At the 16th Annual Outstanding Graduating Student Awards, which were held in Orange on 18 June 2009, Joshua Scharkie was named TAFE Western's Most Outstanding Graduating Student.
Joshua was selected from amongst nine award winning students from Orange, Broken Hill, Dubbo, Menindee and Bathurst were recognised at the awards for their academic, personal and professional achievements.
Joshua joined Western Institute's Indigenous Police Recruitment Out West Delivery Program (IPROWD) in Dubbo during 2008 to pursue his dream of becoming a Police officer with the NSW Police Force.
As part of this program Joshua undertook the Certificate III in Vocational and Study Pathways. He also succeeded in completing the Certificate III in Education Support (Aboriginal) through flexible delivery while working as a tutor and mentor for Aboriginal students at a local public school.
During the course Joshua was chosen as the student representative for the IPROWD course. As part of this role he undertook a series of media and radio interviews and was involved in presentations to the Police Advisory State Aboriginal Committee, at the Police Indigenous Recruitment day, and at Tamworth TAFE and local High Schools.
At all times Joshua displayed outstanding commitment, maturity and exceptional communication skills. In addition, he was chosen as the Dubbo College student representative to address more than 500 people at the College's graduation ceremony, talking about his journey toward becoming a NSW Police Officer.
Following his success in securing entry to the NSW Police Academy at Golbourn he is determined to succeed in his studies. In the future he intends to undertake a Bachelor of Policing (Investigations) to reach his goal of becoming a detective.
Joshua's teacher, Catherine Jones said that his attitude, resolve and excellent academic ability make him a role model for other Indigenous people. She said, "I consider him to be one of the best student I have ever deal with.
"He is the embodiment of how quality education and opportunity, combined with personal determination, commitment and resolve has the capacity to effect change."