TAFE is already helping Nicole Martin live her best life.
The 39-year-old loves being a client support worker with BaptistCare HopeStreet - a job she secured after undertaking work placement for her Certificate III in Community Services course in 2019.
She enjoys working for the centre in Port Kembla which offers support services for people experiencing homelessness, domestic violence, and living below the poverty line.
This year the Wollongong mum of two continued her education and completed an impressive array of qualifications including a Certificate IV in Community Services and a Diploma of Community Services.
She has also undertaken a Statement of Attainment in Domestic and Family Violence Frontline Skills and a Statement of Attainment in Mental Health for Working with Forced Migrants, and is currently studying a Diploma of Mental Health.
"I just love the content of what I'm learning - that's why I keep enrolling," Ms Martin said.
"The courses are very practical - what I'm learning I put into practice at work daily when I'm talking with people and interacting. As a mature-aged student there were no barriers for me; it felt very accessible."
Ms Martin said working for BaptistCare HopeStreet was "really rewarding".
Her role included working with people to provide for their essential needs with food hampers, meals, and clothing.
"I have had some tough personal experiences in my own life and when I needed to reach out for help, I discovered amazing support that I could tap into," she said.
"That has made me more compassionate as a person and when I was thinking about a new career after being a stay-at-home mum, I knew I wanted to help my community and give that same support to others."
BaptistCare HopeStreet manager Dianne Frohmuller said Ms Martin has been an invaluable addition to the centre's hard-working team.
"Nicole is an innately kind person and combined with the practical skills she has learnt through TAFE NSW, she has quickly become an integral part of our team and a much-loved member of the HopeStreet family," Ms Frohmuller said.
"Watching Nicole flourish in her education and be so rewarded through meaningful work has been a joy to witness."
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