Growing up in Scotland, Louise Compton always wanted to be a teacher but didn’t get the qualifications or encouragement to go to university.
Instead, she trained as a nanny and travelled the world. Many decades later, in an office in Brisbane, Louise realised she wasn’t happy. “It was now or never, I had one of those moments,” she said, and decided to enrol.
Louise loved university life. After qualifying she was planning to resume her travels and teach English in far-flung corners of the world. But she was invited to join a program for high-achieving undergraduates which meant she could make a difference to the lives of children here in Australia.
Often the brightest teachers are snapped up by the schools that can afford them, usually those in affluent areas. But the National Exceptional Teachers for Disadvantaged Schools program ensures the schools that need the best teachers, don’t miss out.
These days Louise teaches primary school in Brisbane’s Logan Valley area, where there are high rates of unemployment and homelessness and most families are living on very low incomes. Youth unemployment is almost 50% and students have less access to role models to guide them in their education and career choices. Teachers like Louise are more influential than ever in communities like this.
Despite the daily challenges of working in a high-needs environment, Louise wouldn’t change a thing. “I love my job and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. I don’t think I’d last five minutes in a school in a leafy green suburb,” she adds.
Hear her story below:
In 2020 we celebrated 10 years of philanthropy. Thanks to the work of our partners, with our support, more than 62,000 young Australians have used education to become the best that they can be.
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