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30 year wait for TAFE NSW Floristry graduate’s dream job


30 year wait for TAFE NSW Floristry graduate’s dream job

Blacktown local Cath Roberts has relaunched her career in the face of incredible adversity, pursuing her love of floristry and now flourishing in a job she loves.

As a 17-year-old Cath started her journey working in a florist shop, and over the years dabbled in arranging flowers for dinner parties and friends’ weddings. Her dream career - her own little shop selling flowers, coffee and hats.

As so often happens, Cath’s life went in a different direction, and she worked in Human Resources before starting a family and raising her two little girls.

In 2017, Cath was diagnosed with breast cancer and started treatment immediately. After 12 months of intensive treatment, she decided that it was time to get back into the workforce. 30 years after her first job in a florist shop, she wanted to get back on track to achieve her dream career.

“I had just completed twelve months of treatment for Triple Negative Breast Cancer and a few months prior to my diagnosis, I had become a single parent.

“I realised that I couldn’t go back to my role in the corporate world as a Learning & Development Manager as I had been prior to having children - and wanted to pursue something creative where I could find real enjoyment and fulfilment in my everyday work,” Cath said.

Cath has always had an interest in gardening and an affinity for flowers so she enrolled in the Certificate III in Floristry at TAFE NSW Ryde to relaunch her career.

Head Teacher of Floristry Elzbieta Wakeham says she could see in Cath an extraordinary strength and an ability from the very first day.

“Cath has always been such a strong and capable student. Always going above and beyond despite numerous setbacks.

“I could see that she had a true passion for floristry and it always spurred her onwards and towards her dream career,” Elzbieta said.

Cath was lucky enough to meet her new employer, NPM Events, at an industry evening coordinated by TAFE NSW. She secured a job and has now completed her Certificates III and IV in Floristry.

“I changed my career through TAFE NSW and met my current employer through TAFE NSW – I now have a dream job of working in some of Sydney’s most prestigious event locations,” Cath said.

On top of it all, Cath is now completing her Certificate IV in Training and Assessment to combine her old and new career choices with a view to teaching floristry to new students at TAFE NSW; giving them the same opportunity to pursue their dreams. 

“I’m so thankful for the support of the teachers I’ve had during my studies and not a day goes by I don’t think to myself how much my life has changed in the three years since my diagnosis and subsequent TAFE NSW studies.

“Learning floristry has truly changed my life and that of my girls for the better.”

To find out more about studying Floristry at TAFE NSW, visit or phone 131 601.

Media contact: Alice Dalley, TAFE NSW Media and Communications Business Partner, mobile 0402 528 210.