Sandra Chambers is the 2019 Teachers Health scholarship recipient. This remarkable teacher is based at Wiluna Remote School in Western Australia.

“I have been able to attend the Trauma Aware Schools Conference in Brisbane, and the Berry Street Education Model course as part of my scholarship funds. This professional learning has given me a deeper understanding of the impact of trauma on education, and classrooms and whole-school responses to become a trauma safe school. As a result, my school has begun changing our whole school policies and approaches to align with trauma informed practice. This includes de-escalation strategies, teaching emotional regulation, and employing a restorative justice approach to conflict. This will help students to feel safe and ready to learn at school.

The courses I have attended through the Teachers Health scholarship have allowed me to lead my school to adopt a trauma aware and restorative justice approach to whole school behaviour and engagement. I’ve also seen huge improvements in my students’ ability to regulate their emotions and be ‘ready to learn’ by applying the strategies I’ve learnt through these courses. My students are already incredibly strong and resilient, and these strategies help them empower themselves to be in charge of their emotions and reactions, and better engage at school.

Given the remoteness and difficulty of access to courses, this professional development would not have been possible without the support of the Scholarship.”