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Helensburgh local and TAFE NSW graduate Nathan Johnston is proving being blind is no barrier to success, having recently gained an OAM for his service to people with disability through sport, and securing employment as a massage therapist at a local chiropractor practice.
The 36-year-old motivational speaker, brand ambassador, Iron Man Para-Champion, and Australian Paratriathlon Championship winner recently completed a Certificate IV in Massage Therapy at TAFE NSW Loftus.
Mr Johnston began losing his sight at eight years old, but remained passionate about swimming, running, and bike riding. He said studying at TAFE NSW has been empowering and has encouraged others who are blind, or vision impaired to do the same.
“I enrolled in the TAFE NSW course as I was looking to pursue a career which is tactile and would allow me to help others. The support my teachers provided during the course has been invaluable in helping me to succeed,” Mr Johnston said.
“My role as a massage therapist has been incredibly rewarding. I’m looking forward to continuing to work in the field, while helping others cope with adversity through my work as a motivational speaker.”
Access to meaningful employment for people with disability, including people who are blind or vision impaired, can give a significant boost to Australia’s economy. It is estimated that if an additional 100,000 people with disability were employed by 2050, it would add one per cent to Australia’s gross domestic product.
TAFE NSW Disability Teacher Consultant Jodie Pringle said Nathan is a prime example of the career opportunities TAFE NSW provides those looking to upskill.
“Nathan is an exceptional student and it’s been a privilege to be a part of his journey. In the space of a few months, he has graduated from a Certificate IV in Massage Therapy, gained employment at a chiropractor practice, and been awarded an OAM.”
“TAFE NSW’s disability services supports all students to succeed in their careers, including those living with a vision or hearing impairment, a physical or intellectual disability, neurological disorders, chronic illness, or mental health conditions.”
The nationally recognised Certificate IV in Massage Therapy provides students with crucial skills including massage techniques for relaxation and healing, how to communicate effectively with other healthcare professionals and clients, and essential business skills for starting their own massage practice.
To find out more about studying massage therapy at TAFE NSW, visit www.tafensw.edu.au or call 131 601.
Media contact: Emma Woodward, Communications Specialist, firstname.lastname@example.org, 0409 618 291