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Housing leader credits TAFE NSW with helping her attract $380k in grant funding

TAFE NSW National Environment Centre

Housing leader credits TAFE NSW with helping her attract $380k in grant funding

LOOKING FORWARD: Tamileigh Chirgwin from Waddi Housing credits a TAFE NSW course with helping 'revolutionise' the way she works.

25 September, 2019

A Darlington Point social housing coordinator has credited TAFE NSW with helping “revolutionise” the way she works and improve the lives of the community she serves.

Waddi Housing and Advancement Corporation coordinator Tamileigh Chirgwin said completing the Diploma of Sustainable Practice at TAFE NSW had helped the Waddi Housing board attract almost $400,000 worth of grant funding and transform how she approaches her role.

The Diploma of Sustainable Practice is an online course aimed at people who work, or are planning to work, in roles that incorporate sustainability into the core business of their organisation.

“Before I did the course I thought very short-term – day by day really – but it opened up a whole new world to me,” Ms Chirgwin said.

“It made the whole corporation think differently and the board is now thinking 30 years in advance, rather than just thinking the next month or year ahead.”

Armed with a new mindset and skillset, Ms Chirgwin began making sustainability the centrepiece of her grant applications and soon attracted enough funding to install a sustainable cultural garden at a condemned main street building owned by Waddi Housing.

The non-for- profit organisation which supports Indigenous social housing in Darlington Point, is now in the process of adding a family cultural heritage centre to the site, set to open to the public in June 2020.

Ms Chirgwin helped the board attract $380,000 of funding for the project, a feat she said would have been impossible without the skills she learned while studying the diploma at TAFE NSW.

She is now so passionate about sustainability that she hopes to be a sustainability consultant in future.

“This is a huge win for the Waddi organisation and the Darlington Point community and I have TAFE NSW to thank for it,” Ms Chirgwin said. “The Waddi community is so proud; they are working well together to achieve a professional, sustainable project.”

TAFE NSW Diploma of Sustainable Practice teacher Dr Allison Mitchell said organisations worldwide are  increasingly recognising the value of putting sustainability at the core of their business.

“The Diploma of Sustainable Practice will equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to work in a sustainability role in government, private business and community sectors,” Dr Mitchell said.

Students study the course online with a project-based learning approach and strong support from teachers and fellow students, she said, adding the course had eight subjects and can be completed in one year full-time or two years part-time.

To find out more about studying sustainability at TAFE NSW, phone 13 16 01 or visit

Media contact: Daniel Johns, TAFE NSW Media and Communications – Business Partner, 6938 1441, mobile 0477 722 428.