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Local deaf woman on a studying mission at TAFE NSW

TAFE NSW Coffs Harbour

Local deaf woman on a studying mission at TAFE NSW

18 February 2019

Khishkok Hameed has made good use of the learning opportunities Australia has to offer by studying at TAFE NSW and university, which is not so uncommon for  a local in their 20s.


What is remarkable is that in addition to this she knew little English less than two years ago and, thanks to improving her communication skills through the TAFE NSW Adult Migrant English Program, is now studying multiple courses at once across the two educational providers.


Also, Khishkok is deaf. She is relatively new to Australia too, having been granted refuge from Iraq along with her four sisters only 18 months ago. Three of her sisters have hearing issues as well.


In that short time Khishkok has completed a range of courses at TAFE NSW Coffs Harbour – Certificate I in Hospitality, Certificate I in Business and Certificate II in Auslan, the language of the deaf community in Australia. She had never learned sign language before.


She is now busy completing the Certificate III in Written and Spoken English plus the Certificate III in Auslan while continuing to study sociology part time online at university.


Ms Hameed said, “I moved to Australia with my siblings for the opportunity of a safe and secure life.”


“I have really enjoyed studying at TAFE NSW. In my English course I have met lots of people from different countries and my English teachers are very supportive with me.


“I have especially loved learning Auslan. I only started learning sign language in Australia; when I came here I decided to learn because of my siblings. I didn't know that sign language would be really good for hearing impaired and deaf people.

“I have now met lots of other deaf people, which is great. Auslan was special and amazing to learn because it is very helpful when communicating with others. I also love it when communicating with my sisters.


“I chose to study at TAFE NSW to gain a clear understanding to know what to do as my career. I would like to work with children and I am looking forward to starting a child care course in the future.”


Someone as determined to succeed as Khishkok is positioned well to take advantage of the employment opportunities the next few years presents. A recent TAFE NSW study found that in the NSW North Coast ‘early childhood teacher’ is expected to be the third-fastest growing occupation between 2018-2021. It will see employment growth of 12.6%, compared to the overall growth average of 1.2% for the region.


“I love being around children. I would like to help them with their future and become successful in the community,” Ms Kishkok said.


“As for Coffs Harbour, I really like it because I have learned many things here and had many experiences, and all that has helped me to be independent.”


For more information on TAFE NSW courses, both face-to-face and online, visit


Media contact: Kristy Sheppard, TAFE NSW Media & Communications Business Partner, 4923 7784 or 0407 450 860.