Graduate passionate about deaf education

20 November 2012
James Kerwin is ready for a career in education
University of Southern Queensland graduate James Kerwin talks with his hands and teaches with his heart.

The Graduate Diploma of Learning and Teaching student, who is deaf, has finished up his study at USQ and is ready to go on and teach the next generation of deaf students.

“I started my study in the beginning of 2011 and have had an amazing time at USQ,” Mr Kerwin signed during the Faculty of Education’s Celebration Conference last week.

“I tried to study a course in teaching 20 years ago at another institution but didn’t feel like I was ready for it.

“Now, at my last day at USQ, I’m ready.”

Mr Kerwin said he has always been passionate about deaf education and has worked as an Auslan Language Model in several Toowoomba state schools and jumped at the opportunity to work and study in Toowoomba.

“It’s been great to be able to study online as well as being able to see lecturers in person when I get time,” he said.

“USQ has been brilliant and very supportive; having the university source interpreters for me has really helped overcome any barriers to study.”

Mr Kerwin said he hopes to work with deaf children or in bilingual classrooms and eventually as an Advisory Visiting Teacher.

“While my heart will always be in Toowoomba, the work is elsewhere,” he said.

“I’ll probably be moving to Brisbane soon to find work.

“I would like to give my thanks to USQ for believing in me and supporting me through my study.”

The Program Coordinator for the Graduate Diploma of Learning and Teaching program Michele McGill said Mr Kerwin had a promising future.

“His reports have been excellent and his learning has been phenomenal,” Ms McGill said.

“We have all learnt so much from James as he learnt from us.

“The other students were quickly picking up sign language because we wanted to talk with him.”

The celebration conference saw graduating Bachelor of Education and Graduate Diploma of Learning and Teaching students present their social justice themed internship projects in a conference-style setting.

About 165 students were involved in the conference across all three USQ campuses, including 80 in Toowoomba, 65 in Springfield and 20 at Fraser Coast.

Media contact:

Jim Campbell,, 07 4631 2977

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