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TAFE NSW helps Kempsey mum launch new career amid industry boom

TAFE NSW Blacktown

TAFE NSW helps Kempsey mum launch new career amid industry boom

Kamilaroi woman Teena Chapman said she wouldn’t change her career for the world after skilling up at TAFE NSW and finding a job in pathology collection amid an industry boom.

Driven by an increase in COVID-19 testing and an ageing population, the surge in demand for pathology collectors continues to grow, with the National Skills Commission’s latest Skills Priority List forecasting strong future demand for workers.

Teena, a Kempsey-based mum to five young children, now works with NSW Health Pathology at Kempsey Hospital and at the Bawrunga Medical Service at Nambucca Heads. The 29-year-old said the shift work suits her family commitments and she loves everything about her new job.

“It’s not a well-known occupation but it’s rewarding in every aspect – socially, physically, financially. We need more people in this industry and I would advocate to come join us!” she laughed.

“I love doing patient care. I love the responsibility and I love feeling like I’m needed by people and making a difference. I walked out of my TAFE NSW course and straight into an excellent career.”

Teena completed a Certificate III in Pathology Collection at TAFE NSW Blacktown through block training. She had never considered working in pathology collection until she read about it online.

“My twins were premature at 28 weeks, and as a result, I spent a lot of time in hospital. I saw the impact it had on people’s lives and I knew then I wanted to work in health,” she said.

“I was looking at courses on the TAFE NSW website and saw pathology collection. I’d never heard of it before, but it was enrolling at the time and sounded interesting, so I just went for it. TAFE NSW was so supportive of me every step of the way. My teacher saw potential in me and helped me believe in myself.”

Head Teacher of Biomedical Technology at TAFE NSW Blacktown, Kerri Wallwork, said she was moved by Teena’s desire to create a better life for her children.

“Teena had never studied anything before coming to TAFE NSW but thanks to her hard work and perseverance, she now has a successful career and can support her family,” Ms Wallwork said.

“Teena is an inspiration and I’m hopeful she will be able to undertake a scholarship with TAFE NSW to become a part-time teacher. We believe she would be an exceptional mentor to other Aboriginal people and to parents wanting to train at TAFE NSW and enter the workforce.”

Teena said TAFE NSW had taught her the hands-on, practical skills she needed to step out of study and into full-time work.

“When you start working you get chucked in the deep end, but TAFE NSW set me up for success and taught me everything I needed to walk into that job,” Teena said.

“It felt like sink or swim – and I definitely swam! I am so grateful for everything TAFE NSW has given me.”

Explore hundreds of courses and pursue your passion with life-changing training at TAFE NSW. For more information visit or phone 131 601.


Media contact: Terra Sword, Communications Specialist. Phone: 6623 0325. Email: