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They're both SWSi classmates and self-confessed "laboratory geeks". And they've both ended up tying for first place in the 2016 TAFE NSW State Medal Awards.
But the similarities effectively end there. Ghadeer Zeidat and Mark Pearce have arrived at this destination from personal journeys that are about as different from each other as it's possible to get.
Ghadeer moved to Australia five years ago and although she went to university in Jordan, had to restart her career. She spoke very little English so started her TAFE journey by enrolling into an English for Academic Purposes course at TAFE SWSi. She then decided to follow her passion and commenced a Laboratory Skills Diploma and recently completed her third course, a Diploma in Chemical Technology.
Mark Pearce was handed a redundancy after nearly 30 years working for the same company. He decided that it was time to think of a plan B and chose to follow his interests and return to TAFE to start a new career in laboratory technologies. This turned out to be the best experience of his life.Now, Mark and Ghadeer set off to start their new careers, who knows if their journeys will continue to a similar destination or if their lives will once again take them in different directions.