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Student Profile: Tony Medcraft

Congratulations to Tony Medcraft, recipient of the Kevin Cook Award!

Since 1957 Tranby has been a place to gather, connect with community, learn about identity and culture and create the future together, with and for our community.

In 2020 when Tranby had to close our physical doors in response to the global pandemic, we were worried that online learning wouldn’t be able to provide the same meaningful education to our students. Fortunately, yarning with deadly students like Tony Medcraft demonstrates that Tranby’s online learning programs continue to be a source of empowerment, connection and strength for our mob around Australia. 

Tony Medcraft is a proud Palawa (Tasmanian Aboriginal) man who descends from (chief) manalargenna’s oldest daughter, woretemoeteyemer, of North-East Tasmania. Recently, in 2022, Tony graduated from Tranby’s 10861NAT Diploma of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Legal Advocacy – a course designed to equip our community with the knowledge, skills and tools necessary to be community advocates in and around the criminal justice system.

Tony excelled in this program and as a result, he was awarded the prestigious Kevin Cook award, recognising his resilience, determination and community spirit – Congratulations Tony!

Below Tony shares what the Tranby learning journey meant for him.

During my time studying at Tranby, I have accomplished a better understanding of my life’s journey and its connections to country, community & culture.

I have been awakened to more knowledge and learned new skills which has empowered me to take risks (in a respectful manner). To speak out to the injustice that has (past) happened and is (present) still happening to Our People.

The Diploma of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Advocacy has provided me many valuable learning skills. The course reminded me of the importance of listening, asking questions, and importantly, not to assume you know what the client wants or needs. “Knowing” is not always enough, you have to listen to their personal story. 

From the beginning of my time with Tranby (and it is only the start!), this course inspired me to take a leap of action. Now I have taken on a position as the branch president of pataway, (regional centre of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Corporation in Burnie). This role gives me opportunities to manage agendas for meetings, connect with key Aboriginal people, and share information to our community. I now have the confidence to step up more in my community.

The yarning sessions were excellent. Tranby provided so many occasions to connect and exchange ideas with other Aboriginal people throughout Australia which is certainly significant. These yarning sessions offered me better understanding of the main matters for Aboriginal people, not just in my community but around the diverse countries known as Australia.

Tranby has allowed me to dream, to take charge of me. Through my studies I’ve come to believe “nothing is impossible”.

Learning alongside mob helped me realise that although I have gone through many hardships like “sorry business”, these experiences have made me strong; they are part of my story, my journey. Tranby supported me to combine my studies and life experiences, so I can help others in my community, here in Lutruwita/Tasmania and Australia.

I am determined to make a positive difference. I also choose to keep learning and growing my knowledge around country, community & culture every day.  Opportunities do not happen; you must create them. Thank you, Tranby, for allowing me to study with you. Thank you.

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