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From banking to teaching, Jo-Anne now helps school children crunch the numbers

Published:29 April 2019

CQUniversity Bachelor of Education (Primary) Alumnus Jo-Anne Dionysius scored a teaching position in Winton, after she completed her studies in 2018.

After spending most of her career in the banking sector, CQUniversity Alumnus Jo-Anne Dionysius decided to achieve something ‘big’ at university and has never looked back.

In 2018, after graduating from CQUniversity with a Bachelor of Education (Secondary), Jo-Anne and her family moved to Winton, 177km Northwest of Longreach, so she could commence a teaching position (Prep to Year 12) with the local school.

Jo-Anne said that although her supervisory role within the banking sector was satisfying, she had always yearned for a university education.

“I began volunteering in my daughter’s prep classroom working within the reading groups and maths rotations and providing one-on-one support. This experience resulted in a teacher aide role at the school and an individual support role for a student,” she said.

“I fell in love with helping children to not only reach their academic potential but to also recognise and understand their individual learning capabilities.”

Despite studying full-time and working part-time, the mother-of-two actively contributed to tutorial sessions and professional development opportunities, all while her husband worked away.

“My University journey was filled with many ups and downs. However, the absolute joy of acquiring the knowledge and skills needed to be a successful teacher far outweighed the sleepless nights, self-doubt and anxiety that I experienced,” Jo-Anne said.

“Throughout my studies, I learned to accept help when provided, to take compliments when they are given, and to believe in myself as a person and as an academic.”

Jo-Anne said she had always been passionate about working in a remote community, like Winton, and was now able to use her expertise to create a positive atmosphere for students.

“I have two children aged 10 and 12, and I wanted them to experience a different lifestyle and education atmosphere. For them to share this awesome and exciting experience with me is momentous,” she said.

“The most enjoyable aspect of my job is being able to create a positive and nurturing atmosphere, in which children can potentially reach their height of confidence, ability, knowledge, and skills.

“I love witnessing the kids’ facial expressions when that light bulb moment of new-found knowledge and understanding occurs.”

Jo-Anne said she planned to use her primary specialisation in the near future.

“I thoroughly enjoy the primary sector as I can teach a little of every subject rather than concentrating on one or two specific disciplines. Furthermore, as a primary teacher, I will be directly involved in guiding and encouraging children in their social and emotional development," she said.

“I will never regret my decision to change my career pathway. To anyone considering this course, work hard, prepare well and believe in yourself – trust me, it’s worth it.”