When Cara-Jane Shipp was a young girl, her father Gary, a proud Wiradjuri man, made sure his children knew the value of education.
He left school at 16, leaving Dubbo in 1976 to come to Canberra to make a new life, finding a job in the public service as a junior clerk. He worked his way up to the executive levels over a long career, championing indigenous issues.
"Dad worked on some of the big issues of our contemporary Aboriginal history, the Bring Them Home report, the Royal Commission into Deaths in Custody," Ms Shipp said.
"He always brought that to the dinner table, we were always talking about Aboriginal issues and activism and people who were trying to change and improve the lives of Aboriginal people. And he would always talk about education."
Ms Shipp said because her father had left school in Year 10 he felt as though he'd spent his life trying to catch up. She said he was very careful to make sure her brother and she acknowledged the privileged life they were leading,
"When we went back home to Dubbo and hung out with the cousins we could tell the difference in our lives, the opportunities that we had here, that our education had given us," Ms Shipp said.
"He wanted us to be conscious of that and be thankful for that and give back to the community."
And his daughter has done just that. Last week Ms Shipp, 35, won the 2016 Leadership in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Awards at the ACT Public Education Awards for her work at Wanniassa School.
Wanniassa has one of the largest indigenous populations of any Canberra school with 50 children out of 500 across pre-school to year 10.
Not only does Ms Shipp run a homework club, where indigenous students from either the senior or junior campus can come after school for help with homework or other class issues they might be having.
"It's like a big support network," says Zarielle Gault, a Year 8 student.
"Ms Shipp is the one of the best teachers I've ever had. She is really caring and even if you muck up she'll still be there for you. She'll talk about why you mucked up and how you can fix that for next time. I don't know what I'd do without her."
Ms Shipp knows that many of the students at Wanniassa are battling with issues outside her control to some extent. It's her job to engage them when they're at school and offer whatever support she can, working with their families and the indigenous community.
"These kids are beautiful kids, but they can be disengaged kids, they need a lot of support," she says.
"When you engage them on a personal level, when you acknowledge their culture and when you bring things in, stories from Aboriginal culture, suddenly they're the most engaged students. They're listening really keenly and want to know more.
"It makes a huge difference to have their culture reflected in the classroom."
Ms Shipp says it has always been one of her aims to bring indigenous issues into every classroom, no matter what the subject is.
"When I was growing up there wasn't a lot of talk about Aboriginal people or cultures or histories in everyday lessons," she says.
"That's one of the things I've always driven in every school I've been in, is providing resources to teachers in all subjects.
"You're doing a topic on civil rights? Well did you know about Australia's Freedom Ride in 1965 and Charles Perkins? Here are some resources.
"My aim is to get all teachers to bring our histories and cultures into the classroom."
Ms Shipp is buoyed by students she guides through the school, watching them become more confident and engaged.
"I want these kids to know they can make a positive change for their families and communities and that education is the key to that."