In just two-and-a-half years, Lauren Fisher has built crucial cultural connections with her local community and shown outstanding leadership in her school, making her a highly valued member of Tagai State College (TSC). Located in the Torres Strait, TSC teachers don’t have the same access to professional development (PD) as other teachers across the state, but this has not stopped Lauren from participating in online PD whenever she can. The Year 10 coordinator, who took on the role after her demonstrated success as the Year 9 coordinator last year, has implemented strategies and high expectations for students. This has helped to fuel student academic improvement across all subjects. Lauren organised the Junior Certificate of Education (JCE) and the JCE graduation ceremony, implements STEM projects into her classes to making learning engaging, and ensures all students refer to their individual learning goals daily to encourage ownership, goal-setting and self-regulating skills. The TSC Head of Department – Senior Secondary, Adrian Jeloudev, says Lauren has been highly adaptive as a teacher, including engaging with the Language and Culture teacher to ensure learning is relevant for her students. “She engages with the community by engaging through community events, culture and traditional dancing. She has participated in cultural dance teams and has been on country many times with local Torres Strait Islanders,” Adrian says. “She has organised the Big Bala Big Sissy Mentoring Program, which enables Year 9 students to become mentors for the Year 7 students here at Tagai College. This program was effectively run by Lauren where she was able to hold a Youth Forum where community members were involved, and also leadership workshops,” he says. “Since becoming the Year 10 Coordinator Lauren has guided subject selection and SET planning. Recently Lauren was part of a successful Cultural Exchange International school trip to New Zealand with a group of Year 11 students. Through these events Lauren has built effective relationships with students, staff, parents and carers.” Lauren has completed multiple courses to implement the new Queensland Certificate of Education. Her positive and flexible attitude, her dedication to student achievement, her commitment to constantly improving as a professional and her success in connecting with her local community has also led to her becoming a mentor for other beginning teachers. Congratulations Lauren on your nomination.