the Graduate Certificate program?
I initially knew about it when I was working for a community-controlled organisation in the sector. Although it wasn’t until I began working at QATSICPP that I gained a better understanding of what it was. The Graduate Certificate program was manageable doing one course per Trimester and it helped completing it with a group of people within the sector.
What did you think of the course/s and their content?
The content was quite good. There were a lot of connections for things I already knew in regard to the historical impacts on First Nations people and how that disadvantage flows through to generations today, but the course allowed me to dive a little deeper into the content to increase my knowledge base.
The subjects were engaging, informative and allowed me to connect with other people but also share a First Nations perspective with people who didn’t have a quality understanding.
How did you find the course content relevant to our sector?
In regard to the content related to the sector work – absolutely connects to the sector. It taught us what to consider when working in indigenous communities but also validates our knowledge to educate others who do similar work that may not have the cultural lens that I did. Understanding trauma allows us to connect with others in ways that create a more open dialogue and safer spaces with clients. And understanding the systemic impacts on First Nations people allows us to place nil judgement within our work as we consider the journeys of individuals.
How could practitioners use their learnings/implement it into practice in this sector?
It increases their knowledge base. Knowledge builds confidence for staff to be able to communicate with clients in an open and meaningful way that compliments and enhances practice.
You’re a mum, you work remotely full-time for QATSICPP – how did you manage that work/life/study balance?
I had the support of my Director Kylie Phipps and held a responsibility of supporting our QATSICPP Students through their study, which placed more accountability on me to stay up to date and informed. It was many late nights, flexibility within work hours to engage with the course and content.
What advice would you give our scholarship prospects?
The best piece of advice I could give is just being honest and seeking support if you need it. The pressures of work, life, family impact us in different ways and our study priorities can be put on the back burner…if you need help ask, if you don’t understand reach out. We are here to help and support student to excel in their study and empower them within their work and practice. No shame here.
What self-care practices did you include in your routine?
During my bachelor’s degree, I was too shame to ask questions, seek help and put myself under a heap of pressure that really impacted my wellbeing and generated negative self-talk. I persevered and finished my first degree in 2015 and took a lot of my learnings and growth from that journey and applied it to my Grad Cert study. During the scholarship it was difficult to implement quality self-care at times, but I made sure I went to footy training and games as an outlet and if I needed help or more time I reached out.
Most of all my self-care came through the fact that I was honest with myself, when I needed help, I sought it, I spoke about it and developed a plan/solution within my workplace/support network to complete my work. If I didn’t take care of me, when I needed it, I would’ve fallen back into old habits.
Any further recommendations about the program?
I can’t emphasise enough the importance of taking the step to engage in the program. The learning, the reflection and the friendships/relationships I formed with peers I appreciate the most. The opportunity to study, grow and be more empowered in the critical work we do is a solid reason to engage in the program.
Having walked the study path I feel I have quality insight to the needs and barriers related to studying, can apply and support students in a deeper and more meaningful way. And if we have more people in our sector learning and growing in knowledge and practice, our community, our families and children benefit from this and that’s my highest priority.
Thinking of applying?
Complete an expression of interest here. Application forms will be emailed directly.
Applications close 5pm Monday 11th September 2023.
QATSICPP would also like to acknowledge the following scholarship recipients that completed their Graduate Certificate earlier this year:
- Danielle Brown (Wuchopperen)
- Cindy Hansen (Kalwun)
- Lisa Cooper (RAATSIC)