A sense of future

Antoinette Morris from Fremantle Fast Track is one of five nominees for the 2024 Department of Education Director General’s Women of Achievement Award.

Fast Track is an alternative and flexible program for young people who have not had success with mainstream schooling. Antoinette has been coordinator of Fast Track, based in central Fremantle and part of North Lake Senior Campus, for 26 years and has seen it change, grow and improve over that time. “The type of young people we cater for is different and our delivery is different,” she told NLSC News. “There has been a lot of research into this area of education and therefore evidence of what works. You can see that in our processes and the way we deal with young people.”

Students work on individual programs based on intensive case management, often with a combination of options that may see a Fast Track student spending time in the classroom, TAFE and work.

Former Fremantle Fast Track students include a criminal lawyer, a member of a national sporting team and a sub-mariner but Antoinette believes there are measures of success beyond the obvious. 

“Young people walking taller, prouder, more confident. Young people being able to manage themselves, developing a sense of self and, more importantly, a sense of future. Very often we see young people who don’t have the confidence to dream and don’t know enough about themselves or their abilities to say, ‘I’d like to pursue this or that.’ One of the things we do in our program is allow them to learn about themselves and through the multiple pathways approach find a way that they can progress with their education.”

Antoinette says she was surprised and touched by her award nomination. “When I look at the calibre of the other nominees and think about all the other teachers out there who do really outstanding work, I feel privileged and realise this nomination is an honour and comes with a sense of responsibility.

“I’m so fortunate to work in an area I’m passionate about. If my nomination has, ever-so momentarily, shone a spotlight on this kind of program and highlighted the work we do then that can only be a good thing for inclusivity in education.”

The winner of the Director General’s Women of Achievement Award will be announced on Monday 18 March.

Department of Education