Ruby Lyons-Reid of Tasmanian eSchool, Tasmania, is this year’s recipient of the Public Education Foundation’s Teachers Health Early Career Scholarship. Ruby teaches Year 11/12 English, Creative Writing and Tasmanian Aboriginal Studies. She is also the Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS) Learning Area Leader and Aboriginal Curriculum Leader.

This scholarship supports public school teachers who are in the first three years of their teaching career, with $10,000  provided for professional development activities.

“Over the past few years as a teacher at an online distance school, I have developed an interest in how digital technologies and museum programs can engage students in learning about First Nations histories and cultures,” said Lyons-Reid.

“I’ve dabbled with these things in my classes, but in an ad-hoc-time-permitting sort of way. I’m hopeful that this scholarship will give me the focus and financial support to pursue these professional interests in more depth and with greater intention.

“It represents an opportunity for me to deepen my theoretical knowledge about museum education and culturally responsive best practice, and also to connect with experts in the field across Australia to gain insight into the design and delivery of cutting-edge digital learning programs.”

Lyons-Reid is planning to enrol in a Graduate Certificate of Museum and Heritage Studies at the Australian National University, with a specialisation in Museum Education and Heritage Interpretation.

“Through this course, I hope to learn more about the design and implementation of educational exhibitions and programs in museum settings, and particularly how innovative digital tools are being used by cultural institutions to create authentic and accessible educational experiences for students,” she said. “I also hope to participate in professional learning offered by the University of Sydney about First Nations curriculum leadership and culturally responsive planning at the whole-school level.”

According to Trudy Pearce, Deputy Secretary, Learning Department of Education Tasmania, Lyons-Reid  constantly inspires learners and colleagues alike with her aspiration and enthusiasm for professional growth.

“Ruby’s commitment to quality teaching and learning is evident in her initiatives in staying connected to the education community and more specifically with Aboriginal education,” she said. “Congratulations to Ruby on this fantastic opportunity to continue her professional growth.”