Yawuru woman from Broome Su-Nami Matsumoto wins student of the year at South Metropolitan TAFE

Cain AndrewsBroome Advertiser
South Metropolitan TAFE Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student of the year Su-Nami Matsumoto.
Camera IconSouth Metropolitan TAFE Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student of the year Su-Nami Matsumoto. Credit: Cain Andrews/Broome Advertiser

Broome local Su-Nami Matsumoto has taken out the Statewide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student of the year award at South Metropolitan TAFE.

Ms Matsumoto said her passion for the ocean and marine wildlife compelled her to travel all the way to Perth to enrol and complete a Certificate III and a diploma in aquaculture.

“I love the ocean and the great unknown, so I completed my Certificate III in aquaculture,” Ms Matsumoto said.

“The ocean has always provided for my family and we played in it like it was our very own backyard, every weekend.”

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But it wasn’t always smooth-sailing for the 25-year-old Yawuru woman who thought her limited English skills might stop her from being successful in her training.

Ms Matsumoto was born into a family of Aboriginal, Japanese and Filipino heritage and found it hard to pick up English growing up.

But Ms Matsumoto didn’t let that deter her from making her dreams a reality, managing to overcome her lack of English skills and complete her TAFE training.

“I had to read and read a lot, and google words I didn’t understand, I also had my work checked over by my peers and lecturers, to help me correct and explain any spelling or grammar,” she said.

“I have always believed learning and development is part of who you become.

“I followed this with the diploma which I completed with huge support from my family, peers and lecturers.”

Having completed her diploma Ms Matsumoto now works with Cone Bay Barramundi producer Marine Produce Australia in the Kimberley, putting her skills and knowledge into practice.

Noting the lack of role models for young people in her community, Ms Matsumoto is also determined to use her newfound skills in to establish her own fish farming business to employ people in the future and be a role model for young people in her community.

“It was hard growing up, most of my childhood we lived in poverty, with very little opportunity,” she said.

“I would like to go on and do more business courses to help me develop my own aquaculture farm, increasing employment in the Kimberly and helping the surrounding environment.”

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