December 9, 2013

I thought I was dumb, until I went to TAFE

By Maureen

I live in a very small rural town and the nearest place I could do my chosen study was at TAFE in Seymour, 12 kilometres away.

Having left school at 15 in 1965, going to TAFE in 2006 was very challenging. I had hardly used a computer and had never stood up and given a speech in front of 40 people before.

I chose to study Community Welfare. I had previously completed a Diploma of Counselling, by correspondence and thought that the Community Welfare Diploma would give me more credit plus learning about people and how I could help them to achieve their goals and change their lives.

The best thing about TAFE was the help and knowledge I gained to allow me to be a facilitator with a group of mothers of children with disabilities.

The young women who I did my course with were mostly single women with children. Most of them are now fully employed, giving back well and truly what they received from going to TAFE. Some have now gone on to university, as well as working. How great is that? The pride and maturity these women now have is amazing. A few of them are buying their own homes. They are all great role models for their children. No way would they have achieved this and turned their lives around without TAFE.

TAFE gives so much back to our communities. Have you ever seen a young person who did not cope at an ordinary school achieve an understanding of how to make a piece of furniture with new found skills? It’s truly amazing.

The pride of a young mother, not ever having to go to Centrelink again.

To realise you are not really stupid, to have achieved a credit or a higher mark. What a lot of pride a person can gain from that!

To know that you have learned enough skills to help others in your community.

TAFE is fantastic for people who have not been in the workforce before, or for a long time. It is fantastic for upgrading or getting another skill, or as a starting point. People who finish TAFE are employable. TAFE is a place where people can come together to learn.

All my life I thought I was dumb, until I went to TAFE. What it did for my self esteem is incredible. I now counsel people to help them go on to TAFE to further their education so that they can now have what they have missed out on.