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At the age of 21, TAFE NSW Ultimo alumnus Ray Mazhakata arrived at Sydney International Airport with only a backpack and a plan to help his community back in Zimbabwe.
Growing up, Mr Mazhakata was always volunteering in his local community. From helping the elderly with home maintenance, to donating his homegrown produce, he was passionate about giving back. So, when it came time for him to pick a career he would love, nursing was the obvious choice.
“After completing my high school education, I took a gap year to work and spent most of my spare time gardening and growing vegetables. With a burning desire to serve my community, I took the opportunity to do some voluntary work through the United Methodist Church, raising money for orphanages and nursing homes.”
It was during this time that Mr Mazhakata decided he wanted to study nursing abroad so that he could develop skills and innovative ideas to help his community in Zimbabwe.
“I wanted an internationally recognised qualification to gain a competitive advantage over my peers studying in Zimbabwe, and to learn about other healthcare systems so that I could implement them in my country.”
After some research, Mr Mazhakata decided Australia was the best country for him to learn about the industry, with the aging population set to drive demand for 10,000 more workers in specialist medical services within the next five years.
Arriving in Australia, Mr Mazhakata enrolled in a Diploma of Nursing at TAFE NSW Ultimo where he could follow his dream of becoming a nurse.
“My time at TAFE NSW was nothing but memorable. We had a small class, which allowed for one on one interaction with the teachers, ensuring optimum learning. We also has lots of hands on classes which were very engaging and equipped me with the skills I needed to start working as a registered nurse.”
Utilising the industry connections that TAFE NSW has established, he was able to land a job as an enrolled nurse at Chatswood Medical and Dental Center after graduating.
“I was so excited when I started my job as an enrolled nurse. I felt job ready and confident that I could do the job well thanks to my passionate teachers and the experience that they gave me.
“I have an exciting plan to go back to TAFE NSW Ultimo and study a short course in management so that I can continue to develop my skills.”
With a five-year goal to form a charity organisation that will focus on spreading mental health awareness and establish facilities in developing countries like Zimbabwe, Mr Mazhakata is passionate about using his skills to make a difference.
Media contact: Emma Cawley, TAFE NSW Media and Communications Business Partner, mobile 0412 478 415, firstname.lastname@example.org