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Originally, from Lebanon, TAFE NSW Padstow Floristry teacher Wadad Mourad began her floristry career through a community program for newly arrived migrants and refugees. Wadad now runs a successful floristry business in Carlton, and is giving back to the community by teaching the course that launched her floristry career over 10 years ago.
Upon arriving in Australia, Wadad spoke limited English but was determined to keep learning and also do something for herself.
“I was a newly arrived migrant and came across the Statement of Attainment in Floristry – Getting Started and I thought this is what I wanted to do for my future,” said Wadad Mourad.
Once her children were old enough, Wadad decided to enrol in the Certificate II in Floristry at TAFE NSW Padstow but was not able to start classes unless she was working in the industry.
“I made a list of all the florists in my local area about doing work experience, I approached all of them and they all said no. I got to number five on the list and she said yes! I was so happy as I was able to start my studies and found a business who was willing to take me on for work experience.”
Wadad completed the Certificate II in Floristry and did not stop there; she also completed the Certificate III, IV and Diploma in Floristry.
Fast-forward a number of years to when Wadad was approached by Joanne Hynard, TAFE NSW Padstow Head Teacher for Floristry, to teach the Outreach program in local community halls, schools and churches.
“I needed a teacher who the students could relate to which is why I asked Wadad if she would teach the class. She is the kindest and most nurturing, patient woman. Her demeanour is perfect for the groups she’s teaching,” said Joanne Hynard, TAFE NSW Padstow, Head Teacher Floristry.
The Statement of Attainment in Floristry – Getting Started is for women who have been out of work as they have been raising their children, or are newly arrived to Australia and are looking to get some practical skills, which will help them gain employment.
Having been in the same shoes as many of the women she teaches, Wadad finds that her experiences help her to connect and engage with her students.
“At the beginning of the course, many of the women do not have a lot of confidence and are quite shy, but by the end of it they’re smiling, happy and their self-esteem has really grown. We are not only giving them skills so they can get a job but we are also helping them with their confidence.
“TAFE NSW delivers the course in local community halls and churches as it’s somewhere that is familiar to the students and often an easy location for transport.
After the six weeks, Wadad can see a change in the women compared to when they first stepped into the classroom.
“It’s such an achievement for them and I feel very proud of their achievements, I feel like I’m empowering another woman.”
To find out more about floristry at TAFE NSW visit www.tafensw.edu.au or phone 131 601
Media contact: Teresa Lane, TAFE NSW Media and Communications Business Partner 9796 5476, mobile 0412 773 887