Blogs (Media Centre)


TAFE NSW Tighes Hill


30 July 2021 

New Lambton’s Jimmy Ivory wasn’t going to let a hearing impairment get in the way of achieving his career goals. 

This year, the 30-year-old will graduate from TAFE NSW Tighes Hill with a Diploma of Nursing and move straight into a placement as an Enrolled Nurse at John Hunter Hospital. 

The achievement is the latest chapter in the story of how TAFE NSW has played a major role in the former plumber turned healthcare professional’s career path. 

Jimmy’s hearing impairment was identified at age three. Now he has a cochlear implant, wears a hearing aid and uses lip reading to understand what people are saying. 

His first experience at TAFE NSW was as a teenager when he completed a Certificate III in Plumbing. After spending time in the construction industry, he realised it wasn’t what he wanted to do long-term. 

Instead, his desire to help others led him into the disability sector where he worked for several years before deciding to become a nurse. 

Jimmy eased himself into the career change, becoming an Assistant in Nursing by studying a Certificate III in Health Services Assistance.  

That was the stepping stone he needed to start his Diploma of Nursing last October. 

Jimmy said the support he received from his TAFE NSW teachers and support staff had made it possible for him to achieve his dreams. 

“I was fortunate to have a notetaker who sat with me in classes, and the teachers have been excellent in making sure I have all the assistance I need,” Jimmy said. 

Acting Head Teacher Allied Health and Nursing Studies Lynelle Jenkinson said Jimmy’s dedication to his studies and the positive way he overcomes adversity is inspiring. 

“TAFE NSW has been there for Jimmy at each stage of his career progression,” Ms Jenkinson said.  

“He was a worthy recipient of a Hunter TAFE scholarship award which recognised his commitment to overcoming any challenges on his learning journey. 

“He is also a leader, mentoring other students in both the Health Services Assistance and Nursing courses.” 

Jimmy says achieving his Diploma may not be the end of his academic studies. 

“I’m now thinking about going to university and becoming a registered nurse,” he said. 

He is keen to encourage others who may be hesitant about making a career change because of personal challenges.  

“For anyone who thinks they are too old to study or they have too many challenges to overcome to try a new career - just give it a go,” he said. 

For more information about the huge range of courses available at TAFE NSW, visit



Media contact: Jenny Tinworth, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist, mobile 0411 443 555, email