A Condingup Primary School teacher and recent Curtin University graduate has won the university's Australian Association of Special Education Award.
Lauren McWilliam was recognised at the university's School of Education annual awards ceremony on May 31.
Ms McWilliam completed a Bachelor of Education - Early Childhood Education and was awarded for completing a special education course and showing great promise in that area.
School of Education head professor Rhonda Oliver said the awards rewarded the hard work and exceptional achievements of recent dedicated graduates.
"We are confident that these graduates will make a positive difference in the education system through the impact they will have on the lives of many school students," Ms Oliver said.
Ms McWilliam said she studied special education at university because it was important to be inclusive of all students.
"That's at the heart of special education, realising that everyone is a unique individual and needs to be catered for accordingly," she said.
"The main focus was being inclusive of everyone regardless of where they've come from or where they're going."
Ms McWilliam said she was honoured to receive the award.
"It was a really nice ceremony and it was really nice to be awarded for all the hard work we've put in to studying," she said.
Ms McWilliam moved to Perth for her first year of study after completing her schooling at Esperance Primary School and Esperance Senior High School.
"I didn't enjoy the city, so I moved back home for the remainder of my studies," she said.
Ms McWilliam completed her studies as an external student from Esperance, a pathway which she recommends for other regional students.
She has been teaching at Condingup Primary School since Term 4 of last year and currently teaches students from kindergarten to Year 1.
"I love it. The kids are fantastic and the community is just wonderful," she said.
Ms McWilliam said she chose teaching because educators could achieve "incredible" things.
"It's such an important occupation," she said.
"We're shaping the minds of the next generation. I love children and helping them in any way possible."