As a stay-at-home mum Tahnee Jamieson found herself one day wondering, ‘is this all there is’? All she ever wanted was to be a mum, but she found that she also needed to do something for herself. A couple of days later she came across an advertisement for the Diploma of Early Childhood at TAFE NSW – Riverina Institute. She picked up the phone and her future began.
“I’d always had a love of children but didn’t know how to turn that into a career,” said Tahnee. “As a school leaver I’d heard the messages of my parents’ generation that vocational education and training (VET) didn’t lead to serious careers. How wrong that was. VET gave me the opportunity to pursue the career of my dreams. I seized the moment and I changed my life.”
Tahnee’s learning pathway was not without its difficulties. Commencing studies as a mum of two small boys, she was soon faced with major family health issues and then became pregnant with her third child. “I did have a lot to deal with, but I was very committed. I also wanted to do well—I’ve never been one to do things by halves,” she said.
Tahnee’s achievements provide ample proof of this: in 2012 she completed her Diploma of Early Childhood and then went on to complete a Certificate IV in Frontline Management and a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. She was named the 2012 Riverina Institute Outstanding Student of the Year and the 2013 NSW Vocational Student of the Year going on to represent her state as a finalist in the 2013 Australian Training Awards Vocational Student of the Yeard Award . She is now in the fourth year of her Bachelor of Education in Early Childhood.
“The reason I have been able to achieve so much is because of the flexibility offered by VET,” said Tahnee. “VET makes a unique plan for every student—for me that was working individually and via distance learning—for others it might be in the classroom. Whatever your circumstances, VET will fit into your life. If that hadn’t been the case, there’s no way I could have done my Diploma and I wouldn’t be where I am now at university.”
As a proud member of the VET Alumni Tahnee wants to use her role to “showcase all that VET has to offer”. “To anyone thinking about a VET course I’d say go for it and give it everything you’ve got. It gives you all you need to get ahead and do a job well. Take the plunge and work hard and good things will follow.”
Book a VET Alumni member
To invite Tahnee to share her success story at your event please contact VETAlumni@education.gov.au.