This page is dedicated to sharing the stories of dedicated VET practitioners... Send your story through our contact page with your name so we can share and inspire your love of VET with others...
Director, Mentor, Consultant- Understand TAE
My first RTO job I was a trainer, admin, salesperson, all rounder in a tiny little RTO with about 40 students. We specialised in job seeker funding and offered childcare qualifications. About 6 months in I had a group of students, most of whom were single mums, never completed school and were looking to make a difference in their and their children's lives. I was recently separated myself so I immediately formed a close connection with the group. Throughout the course each of the women had their moments where they came to me in tears, issues that had come up with family, money, the general pressures of being a single mother with young children and doubts about whether they could do anything let alone complete a full course. I worked closely with each of them providing one on one assistance and tutoring. I discovered 6 of the women came from physically and emotionally abusive relationships.
Over the next year, each of the women in the group achieved their Certificate III and 14 received job offers through their work experience. Two of the women broke down in tears the day I gave them their qualifications, one woman told me she never thought she would feel capable of doing anything after her experience. She said it was the first time she felt worthwhile in years, I think I shed as many tears as my students did that year. I still get teary at the memory of it, I think those students taught me more than I did them that year and I am grateful to every single one of them.
CEO- LP Training
Training Advisor- Statutory Compliance
My leap into the world of VET came from a realisation that my own diverse employment experiences could actually be beneficial to our future learners. I had completed a couple of trades and had a keen desire to develop my understandings of education and its relationship to the workplace. Just over 5 years ago I completed a VET degree setting me up for a key training advisor role within the resource sector. During that time I’ve enjoyed working with a diverse group of learners who in some cases were just entering the workforce, and with those almost ready to retire.
One memorable experience for me was an opportunity to assist a learner having difficulties with the traditional group delivery. By taking the time to review the learner’s needs, adopt a delivery style that would achieve the desired outcome this learner was able to find success that ultimately led to secure fulltime employment. That day the learner graciously thanked me, not only from himself but from his family. The significance of our efforts as education professionals was highlighted for me, the gratitude shown by that learner will not be forgotten.
Julie Verner Mackay
Founder, VM Learning/aXcelerate
I have been in the training business for more than three decades and much of my work has been about fostering diversity through increased participation, particularly at leadership levels, by women, indigenous peoples and other marginalized groups. My approach has always been two-pronged; develop the student’s skills while also enhancing the student’s sense of self and well-being.
In 1994, I commenced delivering the ‘Women As Leaders’ leadership program and in the years that ensued, more than 4000 women have had the opportunity to attend the program. Another extremely rewarding experience has been delivering the leadership components of the Diploma in Government for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) peoples (known as the Wal-Meta Aboriginal Advancement program) on behalf of the Queensland Public Service.
As part of this program, I was honoured to be invited to Cairns to deliver this five-day program specifically to community leaders from the Torres Strait Islanders. Together, working through the modules of the course, we taught each other a lot. I was pleased that students in my course developed noticeable and measurable increases in self-confidence, self-empowerment and motivation. As a result of the program, community leaders developed key leaderships skills that went on to benefit the whole community.
What I was not prepared for was how much I was to learn from the experience as well.
During my time in Cairns, I was given an introduction to the culture that exists on the islands, and the strength of that culture. The responses from community leaders were intrinsically positive in approach. Theirs was a focus on enhanced collectivism, about believing in and supporting each other. The effect it has on those of us raised in the city is profound. The joy — of song, and dance — and the fun, and the connection, are unlike anything we’re used to experiencing in the city. I had never trained a group like it. They opened their hearts and in doing so opened mine.
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