Bank First award winners at Melbourne University

As part of the Bank First Community Fund, we support the education community to achieve their goals and for young educators to grow and learn.

We caught up with two of the Bank First Award winners at Melbourne University below on how much these awards mean to them, and what they love most about what they do.

Adrian Wilson (Bank First), Alejandra Bogado Tervit and Michael Padgett. 

From left to right: Adrian Wilson (Bank First), Alejandra Bogado Tervit
and Michael Padgett.

Bank First MGSE Volunteer Award

Alejandra Bogado Tervit, Master of Education

What drew you to education?

I completed my undergraduate law degree in Asuncion, Paraguay. While studying law, I started my career as a language teacher and became curious about education.

To complement my career, I undertook a Specialisation in Higher Education Didactics. 

I am passionate about making a change in my country, and I feel that making an impact through education is the best way to do this.

What brought you to Australia?

I was awarded the Paraguayan Government BECAL Scholarship to study at The University of Melbourne to help build greater human capacity in Paraguay. 

Currently, I am completing a Master of Education, specialising in Leadership and Management. 

I chose to study a Master of Education at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education after doing a thorough analysis of the options available in the international market. 

I found that the MGSE is a well-known faculty worldwide and the best in education in Australia. 

When I return to my country I would like to use the knowledge I’ve acquired, to delve into leadership positions.

I would like to train teachers to become better practitioners, share the knowledge acquired in Australia, and apply them to help create policies to improve Paraguay's education system. 

What volunteering work have you engaged in?

I've always volunteered in my country, and when I moved to Australia, I wanted to continue with my service to others. 

I wanted to explore the volunteering opportunities in Australia because I am confident that I could make an impact in Paraguay by replicating what happens in Australia.

I’ve continued volunteering and being involved with my community during the pandemic. I did everything that I could online and in-person in the small windows of time that we were allowed. 

What does this award mean to you?

The extended lockdown has limited my work and saving possibilities. Receiving this award has reduced my financial burden and will allow me to focus on my studies to the fullest. 

It has given me peace of mind. I greatly appreciate that students' efforts and voluntary contributions don't go unnoticed and that it is encouraged and celebrated through an award like this by the Bank First.
 
This generous award humbles me, and it will support me to pursue both my educational and extracurricular goals. It has certainly boosted my motivation to continue being involved with my community and share volunteering values. 

Thank you very much for investing in my education and for awarding me this incredible opportunity.

Bank First MGSE Community Spirit Award

Michael Padgett, Master of Teaching (Primary)

How did your desire to teach come about?

I have been teaching Irish Dancing for about 9 years and have always had a lot of joy teaching that. It surprised me that I actually enjoyed it more than competing, so dance teaching was always something that I wanted to do for fun. 

It wasn't until my third year of my undergraduate studying Classical Music that I realised that I no longer wanted to be a full-time performer. 

I always loved being on the stage and performing for people, but I had lost the joy in that. I always had teaching in mind, having had it as a university preference if I didn’t get into the Bachelor of Music. 

I took a year off music and worked part time at Angliss Neighbourhood House allowing me to work within a classroom environment and I loved it. By night, I was teaching young children through to adults, and during the day, I was working with adults living with additional needs and students learning English as an Additional Language (EAL). 

I have unlocked a passion during my Masters program at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education and am so excited to be teaching in 2022!

What volunteering work have you engaged in?

Throughout the past twelve months, I have dedicated more time in a voluntary capacity to give relief to children and their parents with their reading.

I’ve also been assisting in the creation of online programs, videos and worksheets for adult students at the Angliss Neighbourhood House. 

What does this award mean to you?

It has been a challenging year for us all, and I am humbled to be chosen for this award. I have loved working with these groups of people and have learnt a lot about myself as an educator in the process. 

At the time of applying for this grant, I was also applying to complete my final round of placement in a remote Indigenous community in the Northern Territory. 
This opportunity is self-funded, the funds of which take some time to save for (as a full-time student). 

I am so grateful to Bank First for choosing me, as this means that I will be able to use this money towards this extraordinary learning experience. I hope to continue teaching in challenging environments and hope that my students learn as much from me as I from them. 

Thank you so much, Bank First!