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TAFE NSW student pursues his passion at 72

TAFE NSW Nepean

TAFE NSW student pursues his passion at 72

Greystanes local, Raymond Atkins, never thought he would find himself studying art at TAFE NSW at the age of 72.

Raymond was in a coma for 21 days following a serious car accident when he was 22 years old and was resuscitated three times. This tragic injury as a young man led him to adopt the motto that you are never too young to do what you love.

“Looking back, I can’t believe I came out of that accident alive. It was a time where you didn’t wear seatbelts, you sat on them,” he said.

“The accident taught me a lot about how short life is, which is why all these years later I’ve decided to broaden my skill set at TAFE NSW and learn something new.”

Raymond has already completed his Diploma of Arts and Advanced Diploma of Arts at TAFE NSW Nepean and is in the process of completing his Bachelor of Arts at Federation University, in partnership with TAFE NSW.

With an eye for detail, Raymond gets inspiration for his art from local sites around Parramatta including St John’s Cathedral and the Parramatta River pedestrian bridge, which he uses to create printed etchings and watercolor paintings.

He is also on the committee of the Parramatta Arts Society and has had his work displayed at various local exhibitions.

Half of Raymond’s garage has been converted into an art studio and he hopes to eventually see his paintings brighten up people’s homes.

“I’ve always enjoyed art as a hobby but my TAFE NSW teachers have helped me develop the skills to be able to pursue my hobby as a career,” Raymond said.

“The facilities and expert knowledge by TAFE NSW teachers is what makes study so enjoyable.”

TAFE NSW Head Teacher in Visual Arts, Cath Barcan said the Visual Arts course offered students the opportunity to learn new practical skills.

“Raymond is a great example of how TAFE NSW helps career changers or those looking to develop their practical skills in a visual arts course that is designed to be hands on,’” she said.

“TAFE NSW teachers work and maintain relationships across the arts industry, which is a great way for our students to develop employment connections.”

To find out more about studying a TAFE NSW Visual Arts course in Semester 1 2020, visit the TAFE NSW website or call 131 601.

Media contact: Jessica Cortis, TAFE NSW Media and Communications Business Partner, 0456 170 211