When Katie Stansfield graduates from her teaching degree next year, she is hoping to work in a remote school.
The 23-year-old grew up in regional Victoria but has been studying in Melbourne for the past five years.
"I think that there's a lot of challenges with remote teaching, a lot of it is stuff that uni doesn't and can't prepare you for," she said.
She completed a five-week placement in the NT community of Kalkarindji as part of her teaching degree.
"The skills and the things that you learn being there are not taught, you can't learn that by sitting in a lecture theatre or by reading textbooks," she said.
Even though education policy is often considered a state issue, for Katie and others like her, there's a federal policy on the line this election.
In response to the annual Closing the Gap address in February, which showed the Government was making little progress in addressing systemic Indigenous disadvantage, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a plan to waive the HECs debts of young teachers who stay and teach in very remote schools for four years.
At this stage Labor won't match the policy, but it has announced a promise for a $14 million teaching hub at Charles Darwin University in the NT, specialising in rural, remote and Indigenous education.
Attracting teachers to remote schools
The waive-HECS-debt policy was recommended by Tony Abbott based on his tour as special envoy for Indigenous affairs.
Anecdotally, teacher turnover is a big issue in some communities, but the data isn't always there to back it up: the Northern Territory Department of Education, for example, doesn't even track staff retention rates in remote areas.
Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann is a retired teacher from the small community of Nauiyu (Daly River), some 220 kilometres south of Darwin.
She was the first fully qualified Aboriginal teacher in the Northern Territory and served as principal of the local Catholic school for several years.
She thinks the policy is a good idea - it's one less thing for teachers, who come from down south, to worry about.
"It might help the stress that's put on them, especially if you're brand new and coming out into the bush," she said.
"It's a double-barrelled thing as in, the worry you have, being out bush, away from your family, you've got other things to deal with so it's good to not worry about whether you can pay off your training."
Ms Ungunmerr-Baumann knows it can be overwhelming when people come to work in a community for the first time - she felt the same way when she went to work in Melbourne as a young teacher, teaching non-Indigenous kids for the first time.
"I was feeling not sure, how they're going react and all that sort of thing," she said.
"And that was scary and I suppose that's how they feel too, it was a big learning curve for me."
Why graduate teachers?
Sam Osborne has worked as a teacher and principal in remote schools in Central Australia, and is now a researcher with the University of South Australia.
He is concerned the policy is targeting young, mostly non-Indigenous teaching graduates who may not have the resilience to cope in an isolated environment.
"It's not a carrot for anyone who has been teaching for a number of years, who would have largely paid off their HECs debt," he said.
"I think that HECS debt plan has some serious problems, because we don't prepare undergraduate teachers to be ready to go and do a great job in very remote communities, we don't do it well enough," he said.
Mr Osborne said he's seen people working in remote communities unravel after two or three years.
"I don't mean just unproductive, I mean, really unwell, but then they may not want to leave because they have to get to four years to get the incentive," he said.
"I'm concerned that it could end up trapping young teachers in situations where they're going to hang in for the pay day, and it's the worst thing for them, potentially, it's the worst thing for the kids, community and the school," he said.
He said commitments to teacher training, including more teachers from communities, more emphasis on local languages and increased support for those in remote communities might be a better way to retain staff.
Teaching student Katie Stansfield isn't sure if she will stay teaching in a remote school for four years.
"I think it's [the policy] - a great incentive for people who may have already considered teaching remote," she said.
"But four years is a massive commitment, especially for someone who has never lived remote before.
"If you get thrown in the deep end, if we have young people going out who are inexperienced, they are the ones that need support.
"At the end of the day, it won't matter how big the incentive is, people won't stay if they don't feel supported."