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STEM teacher awarded

Sophia ConstantineNorth West Telegraph
CSIRO project director Therese Postma, award recipient Claire Wellbeloved, BHP Billiton specialist in indigenous awards Adrian Brahim, and CSIRO’s Lisa Campbell.
Camera IconCSIRO project director Therese Postma, award recipient Claire Wellbeloved, BHP Billiton specialist in indigenous awards Adrian Brahim, and CSIRO’s Lisa Campbell. Credit: Sophia Constantine

A Port Hedland teacher has won a national teaching award.

St Cecilia’s Primary School teacher Claire Wellbeloved was chosen from teachers across Australia to win the teacher’s category of the first Indigenous Science Technology Engineering and Maths Awards.

The awards are offered by CSIRO and supported by BHP Billiton, which funded CSIRO in 2014 to implement the program.

STEM program teacher Mrs Wellbeloved, who came to Australia from South Africa eight years ago, said the award was an “affirmation” she was doing the right thing.

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“When I was first nominated I was really excited,” she said.

“I have enjoyed every minute of the process.

“To actually win the award was very overwhelming and very humbling to be recognised for something I love doing.

“We so often associate indigenous people with nature, but very seldom do we make a scientific connection.”

She said the Year 5 and 6 children who had participated in the 10-week term had enjoyed the STEM program unit.

St Cecilia’s Primary School principal Peter Allen said Mrs Wellbeloved deserved the award for the effort she went to helping the students.

“This award is a big deal,” he said.

“The nominees were taken from the whole of Australia.”

CSIRO project director Therese Postma said the STEM program was aimed at encouraging students, particularly indigenous children, to study science and maths.

She said Mrs Wellbeloved had successfully created techniques to provide students with the ability to take the lead in their own investigations.

“Not online has she been teaching in the classrooms, she has also been sharing her expertise with other teachers in the school,” she said.

BHP Billiton specialist in indigenous affairs Adrian Brahim presented Mrs Wellbeloved with the award at an assembly held at St Cecilia’s last week.

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