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TAFE NSW student sews a bright future in fashion design

TAFE NSW Port Macquarie

TAFE NSW student sews a bright future in fashion design

TAFE NSW Graduate Amy Smith creating her designs

Talented TAFE NSW graduate and Port Macquarie local, Amy Smith, has a passion for fashion and founded the successful swimwear brand Ossix in 2016. The brand is now sold in surf shops along the Mid North Coast including Salt Water Wine as well as online.

The Australian Government Job Outlook suggests there are likely to be around 4,000 job openings for fashion, industrial and jewellery designers over the next five years Australia-wide, which means now is the time for job seekers to get the practical skills and qualifications they need to pursue employment opportunities.

After finishing high school, Miss Smith was faced with the decision of whether to move away to a capital city to study or stay in Port Macquarie and study at TAFE NSW. After learning about the practical side of creative courses at TAFE NSW, Miss Smith enroled in a Certificate III in Applied Fashion Design.

Miss Smith initially planned to study graphic design but decided on fashion when she investigated what courses were on offer at TAFE NSW Port Macquarie.

“It’s a crazy twist of fate that has led me to my current journey. I have always been creative but I never seriously considered fashion but I am so glad I ended up finding it. I have managed to start an amazing, eco-friendly business thanks to my studies at TAFE NSW. I love seeing my swimwear on people and thinking, I made that.”

Miss Smith said she made the right decision as she found the teachers so supportive and the course extremely valuable.

“I love the atmosphere and the learning environment at TAFE NSW. I got the chance to get hands-on work experience with Australian Fashion Week which was amazing to do, especially being completley new to the industry. It really opened up my eyes to the opportunities available.”

“My advice to anyone who is considering something challenging is to give it a go. TAFE NSW can help you get into a career you love by starting your own business. Someone once told me ‘If running a business were easy, everyone would do it,’ which really rings true because there is a lot of hard work involved but if you put it in, you’ll reap the rewards.

“I graduated in 2005 and while studying at TAFE NSW I improved my skills in design drawing using programs that have now been replaced with InDesign and Photoshop to express my ideas clearly. These are important skills that are required in the industry and ones that I build on the foundations of daily,” said Miss Smith.

For more information about fashion and textiles courses at TAFE NSW, visit or phone 131 601.


Media contact: Sarah Lievore, TAFE NSW Media Officer,