A primary school teacher who suddenly lost her sight is finding a new sense of purpose in her continued mission to help others, studying a Diploma of Remedial Massage at TAFE NSW Port Macquarie.
Camille Williamson was only 40 when the eye disease retinitis pigmentosa left her with light perception in her left eye and less than 10 percent vision in the centre of her right.
“I needed to learn to cope with everyday things differently, learn new skills to get around with my guide dog and my cain,” said Camille. “Everything changed; I had to adapt and so did my family.”
Having to leave behind her teaching career, Camille discovered that remedial massage was the only thing which helped with chronic migraines caused by her mobility problems.
“My amazing remedial massage therapist encouraged me to enrol at TAFE NSW,” said Camille. “I love having a purpose in society and I truly missed that when I could no longer teach.”
The Diploma of Remedial Massage is a mix of practical and theory work teaching students to provide, monitor, and evaluate remedial massage treatments, adapt treatments to patient needs, and perform musculoskeletal assessments. The course offers strong job outcomes, with the National Skills Commission forecasting a 20 per cent growth in massage therapist jobs in the next four years.
Camille credits her teachers at TAFE NSW Port Macquarie for the support she and her guide dog, Ella, received as she embarked on the next phase of her life and career.
“Being a visual learner, I had to master auditory learning to complete assignments, read documents, and type with no visual guide,” said Camille. “My TAFE NSW teachers have gone above and beyond to help me, adapting specific skills to tap into individual needs.”
TAFE NSW Head Teacher Allied Health Kristy Baird said remedial massage is a growing field, and TAFE NSW graduates have exceptional job outcomes with many starting their own business.
“Remedial massage has a profound impact on clients’ lives, helping to prevent, heal, and recover from injury, and TAFE NSW plays a critical role in training the workforce of the future,” Ms Baird said.
Having completed the Certificate IV, Camille is now studying her Diploma of Remedial Massage with plans to open her own business.
“Being a remedial massage therapist will give me a chance to help others heal or relieve pain,” said Camille.
“I hope I’m an example to never give up on your dreams.”
Media contact: Amy Johnson, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 02 7921 0354