Meet Katrice May, Wodonga TAFEs new Aboriginal Liaison Officer.
Thursday, 15 August 2019
Meet Wodonga TAFEs new Aboriginal Liaison Officer, Katrice May, learn about her background, her current role as an ALO and how she went from being a student at Wodonga TAFE to ALO.
What is an ALO and what services can you provide?
An ALO is an Aboriginal Liaison Officer.
The role of an ALO is to reach out to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and offer them support throughout their TAFE journey.
As an ALO Katrice can offer students with advice on their studies, housing situations, Centrelink, financial support, any home problems they may be having and work with them to help finish their studies and support them to make a career out of it.
“I can bring a different approach and find realistic goals for each student to help them reach their goals and find their future career”. Says Katrice. “I will work with students and steer them in the right direction in regards to study, career and their future”.
What attracted you to becoming an ALO at Wodonga TAFE?
“It’s a great opportunity and education is the key – no matter what age you are” says Katrice.
Wodonga TAFE was the first mainstream education Katrice had had and at first she really struggled. It was the support from the then, ALO that got Katrice through her Certificate IV in Community Services.
“The support of the ALO and teachers at Wodonga TAFE made me realise that I wasn’t alone in this situation. Heaps of students were going through the same thing, just too ashamed to speak about it” Katrice said “I considered dropping out 3 or 4 times but the ALO and teachers understood and didn’t give up on me. I’m glad I kept going and now I can pay it forward and support students going through the same thing I was”.
What is your past experience?
Katrice was a former student and completed her Certificate IV in Community Services here at Wodonga TAFE. She was the winner of the Eddie Kneebone Indigenous Student of the Year, an award presented to a student who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in their studies. Katrice then was offered placement at Albury Wodonga Aboriginal Health Service (AWAHS) which then lead to employment at AWAHS.
While at AWAHS, she worked on suicide prevention programs at Benalla and Wangaratta and with clients as an Aboriginal Mental Health worker before joining us at Wodonga TAFE as the new ALO.
Where and when can you find Katrice?
“I’m available Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 5pm”, there will also be a Koorie Lounge available during specific hours in the W building where students can come and have a chat if they don’t want to seek out Katrice in the A building.
Katrice is also available via email, phone or by asking at the Skills and Jobs Centre.
Where did you grow up and what has been your journey so far?
“I’m a proud Larrakia women from Darwin and moved to Victoria two years ago” Katrice said.
Previous to studying at TAFE, Katrice worked at the mines for 7 years before deciding she wanted to start a family and would have to change careers. She then started her own business with her partner in Darwin before moving the Southern Highlands in NSW with the aim of studying. Katrice didn’t end up studying then however as she didn’t feel it was her area to open up to and has now settled into TAFE at Wodonga and plans to stay within the area.
If you would like more information on what Katrice can offer as the Aboriginal Liaison Officer and need support during your studies or career, don’t hesitate in contacting Katrice on the below details or visit her in the Support Services office in building A or the Koorie Lounge.
Phone: 1300 698 233