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BREAKING THE CYCLE: Leeton mum Faith Kennedy has rechartered the course of her life thanks to TAFE NSW and her own hunger for self-improvement.
A Leeton mum has vowed to use her TAFE NSW qualifications to inspire other local Aboriginal people to improve their lives through education.
Faith Kennedy, 31, was fostered by her grandparents, the late Dennis and Dot Ingram, at just two weeks old and, despite the challenges in her life, channelled her focus into education, graduating with a raft of TAFE NSW qualifications since leaving school.
Already boasting a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery, Business Administration, Beauty Therapy and Education Support, Ms Kennedy this year completed a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care.
The early childhood sector is in the midst of a jobs boom, with the recent TAFE NSW Jobs for the Future report finding “early childhood teacher” would be the largest jobs growth area in the Riverina up to 2021, with a 15.6 per cent increase.
For Ms Kennedy, entering the profession is about far more than the attractive job prospects.
“A lot of people go through hardship and I managed to break the cycle in my family and become a better person,” she said.
“Education played a huge role in that and I want to inspire other Aboriginal people to see how they can better their lives through education.
“There’s still a lot of apprehension and heartache in my community from the Stolen Generations and I want parents to know that I’m there looking after their children and make them feel comfortable to access daycare services.”
Ms Kennedy has already completed 120 hours of work placement at Leeton Early Learning Centre and is confident of securing work in the sector in the New Year.
She has set herself a long-term goal of earning a Bachelor of Early Childhood and even opening her own childcare centre in Leeton is the coming years.
The mum-of-one praised the learning environment at TAFE NSW Leeton, saying teachers went “over and above” to ensure she was job ready.
“The teachers were so helpful; their knowledge was unbelievable and they did everything they could to help get me through,” Ms Kennedy said.
TAFE NSW Leeton Early Childhood Education Teacher Karyn Johnson described Ms Kennedy as an “exemplary” student and was confident she would forge a successful career in the industry.
“Faith finished her course a couple of weeks ago but kept coming back to help other students that were struggling, which is testament to what sort of person she is,” Ms Johnson said.
“There is a real shortage of carers in Leeton, especially casual staff, and Faith should find work without a problem.
“I would estimate more than 80 per cent of our students that graduate from the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care end up working in local centres because they are job ready and equipped with practical skills and experience that employers are looking for.”
TAFE NSW Leeton is offering the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care in semester one, 2020.
To find out more about studying childcare at TAFE NSW, phone 13 16 01 or visit www.tafensw.edu.au/childrens-services-and-childcare-courses
Media contact: Daniel Johns, TAFE NSW Media and Communications – Business Partner, 6938 1441, mobile 0477 722 428.