Supporting students to overcome barriers and achieve
Supporting young people to overcame barriers to education and become valuable contributors to their community is what motivates Dale Hansen every day.
Since 2005, Dale has been a teacher then Principal at Carinity Education Glendyne, a special assistance school in Hervey Bay providing positive educational outcomes for disadvantaged students from Years 6 to 12.
Amongst the school’s 130 students are at-risk and disengaged youth who have struggled to overcome personal challenges or had difficulty succeeding in traditional mainstream schools. The school provides education, lifestyle enablement skills and vocational training.
Dale commenced his career as an educator in Maryborough in the 1990s, working as a qualified skills trainer specialising in vocational learning.
Before arriving at Carinity Education Glendyne his experience included teaching in a private school and also a role that saw him educate Indigenous Australians and people living with disability around the Fraser Coast.
Set on a former pineapple farm, the Glendyne school had recently opened as a vocational training centre with a handful of students who had experienced considerable disadvantage. Dale was initially engaged by the school to assist teachers to better deliver important literacy skills to the students.
He was offered a permanent role and, 16 years later, is still excited to help deliver positive educational outcomes for young people whose “hopes and dreams for the future were very cloudy”.
“Our teachers and staff get much satisfaction from seeing teenagers who arrived at Glendyne lacking direction, confidence, and hopes and dreams for the future, and seeing them develop into valuable contributors to their community,” Dale says.
“I often see students who come from very disadvantaged backgrounds and some who have had significant traumatic experiences in their life. To see them, for the most part, overcome those challenges is what I really look forward to the most.
“Some of the first students I worked with at Glendyne are now parents who I see around town. Seeing the life that they have come from, to the life that they’re living now, is considerably different.
“One girl who joined the school early in my time at Glendyne was homeless when she came to us. She used to come to school with all her belongings because she was couch-surfing.
“Today, she’s working in a managerial role locally, she’s married with children, has bought a home and is doing well. Seeing that cycle of disadvantage broken is really encouraging and gratifying.
“It’s a real joy seeing those students who have had multiple barriers in life overcome and achieve. It is these student destinations that keeps me here today.”