2023 Graduate Stories: Ellenbrook Christian College (ECC)

Tanika Campbell graduated from Ellenbrook Christian College (ECC) in 2023 after having some excellent teachers for a number of years at the Santona Boulevard campus.

“I had a wonderful time in my ATAR years (Years 11 and 12) with some amazing teachers who showed me what education can look like when it’s delivered well,” says Tanika.

“Mrs Ford, my wonderful Modern History teacher, gave me pep talks and got me through the workload and school life. Miss Easton, my Drama Teacher, gave me many opportunities throughout Year 12 that helped me achieve everything I was trying to accomplish.”

During the summer break, Tanika enrolled with AustSwim and completed the training to become a swimming teacher. This offered her the opportunity to teach and make some pocket money during the break before university was set to begin.

The current demand for school teachers was not lost on Tanika, who realised that her experience at ECC and time as a swimming teacher led her to a career based on education.

“The decision to pursue Primary Education came from my love of kids, teaching and the chance to make a difference. Initially, I had looked at Criminology, but the subject matter was fairly disturbing, and I wanted to focus on giving our young people the best possible beginnings in their lives.”

Sounds like a future SCEA employee!

What is life like at university compared to ECC?

“The atmosphere of university versus School is completely different,” says Tanika.

“It has been a large adjustment from the set timetable where you go to school from 8.00 am to 4.00 pm every day. Within the university, the timetable is completely up to you. You’re studying what you want to study, so it makes it fascinating and motivating actually to get up and go to lectures.”

I think the SCEA Human Resources team will be keen to hear from future Primary School teachers in due course…


For graduate Devlin Turpin, deciding his future was very much determined by conversations with influential Christian teachers at ECC.

“Without my regular communications with Mr Lazaar and the trust that built up between the two of us through Physics classes, I would never have been led to the right decision for me,” says Devlin.

In his early secondary years, Devlin was a strong student who, in his spare time, had a passion for film, theatre, and lighting. With standout senior students Peter Sullivan and Josiah Dunjey achieving perfect scores in their Media Studies projects, Devlin was happy to contribute to their extracurricular films and projects as a young protégé.

“Those guys are super-talented, and I was very happy to be a part of their short films, which are precursors to Jordan Prince-Wright’s bigger projects like Before Dawn and the big-budget films that they are now moving towards.”

The love of the theatre (albeit as a behind-the-scenes genius) was clouding Devlin’s thoughts, given that he had significant academic talent and a passion for Physics. Mr Zaven Stephen, the media teacher at ECC, was highly complimentary of Devlin’s work, and he scored highly in media and his other ATAR subjects.

Enter Mr Lazaar.

“I scored highly on a solar panel project, and Mr Lazaar began talking to me about taking on studies into something significant in the engineering space.”

The opportunity to study Stage Lighting at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) was presented to Devlin late in Year 12, but Mr Lazaar believed that Devlin could concentrate on an engineering career and pursue his theatre dreams in his spare time.

“Mr. Lazaar encouraged me to pursue a double degree in Mechatronics Engineering and Computer Science at Curtin University. It was actually a really great idea because I still had the opportunity to work in a number of community theatre initiatives at nights and over the weekends.”

The degree is expected to take five and a half years, and employment prospects for graduates of these courses are very high at the conclusion of this training. Devlin’s family has moved closer to Curtin University to reduce the travel time between home and the university.

“I realised that this was a real career, and I had the ability to work hard in this industry. The other pursuits would still be there for me along the way. I’m very thankful for the awesome advice I was given by all of my teachers to get me to where I am now.”

Devlin works with Mr Lazaar on a STEM project using 3-D Printing.
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