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Scholarship helps mum-of-six follow her dream

A Wide Bay mother-of-six has been given the opportunity to pursue her dream career in nursing, after being awarded a TAFE Queensland Scholarship last year.

Forty-two-year-old Childers resident and former childcare worker Kim Bauer had always liked the idea of working in the health industry. After being a stay-at-home mum for 17 years she was looking to get back into the workforce when she enrolled online in a Certificate III in Business Administration (Medical) (BSB31115) last year. Ms Bauer wanted to get her foot in the door, but quickly gained the confidence to pursue a career in nursing.

“I always wanted to get into nursing but I wasn’t sure if I would be able to do it. I’d lost confidence in terms of how far I could push myself academically. But I discovered I loved learning and realised I was most passionate about the medical subjects,” Ms Bauer said.

While researching TAFE Queensland’s Diploma of Nursing (HLT54115), Ms Bauer came across an ad promoting the latest round of scholarships and decided to give it a shot. Now, she’s in her second semester and thriving in the Bundaberg campus’ supportive environment.

“I’m loving my time at TAFE Queensland. The course is a great mix of practical and theory. We complete three practical placements over the course of our studies, which really gives us a chance to put what we are learning into context,” Ms Bauer said.

“The teachers are amazing and are experienced nurses too, so they really understand what we’re going through, and our class as a whole is just so supportive. It’s been a challenge balancing everything, but everyone motivates each other, which definitely helps,” she said.

“I would love to eventually get into midwifery, but for the moment my plan is to complete my diploma so I can start working in the industry and then while I’m working, I’ll progress from there.”

More than 50 scholarships are available across the state each semester to support study in a wide range of qualifications. The TAFE Queensland Scholarship Program provides up to $5,000 to help cover the costs of training.

Ms Bauer said she encouraged anyone looking to kick start their dream career to apply for a TAFE Queensland scholarship.

“You’ve got to believe in yourself and dream big. I didn’t think I’d ever get to do this, but here I am — it’s never too late,” Ms Bauer said.

“I didn’t think I stood a chance but if you don’t apply you’ll never know, so I applied. I was so surprised and excited when I found out I got a scholarship,” she said.

“It’s given me the opportunity to start a new career and pursue something I’m really passionate about while taking the weight off my shoulders financially, which I’m definitely grateful for.”

The TAFE Queensland Scholarship Program first launched in 2015 and has since awarded over $1 million in scholarships and helped more than 250 Queenslanders pursue their career goals.

Two types of scholarships are available. The first are merit scholarships aimed at supporting people who have demonstrated strong levels of achievement to advance their careers. The second are access and equity scholarships designed to help students who are battling social or financial hardship.

Scholarship recipients can choose to study a TAFE Queensland qualification from a certificate III through to advanced diploma level across various industries such as business, creative, health, hospitality, information technology, trades and many more.