Blogs (Media Centre)

Qualifications unlock door to employment for Kea


A Scone local has secured employment with HammondCare after changing her life with learning at the new TAFE NSW Connected Learning Centre. 

Thirteen years after leaving high school without a Higher School Certificate, Kea Connolly embarked on a personal education journey in 2019 which has lead to a rewarding career as a carer.  

Before enrolling in a short course at the TAFE NSW Connected Learning Centre Kea said her career options were restricted.  “I didn’t know what I wanted to be, what my goal or purpose was and so I floated for a long time,” she said.  

“I didn’t finish my HSC and my employability skills have been limited. Without experience, no one really looked at me when I applied for work,” Ms Connolly said.  

Ms Connolly said that she was one of the first students to take advantage of the range of new courses available in Scone which gave her the confidence to keep learning and inspired her to seek out work she enjoyed and could develop into a long-term career. 

“The TAFE NSW teachers are fabulous, they are friendly and welcoming, and I became confident to apply for a Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing),” she said. 

Ms Connolly developed the practical skills and experience she needed to secure employment as a Care Service Employee with HammondCare in Scone finding that upskilling can be professionally and financially rewarding as income increases with educational attainment [1]. 

TAFE NSW teacher/coordinator, Alyshia Petersen, said working in the aged care sector is a rewarding, meaningful and important career.  

“People working in aged care, particularly in rural and remote locations, are making a real difference to the lives of older people through the care they provide. Kea has worked hard to achieve her goals and it is pleasing to see her succeed and be employed locally. 

“TAFE NSW prepares students by teaching practical skills and facilitating quality workplace experiences so graduates can pursue career opportunities as carers,” Ms Petersen said. 

Ms Connolly said TAFE NSW helped her to find a career she is passionate about. 

“I now love my job, it’s very rewarding. I have found something that I feel I can turn into career,” Ms Connolly said. 

Kea Connolly progressed to studying a Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing) at TAFE NSW Muswellbrook. Current students will continue to study this term using web conferencing technology and modified face-to-face delivery which supports social distancing, while enabling students to progress their studies. 

For more information about the Certificate III in Individual Support or any TAFE NSW courses, please visit or call 131 601. 

Media contact: Andrew Woodcock, TAFE NSW Media and Communications Business Partner, mobile 0409 324 379