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From hobby to career: TAFE NSW helps Susy turn a COVID-19 setback into opportunity

TAFE NSW Kingscliff

From hobby to career: TAFE NSW helps Susy turn a COVID-19 setback into opportunity

A 43-year-old Pottsville local has credited TAFE NSW with helping her emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic as a confident business owner, after pivoting from a career in tourism.

When the travel industry halted, Susy Goldsworthy was among the host of Australians prompted to take the leap to self-employment.

Chasing new hopes to enter the billion-dollar photography industry, she enrolled in a Diploma in Photography and the Certificate IV in Marketing and Communication at TAFE NSW Kingscliff.

Ms Goldsworthy credits the skills she’s developed for giving her the confidence to start her own boutique photography business on the Far North Coast of NSW, What Susy Sees, specialising in fashion and beauty photography and portraits.

“I was working in the travel industry when COVID hit and it forced me to think about what I wanted to do with my career; I decided I really wanted to do something creative,” said Ms Goldsworthy.

“Initially, I thought I’d study photography to develop a hobby and explore a passion, but I loved it so much that I decided to pursue it as a career path.”

What Susy Sees was one of many new businesses making waves in 2021. New company registrations skyrocketed in New South Wales, equaling to a 26 per cent increase of the previous year’s numbers. [1]

With the success of her business, Susy has worked with notable brands, including the sustainable swim-wear labels, Alulu and Chia Swim. She says her studies opened her eyes to uncapped opportunity.

“The experience of my photography teachers in both creative and technical aspects meant we got to explore styles of photography and industries that many of us hadn’t considered before,” Ms Goldsworthy said.

“Combining what I learnt in photography, communication and marketing at TAFE NSW gave me a full suite of skills I could apply to my new business and made a real difference in my ability to make connections and attract new clients.”

TAFE NSW Head Teacher of Creative and Design Ideation, Sandra Guy, said Ms Goldsworthy was a prime example of the opportunities TAFE NSW provides those looking to pursue their creative passions. 

“The Diploma of Photography is a comprehensive program that provides students, like Susy, with the wide-ranging, specialised skills they need to confidently pursue their career goals and express their creative flair,” Ms Guy said. 

“Photography is a technical art form that requires a strong foundation. We combine theory and practical course work so that TAFE NSW students learn how to manage end-to-end client campaigns, harness industry specific tools, work in studio spaces, and gain post-production techniques to build a business or work commercially.”

Media contact: Vanessa Lista, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist, mobile 0450 442 109.

[1] Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC)​​​​​