Helping young people overcome barriers to education and become valuable contributors to their community is what drives Dale Hansen every day.
Since 2005, Dale has been a teacher and then principal at Carinity Education Glendyne, a special assistance school in Hervey Bay providing positive academic outcomes for disadvantaged students in Grades 6 to 12.
Among the 130 students at the school, there are at-risk and disengaged youth who have struggled to overcome personal challenges or have had difficulty succeeding in traditional traditional schools. The school offers education, lifestyle empowerment skills and vocational training.
Dale began his career as an educator in Maryborough in the 1990s, as a qualified trainer specializing in professional learning.
Prior to coming to Carinity Education Glendyne his experience included teaching at a private school and also a role that saw him educating Indigenous Australians and people with disabilities around the Fraser Coast.
Installed on a former pineapple farm, the Glendyne school had recently opened as a vocational training center with a handful of students who had suffered considerable disadvantage. Dale was first hired by the school to help teachers better impart important literacy skills to students.
He was offered a permanent position and, 16 years later, he is still enthusiastic about helping to achieve positive educational outcomes for young people whose “hopes and dreams for the future were very dark. “.
“Our teachers and staff are very pleased to see the teenagers who have come to Glendyne lacking direction, confidence, hope and dreams for the future, and to see them become valuable contributors to their community,” said Dale .
“I often see students who come from very disadvantaged backgrounds and some who have had significant traumatic experiences in their lives. Seeing them, for the most part, overcome these challenges is what I look forward to the most.
“Some of the first students I worked with in Glendyne are now parents I see in town. Seeing the life they came from, the life they are living now, is dramatically different.
“A girl who joined school early in my stay in Glendyne was homeless when she came to see us. She used to come to school with all her things because she was surfing on her couch.
“Today she is in a leadership position at the local level, she is married and has children, has bought a house and is doing well. Seeing this cycle of disadvantages broken is truly encouraging and rewarding.
“It is a real joy to see these students who have had multiple barriers in life overcome and reach. It is these student destinations that keep me here today.