Lakisha Sloane lives in Broken Hill in Far West NSW. This region experiences high levels of youth and generational unemployment. Through sheer determination and family encouragement, Lakisha achieved her Year 12 certificate.
Lakisha then diligently applied herself to complete vocational education at Robinson College. Enrolling into non-traditional mining/construction and high-risk tickets, she stepped out of her comfort zone and completed each one. These qualifications secured ongoing employment opportunities for her. She inspires other young Aboriginal woman to achieve their own goals in areas of employment and sport which are typically non-traditional roles.
Family support, vocational education and employment have changed Lekisha’s future prospects.
Jessica studied a Diploma of Leadership and Management, and completed a traineeship through MVS National Valuations and Property Consulting guided by her Tamworth Community College trainer. Throughout her training, Jessica overcame significant personal and health challenges, gained confidence and developed some impressive career and life goals. As a rural based student with a new yearning for further tertiary education, and no university in Tamworth, Jessica was able to access the College’s articulation agreement with University of Newcastle. This meant Jessica could go on to enrol in a Bachelor of Business and credit transfer her Diploma qualification to contribute to completion of her degree. Jessica is a shining example of the flexibility and value of a VET pathway, particularly for rural and regional students.
Caitlin is a young woman who had the tenacity to balance a full time role and vocational studies in the year she lost her mother. She faced substantial personal and family grief, loss and challenges. Caitlin knew further education was an investment in her future so she never gave up.
Caitlin is a dedicated, passionate, reliable and determined 26 year old who every day supports clients with disabilities, ensuring at all times their rights, choices and individual outcomes are met in an inclusive and respectful way, she also provides guidance to other team members who support clients with disabilities. She has a major role in leading, training and supporting them to make better decisions with and for our clients so they have opportunities for meaningful participation and active inclusion.
Aaron Curry, a young aboriginal man, was born in Penrith moving to country Victoria at age two. Family issues resulted in him leaving home shortly after turning 16. Aaron moved to Wollongong completing a term at Bulli High School before being expelled due to behavioural issues. He completed year 11 and part of year 12 at ALESCO Illawarra before failing an HSC exam and losing the unit towards his HSC. As an alternative university entry pathway Aaron undertook the University of Wollongong (UOW) Pathways Course conducted by the WEA Illawarra. He successfully completed a Certificate IV in Business and was accepted by University of Wollongong into a Bachelor of Arts majoring in psychology. While waiting for his university year to start Aaron also completed a Certificate IV in Leadership and Management. Aaron has achieved his goal and is currently undertaking his university studies while working part time in WEA Illawarra’s enrolment office.
Natasha (“Tash”) studied short courses in barista, make-up and nail technology to pathway into her Certificate III in Beauty Services. Through hard-work and grit, Natasha overcame personal barriers and learning difficulties to become a College Student Ambassador, recently giving a presentation at a Student Recognition Dinner. Tash is now confidently working as a volunteer Beauty Therapist and Drama Coach at a local disability services organisation. She treats clients to facials and make-overs and runs small drama workshops to help boost the self-esteem and resilience of others with disabilities.
Emma enjoyed learning at school, however left early due to mental illness.
Due to Emma’s negative learning experiences, she was reluctant to return to study. Encouraged to join the College’s Foundations class, Emma found this to be a positive experience, completing a Certificate III Individual Support (Disability), gaining employment with Kiranari Disability Services.
Emma’s confidence and self-esteem have been rebuilt, giving her the acquired skills to assist others in similar situations.
While studying, Emma volunteered for Disability Drama Company and primary schools special education unit, inspiring Emma to obtain formal qualification.
Jasmine is a young mum of two who has drastically turned her life around. She is currently studying a Certificate I Business while working with disadvantaged youth to assist them to improve their lives. Jasmine has come from a very tough upbringing, become an amazing person and is now using her experiences to assist young people who are experiencing similar situations while completing her study.
Shiva Smyth began his studies with Byron Community College as a qualified automotive vehicle painter, and by the end of the year was a certified horticulturist on a completely different career path. Today he is running his own property maintenance and landscaping business with great success. The business has multiple clients and is growing. He has engaged a fellow Byron College horticulture graduate as a subcontractor and feels great networking with other local businesses and different people in the community. Shiva also works as an environmental education consultant for Brisbane City Council conducting education programs for all ages at Mount Coot-tha Botanical Gardens, a position that he feels proud of as it provides him with the opportunity to give back to the broader community.
Jolie studied Certificate III in Individual Support (Aged Care) at Coffs Coast Community College. Originally from the Congo, Jolie fled to a Zambian refugee camp for seven years before arriving in Australia. Jolie is a single mother with four children who could speak Swahili, French and eight other African languages – but not English – when she first arrived. After earning a Certificate III in English, she decided that aged care was important after seeing the suffering of her people in Congo and Zambia. She works at St Joseph’s Aged Care in Coffs Harbour as an Assistant in Nursing (AIN).
Julia studied Certificate IV in New Small Business at Byron Community College. A former actor and dancer, Julia has overcome substantial personal, family and health challenges to start a new business, Micro-living Australia, which manufactures expandable, contemporary designed, off grid optional dwellings that are location flexible, easy to install and inexpensive. Her course at Byron rebuilt her confidence and helped her to create a business plan. She has two young adult sons and feels compelled to help them and others achieve the Australian dream of owning their own home.
Madhi Akbari, while at Macquarie Community College, studied Skills for Work and Vocational Pathways, Certificate III in Individual Support, Certificate IV in Ageing Support and General Education for Adults. A migrant to Australia from Iran along with his wife, Madhi holds a Bachelors and a Master of Philosophy from his home country. He has overcome the challenges of no local family, not knowing English and requiring re-education, and now works with home care provider “The Cooperative Life”; he has recently won the “employee of the year” award.
Georgia studied Certificate III in Individual Support (Aged Care). She recently graduated from high school, has a small learning disability, and is supported by Griffith Post School Options (GPSO). Georgia has been a highly assiduous student, committed to her studies and to developing a career and self-sufficiency. Her ability to get along with people makes her a natural fit for her chosen career.
Tony studied Certificate III in Individual Support. He has learning difficulties due to dyslexia and two brothers with muscular dystrophy. After losing his job, he decided to change careers and become a qualified carer. With more practice, including support from teachers, trainers and classmates, his reading has improved greatly. Tony is a great raconteur, sharing stories that are enthralling, sometimes riotously funny and sometimes painfully tragic. His own family history means that he understands the challenges of supporting families with disabilities. Tony now works with St Agnes Parish Centacare in Port Macquarie.
Dimitri studied Computers for Beginners and Introduction to Microsoft Word. Growing up in Darwin, Northern Territory, Dimitri’s primary year schooling taught him little. Following Cyclone Tracy in 1974, his family moved to Sydney and he had no clothes. He has worked in the hospitality industry for more than 30 years as bar attendant, waiter, cook and hotel receptionist, and owned his own takeaway shop for 16 years. His further study in computers has helped to advance his career as a Security Officer at the University of NSW, and he looks forward to entering management and extending his leadership skills.
Marcelle studied Certificate I in General Education for Adults. Marcelle arrived in Australia from Egypt in 1968 with her husband and young son. She first lived in a Housing Commission flat in South Melbourne, then purchased a home in St Albans and now lives in Mill Park. She worked for Telecom (later Telstra) for more than 20 years and raised 2 children, with little time to study. Because of how LLLC helped her life, she has joined the Committee of Management and provides a role model for others to study.
Ben studied Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing), Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability) and Introduction to Leisure and Health. Born in Melbourne, Ben moved with his family to country Victoria and most recently to the Tweed. His original career in air-conditioning systems brought him in contact with elderly people, and he decided to change careers to work in aged care. His exemplary performance on vocational placements resulted in his gaining employment prior to even completing the placements. He currently works as a disability support worker at Lifebridge.