Blogs (Media Centre)

How TAFE NSW helped Queanbeyan mum launch a business in the middle of a pandemic

TAFE NSW Queanbeyan

19 January 2022

A Jerrabomberra mum has credited TAFE NSW with helping her successfully launch a handmade clothing business in the middle of a pandemic.

Thoshi Samaraweera, 35, had long harboured an ambition to release her own line of batiks – a traditional Sri Lankan style of handmade and handpainted clothing – but it wasn’t until she enrolled in a Diploma of Business at TAFE NSW Queanbeyan this year that her ambition became reality.

Required to come up with a mock business plan as part of the course, the mum-of-two decided to develop an actual business plan to test the merits of her business idea.

With the support of TAFE NSW Head Teacher of Business Sharyn Hole, Ms Samaraweera was so confident in the blueprint for her business, she used it to launch Moonrise Batiks in July, and the business has steadily grown.

“I had no idea how to start a new business so the course was incredible,” she said

“Having that business plan and learning about things like planning, budgeting, project management and, risk assessment really helped me.

“The teachers were so supportive and had so much experience in business; they could answer any question you would ask.”

A new TAFE NSW study has revealed COVID-19 hasn’t dimmed the entrepreneurial spirit of the state’s businesswomen, with 46 per cent[i] of small businesswomen using the pandemic as a stepping stone to start a new business.

Ms Samaraweera, who moved from Sri Lanka with her husband for a better life in 2015, said her new business was growing at a steady rate.

TAFE NSW Head Teacher of Business Sharyn Hole said Ms Samarweera was an example of how a TAFE NSW business qualification could arm students with the real-world skills to succeed in small business.

“This course has given Thoshi the practical skills and knowledge to give her business the very best chance of success,” Ms Hole said.

Ms Hole said enrolments were now open for the Certificate I, II and IV in Business at TAFE NSW Queanbeyan in February 2022, while the Diploma of Business will be delivered by virtual classroom and commence in April.

For more information, call 13 16 01 or visit


Media contact: Daniel Johns, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist, mobile 0477 722 428


[i] TAFE NSW Women  in Business survey, 2020