Blogs (Media Centre)

TAFE NSW graduate lands broadcast role at Gem FM


TAFE NSW graduate lands broadcast role at Gem FM

Former electrician Tom Lillis has changed careers and impressed his teachers by swiftly gaining a position as breakfast announcer at Gem FM Inverell thanks to TAFE NSW.

He’s joined the radio industry at a time when people are turning to radio as a critical source of information and connection during the COVID-19 crisis.

29-year-old Tom was ready for a career change, though he was already an established electrician after completing a Certificate IV in Electrotechnology (Electrician).

“Yes, I started out as an electrician, it’s been a pretty good gig and I’ve enjoyed my time in the profession, but I had a niggling feeling that it wasn’t quite right for me long-term,” Tom said.

“I’ve always been keen on media and wondered what it would be like work in the industry. I know from my own experience that TAFE NSW has great, industry-led training and connections so I knew I would be in great hands as I embraced my career change.” 

Tom enrolled in the Diploma of Screen and Media (Radio) at TAFE NSW Ultimo in Semester 1 2021 and has now secured a position as a breakfast announcer at GEM FM Inverell.

He says his time at TAFE NSW gave him the kick start he needed to get his new career on track.

Head Teacher of Screen and Media at TAFE NSW Natalie Pozdeev said the Diploma of Screen and Media (Radio) tackles production of multiplatform content, interviewing, announcing, and operating a radio panel.

“Through the course, students gain a whole range of practical, contemporary media making skills and experience working in a fast-paced environment, including producing a weekly radio show,” Ms Pozdeev said.

“Our aim is to make sure our students are ready to walk into any radio studio in the country and immediately get to work, which many of our students go on to achieve.”

Tom says the decision to switch careers with the help of TAFE NSW and pursue his passion was the best thing he could have done.

“Just do it, the course is fun and interactive. You seriously won’t regret it; the friendly teachers are with you every step of the way. I was as skeptical as anyone would be starting a new course and a brand-new career but I would go back to TAFE NSW in a heartbeat.”

To find out more about the range of study options available at TAFE NSW including the Diploma of Screen and Media (Radio), visit or call 131 601. 

Media contact: Alice Dalley, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist,, mobile 0402 528 210.