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As Central Coast local Cathie Renfrew looks back over the last year,
her first in her 50s, she beams with pride. Cathie has just secured
her first full time job in 25 years thanks to completing a course at
As a 50th birthday present to herself at the beginning of 2018,
single mum Cathie decided to give herself the gift of knowledge and
enrolled in Certificate IV in Marketing and Communication at TAFE NSW
Newcastle. It didn’t take long for her efforts to be recognised. The
day after her 51st birthday she was offered her dream job, as a senior
project officer in the secondary schooling education sector, based in Sydney.
Cathie said, “My 50th birthday present was to give myself 12 months
to work out ‘what I wanted to do when I grew up’, which included
studying full time at TAFE NSW, and then I got the call that literally
has changed my life. It turns out that enrolling was definitely the
best decision I have made.”
On average, every Australian will change jobs 2.4 times over the next
two decades, driving a greater need for upskilling and reskilling.*
Cathie is well aware of the benefits of topping up your occupational expertise.
“It's never too late to give yourself opportunities to go in a
different direction!” she said
“My time at TAFE NSW enabled me to enhance existing industry skills
and knowledge, and gain confidence, which you can tend to lose as you
get older. I actually wanted to do the Diploma of Marketing and
Communication but the Certificate IV was a pre-requisite, and I was
blown away by how much I learned
“Class activities and assessments were all extremely relevant and
practical. I literally used new knowledge from my course from day one
in my new job. I often refer back to course notes and assessments in
my new role as they were THAT relevant to a 'real' workplace. The TAFE
NSW teachers’ input from their recent industry experience was
instrumental in that... you can only learn so much from text books;
theoretical content is only one aspect of learning and TAFE NSW
provides fantastic practical, hands-on experience.
“It was the best time, I loved it. I gained so much from my teachers.
Most of all it was their passion, energy, and care to ensure we walked
away with learnings that we could transfer to the workplace.”
Cathie is delighted to have made her children proud with her new
qualifications, an award she won during her course (the Business
Services Marketing and Communication Course Award) and her new senior role.
“My kids are really pleased and proud of me, which makes me a bit
teary. When I decided to study they said ‘great’ because I was finally
doing something for myself, after working various part time jobs to
fit in around them because that’s what you do as a mother. They know
I’ve always valued education and they could see how much passion and
enthusiasm I had for my studies,” she said.
“TAFE NSW just made it so easy for me as a mature age student. I
loved the fact I was just one of the class, and that was my approach
too. I was very mindful given I’d been a trainer at one point years ago.
“As I will no longer be using after-hours to stay on top of multiple
jobs, I will soon use my train travel time to my new job for online
study - through TAFE NSW of course. The support it offers sets you up
to learn and succeed, it’s so valuable as a foundation for further
learning. And I am determined to get that diploma!”
The Certificate IV in Marketing and Communications can be studied
face to face in Newcastle or Sydney or online via TAFE Digital. For
more detail on TAFE NSW courses visit www.tafensw.com.au or call 131 601.
Media contact: Kristy Sheppard, TAFE NSW Media &
Communications Business Partner, 4923 7784 or 0407 450 860.