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TAFE NSW to give local students national exposure

TAFE NSW Newcastle

TAFE NSW to give local students national exposure

An example of a card cover created by TAFE NSW Newcastle Graphic Design student Malcolm Norton.

4 February 2019

With the arts and design industry a tightly contested field filled with great talent, a chance to be noticed on the national stage is a fantastic opportunity to boost your portfolio and build valuable industry connections.


Helping students gain national exposure is a key reason why TAFE NSW Newcastle today announced it will partner with Central Coast-based company Koala Publishing again this year, to provide graphic design students an opportunity to feature their work on the cover of greeting cards sold around Australia.


TAFE NSW Head Teacher, Creative and Design Ideation, Anna Bleakley said this will be the third year Certificate IV in Graphic Design students have the chance to win a front cover on Koala’s greeting cards.


“We are delighted to announce the relationship between TAFE NSW and Koala Publishing will continue this year. It’s these kinds of industry relationships that help TAFE NSW provide our students with real-world practical experience and skills that help them achieve their career goals,” she said.


“As part of a core assessment, graphic design students receive a professional brief from the greeting cards company. They then strive to showcase their skills in meeting that brief, hoping their design runs as a card cover. Students also have the opportunity to freestyle it and provide a design without a brief, and to submit future designs to Koala Publishing for consideration and be paid for any images accepted.”


Koala Publishing HR Manager, Julie-Anne Goodman says, “I believe it is vital for local businesses to play a role in supporting local education. Everyone deserves access to, and being empowered with, training that helps them secure employment. Koala is proud to assist the local economy and local people in this way.”


“We worked with TAFE NSW teachers on designing a unit of delivery that creates innovative and fresh ideas for Koala’s greeting cards. We bring new ideas to market while these students enjoy applied learning via front line exposure to the graphics industry. TAFE NSW is the perfect mechanism to implement this initiative as it is hands-on learning.”


To achieve design success on a national scale is a persuasive element of a portfolio and resume. This is something Cooks Hill graphic designer and TAFE NSW student, Malcolm Norton, recently enjoyed when his design made a Koala card cover; it has been so popular Koala continues to order subsequent print runs.


Malcolm also won the 2018 TAFE NSW Newcastle ‘Outstanding Diploma Student’, when he continued his studies into the Diploma of Graphic Design. During his full time studies he also held down a full time job. He says he was surprised to learn of the award and excited about his card design receiving so much interest.


“I am really happy to hear about extra print runs. This and my award win are real recognition of the hard work I put in during my studies, the long hours and lack of sleep in working and studying full time,” he said.


When asked why he chose TAFE NSW over other training providers, Malcolm said, “I have a friend who’s quite talented with graphic design. He went to uni and studied in Melbourne, yet said if he had his time over he’d go to TAFE instead. In design the industry is more interested in your portfolio than anything else – it’s about the work you produce rather than where you learned. Also, TAFE NSW had a good reputation, it’s been around for ages and I needed the flexibility it provided me to work and study full time.”


For more information on TAFE NSW courses visit or call 131 601.


Media contact: Kristy Sheppard, TAFE NSW Media & Communications Business Partner, 4923 7784 or 0407 450 860.