By Christian P. de Grano, Philippines
As a special education teacher, I felt so honored to be chosen as one of the fellows who received the Australia Awards Fellowship opportunity to study at QUT. I’ve got the chance to meet and be mentored by brilliant professors of QUT and had a meaningful encounter with the Lord Mayor of Brisbane. This has inspired me to serve with passion, commitment and dedication as an advocate of Inclusive Education. My QUT study opened widely my perspective, heart and mind to the power of inclusion. This positive effect on me has continuously been my driving force to keep on generating programs for learners, teachers, schools and communities, on Special Education and Inclusive Education.
QUT taught me that Inclusive Education is a journey. Knowing the vision and mission towards inclusion by building culture, policies and practices it can build a community that welcomes diversity. Through the learning I’ve received from QUT, we transformed our school and SPED center into a barrier-free environment and established a culture-sensitive, gender-fair, safe and suitable learning community for all.
As a result of transforming and serving Filipino learners with disabilities, I was awarded Outstanding Public Elementary Teacher of 2018 in the District of Tagaytay and was also a Finalist for Gawad Bandila 2019 as Outstanding Elementary Teacher in the Division of Cavite, Philippines.