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PILLAR OF SUPPORT: How TAFE NSW helped Nick make his ability shine

TAFE NSW Shellharbour

PILLAR OF SUPPORT: How TAFE NSW helped Nick make his ability shine

CLASS ACT: Nick Hassler has credited TAFE NSW with helping him secure his very first job, despite the many challenges life has thrown him.

13 November, 2020

An inspiring TAFE NSW Shellharbour graduate living with cerebral palsy and an intellectual disability has credited TAFE NSW with helping empower him to secure his first job.

Nick Hassler, 24, has recently clocked on for his first shift as a photographer at Jamberoo Action Park, a position he and his family say he couldn’t have even contemplated without the job-ready skills and confidence he gained at TAFE NSW.

The avid sports fan completed a Certificate III in Retail and a Certificate II in Sport and Recreation at TAFE NSW Shellharbour, with the courses specially tailored to deal with his circumstances.

“The support was just incredible … TAFE NSW did everything you could possibly imagine to ensure he was accommodated,” Mr Hassler’s mum Sue-Ellen said.

“The disability support and learning support staff worked with us every step of the way.

“We just couldn’t thank TAFE NSW enough for their communication and support.”

Mr Hassler was assigned a disability support officer and two learning support staff worked with him one-on-one during his studies, part of a raft of support measures TAFE NSW has available for students.

He had previously enrolled in a Certificate III in Fitness at another training organisation but felt so unsupported, decided to leave and enrol at TAFE NSW.

Mr Hassler said the job-ready skills he learned at TAFE NSW meant he felt prepared to tackle his first day on the job at Jamberoo Action Park.

“The customer service skills and safety side of things especially helped,” he said. “Being able to do work experience in the gym at TAFE NSW Shellharbour was also really helpful.”

So positive was his experience with TAFE NSW, Mr Hassler is now eyeing off a new qualification for 2021.

TAFE NSW Head Teacher of Sport and Fitness Paul Shannon said Mr Hassler’s experience was a powerful example of how TAFE NSW assisted students to achieve their potential.

“We met with Nick and his mum and formulated a plan to ensure he had the best opportunity possible to succeed,” Mr Shannon said.

“It was very satisfying to see him complete the course and now secure employment.”

To find out more about studying at TAFE NSW Shellharbour, phone 13 16 01 or visit

Media contact: Daniel Johns, TAFE NSW Media and Communications – Business Partner, 6938 1441, mobile 0477 722 428.