Joanna Smith
Joanna is a primary school physical education specialist


From the beginning of Joanna's journey at UC, it was clear that she was going to make an excellent educator. Since graduating from UC in 2013 with her Bachelor of Secondary Education (Health and Physical Education concentration), Joanna has become the PE Specialist and Primary School Sport Association Co-ordinator at a local primary school. As the PE Specialist, Joanna manages and implements the Health and Physical Education curriculum for over 400 students. She also teaches Health and PE for students in kindergarten through grade 6 and administers the school's school-based sporting programs and activities. Not only is Joanna a talented PE educator, she also teaches English as a second language (ESL) to students through her PE classes.

Before becoming a PE specialist, Joanna was a tutor with the Study4Success Program, sponsored by UC, where she tutored at risk high school students in study skills, literacy and school work assistance. She was also a Senior Student Ambassador for the University of Canberra, assisting with marketing ventures, career expos, and giving campus tours. Joanna was awarded the 2014 Herbert Burton Medal for her outstanding academic achievements and contributions to the University and surrounding community. She also won the 2014 Australian College of Educators Outstanding Pre-service Teacher Prize.

Joanna credits her UC education as building the strong foundation she needs to excel as a teacher. "Being able to gain the academic learning in lectures, then being able to practically implement these strategies through professional experience has helped me gain the skills that I use every day in the classroom," she says.

Even though Joanna has only been a UC Alumni for just over a year, she has strong advice for those still in school: "No matter how prepared you think you are, leaving University is like leaving your security blanket. You will hate some days and love others, and it is important to find one thing out of every day that surprises you or makes you smile. By taking the time to learn from others, it will make your experiences more rewarding."