Hymba Yumba Independent School Alumni
Former Greater Springfield student Sophie Tatnell is a proud Aboriginal woman inspired by her family and peers to succeed in the workforce.
Ms Tatnell, 20, attended Springfield’s Hymba Yumba Independent School, and said it had a “massive impact” on the person she has become.
“If it wasn’t for the teachers, councillors and friends I met there, I would’ve never been pushed to do all of the extra-curricular activities I did,” Ms Tatnell said.
“They helped me grow and develop into a young woman who is passionate about my culture and my people, and have set me up with all the tools I need to succeed.”
Ms Tatnell, of Greenbank, said her small care giving business helped children through to teenagers with disabilities, hearing impairments and behavioural issues.
“I’ve been inspired by my family and peers and an array of First Nations women in leadership positions and healthcare,” she said.
“I think the best advice I have for other Aboriginal students is that we have to keep pushing against the stigma and systematic racism in our way, and fight to keep our culture and lore in all aspects of our lives.”
The former Springfield Central State High School student, who later attended Hymba Yumba, was also involved in a Head Start program run by the University of Southern Queensland. The program for Year 11 and 12 students allowed them to complete university subjects and involve themselves in university life.
“Hymba Yumba put me in contact with a range of places that helped me further my career, such as Griffith GuMurri programs and other university programs,” Ms Tatnell said.
“I was also given the opportunity to complete USQ’s Head Start program in psychology which has helped me a lot.
“I was a school leader which helped me gain leadership experience, confidence and lots of experience for public speaking and networking which are all necessary for my current job.”
Hymba Yumba teacher Bree Goulding said she loved teaching Ms Tatnell.
“Sophie is an incredibly bright and driven young woman. At school was dedicated to working in the health field either as a doctor or occupational therapist and was committed to her studies,” she said.
“She was always a confident student and was in our senior leadership circle.”
Ms Tatnell works with children with disabilities, and studies AUSLAN (Australian Sign Language) and occupational therapy.
She enjoyed the opportunity and diversity during her schooling at Greater Springfield.
“You can walk down the street and see people of varying races, abilities, ages and socioeconomic backgrounds,” she said.
“I particularly love the accessibility of Springfield for people with additional needs, especially its outdoor play/exercise areas. I also love the all-abilities playground at Robelle Domain.”