Diane lands her dream career through TAFE
For Diane Gray, passion is the difference between having a job and having a career.
Ms Gray’s road to finding her dream career had plenty of detours — marriage at a young age, children and an undiagnosed hearing impairment that was mistaken for a learning difficulty.
But in 2006, aged 43, Ms Gray took a deep breath, walked through the doors of TAFE NSW Finley and enrolled in a Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing). It was a decision that would change the trajectory of her life.
As a mature aged student, she thrived in the learning environment, graduating with flying colours in 2008 and even winning the Berrigan Shire Award for Outstanding Effort.
She was hooked, continuing her journey by completing an Advanced Diploma in Enrolled Nursing at TAFE NSW the following year.
Within the space of a few years, Ms Gray had gone from having crippling doubts about studying to becoming a star student and enrolled nurse.
She was even offered a job at Finley Regional Care as an aged care nurse and has now risen to become team leader.
At a time when a career pivot is the new norm — today’s school leavers are expected to average five separate careers in their lifetime — Ms Gray hopes her story will inspire others to retrain with TAFE NSW and pursue their passion.
‘‘I loved TAFE and I discovered a love for learning I didn’t know I had. The teachers were absolutely amazing and so helpful, they really made it so much easier,’’ she said.
Ms Gray encouraged others to consider their own career renaissance by studying aged care.
‘‘There’s such a huge shortage of aged care workers in the regions and it really is a privilege to be able to look after older people,’’ she said.
‘‘You get such a feeling of satisfaction and pride.’’
TAFE NSW head teacher of community services and ageing, Kellie Harmer, said the aged care sector was “crying out” for skilled workers.
‘‘This career really suits people who are caring by nature and willing to spend time to talk to older people,’’ she said.
‘‘It’s important to remember they were once young too and they have so much life experience and knowledge.’’
Ms Harmer said the Certificate III Individual Support (Ageing) was a 12-month course that offered a blend of face-to-face and online learning, with students attending classes in person one or two days a week.
Enrolments are still open for the course in semester two at TAFE NSW Finley. To find out more, phone 13 16 01 or visit www.tafensw.edu.au.
Diane Gray with Finley Regional Care resident Rene Groenen.