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Iranian artist realises her dream at TAFE NSW

Iranian artist realises her dream at TAFE NSW

After fleeing Iran due to religious discrimination which also limited her ability to study art, Shiva Dadvar is living her lifelong dream working as an artist using the creative skills she’s developed from her TAFE NSW design course, with a recently completed artwork being enjoyed by millions of visitors to Bondi Beach.

While completing her course, Ms Dadvar was selected last year as part of Waverley Council’s inaugural United to End Racism Art Competition to create one of two murals along the Bondi Beach promenade, allowing her to put her newly acquired skills to work.

It was a life-changing moment for Ms Dadvar when she enrolled into the Certificate III in Design Fundamentals course.  Ms Dadvar explained that although she had a lifelong passion for art, studying art wasn’t an available option for her at all in her home country.

“I wanted study art, but it was impossible as education pathways were limited because of religious discrimination towards people who follow Baháʼí faith in Iran,” Ms Dadvar said.

“My artwork represents my hope and wish for the world to heal. I believe art can create big movements and it’s valuable to share stories in this special way.”

During her study Ms Dadvar has been able to kick-start her career and manage and complete creative projects including her work at the Callan Park exhibition at Bondi Beach.

“I chose TAFE NSW’s Design Fundamentals course because it was more practical. This made sense to me and was right for my learning needs. I experience a lot of language barriers often, but I knew I’d get the best out of this training pathway,” Ms Dadvar said.

“My TAFE NSW teachers were attentive and supported me every step of the way. The course was delivered online, so it made it more flexible for me.

“I gained practical skills across different mediums such as sculpture, photography and painting. This was valuable because I’ve be able to apply my own creativity and practices into my body of work for the Callan Park exhibition.”

TAFE NSW Head Teacher of Fine Arts and Ceramics Christine Casali explained that students gain practical industry-specific skills to utilise programs, equipment, and materials, and to manage and deliver project briefs.

“We’re so proud of Shiva’s recent work and to see her developed creative skills showcased at the Callan Park exhibition. TAFE NSW supports students to pursue their dreams and launch their careers by equipping them with critical skills needed to ensure they thrive in their work,” Ms Casali said.

To find out more about the range of design fundamental courses delivered at TAFE NSW, visit

Media contact: Katrina Trinh, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist,, 02 7920 5000.