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Gewa turns tragedy to triumph through TAFE NSW training

Gewa turns tragedy to triumph through TAFE NSW training

Gewa Arja and her sons Luay and Rabieh at her graduation

A Greenacre local has turned personal tragedy into a powerful force for positive change, having overcome immense hardship to forge a career in personal training through TAFE NSW.

Driven by her own experiences with loss and grief, 41-year-old Gewa Arja plans on opening her own business and specialising in trauma release workouts, so she can extend a helping hand to those facing similar challenges. 

Following the devastating loss of her two sons Mohammed and Omar to cancer in 2019 and 2022, and her daughter A’isha in 2009, Gewa decided to pursue her lifelong passion for fitness in their honour and enrolled in the Certificate III in Fitness at TAFE NSW Meadowbank.

After completing the course, she plans to progress to the Certificate IV in Fitness, while training her friends in her very own home gym. She was also recently awarded a Student Excellence Award, as nominated by her classmates, as the most inspiring and supportive peer throughout the course.

“I’ve loved fitness since I was a teenager. My kids would always train with me in our home gym and before my two boys passed, they would always tell me I should be a personal trainer. Now that my other children are older, I decided it was time to take the plunge and pursue a career in fitness,” Ms Arja said.

“I was anxious to return to the classroom, but my husband, classmates, and teachers have been so supportive. Studying at TAFE NSW has been the best experience of my life. I’ve gained the hands-on skills I need to train others effectively and help them reach their goals, and I’ve met so many incredible people – both young and old.

“Having my two boys Luay and Rabieh there to see me graduate is a memory I’ll cherish forever.

“Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your mental health – and studying fitness has not only helped me to rebuild my own life but also positively impact the lives of others. I’d strongly encourage others to study what they’re passionate about – it’s never too late.

“Looking to the future, I want to continue to develop my skills and specialise in trauma release workouts one day, so I can help others find strength through fitness. As I continue my own path of healing, I want to empower and inspire others to overcome their own obstacles and reach their fitness goals.”

TAFE NSW Head Teacher of Health and Recreation, Sandra Apostolou said Gewa’s resilience and determination serve as an inspiration to all.

“As Gewa continues to build her foundation in the fitness industry, she is highlighting the life-changing impact of quality training and how hard work and dedication can pay off,” Ms Apostolou said.

“It’s great to see students like Gewa challenge themselves and realise their goals through hands-on training. The Certificate provides students with an opportunity to better their own health, fitness, and quality of life, as well as the opportunity to share this knowledge and impact the lives of others.”

Media contact: Emma Hughes, Communications Specialist, 0409 618 291,