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Marina gains recognition for supporting students

Marina Dunn has been able use her extensive experience supporting children as a teacher aide to gain a qualification and maximise her own potential.


In just over three weeks, Marina Dunn has been able to complete a Certificate III in School Based Education Support (CHC30221) with TAFE Queensland, shaving time off her course by getting credit for her experience through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

Marina, who started out as a volunteer when her children first began school in 1996, said that gaining her qualification has opened the door for her to pursue greater opportunities.

“I had gotten to a level as a teacher aide where I couldn’t go any further until I gained a formal qualification,” Marina said.

“Now through my studies, I’ve gained my certificate and have been able to advance in my role and achieve my goal.”

After a rewarding 20 years of helping children learn, Marina was assessing her options for career progression when she was given the opportunity as an employee of Education Queensland to undertake formal training online through TAFE Queensland’s RPL process.

“Going through the RPL process meant I was able to fast-track my qualification – the course I did usually takes 12 months, but with my experience I was able to complete it in just under one month,” Marina said.

“Being able to learn online was great too; it gives people like me who are already working the option to further their studies, even if they don’t have time to during the day. If I hadn’t been able to do it online, I don’t know if there would have been an opportunity for me.”

Marina said completing the course has not only expanded her knowledge and career prospects, but has also strengthened her confidence.

“It was great to realise just how much I already knew and to know that I’ve been doing the right things,” Marina said.

“It’s also helped me realise that I’m not too old to learn – it required a bit of reading and I had to get myself back into a study mindset but once I got into it, it all made sense. If you’re looking to upskill and advance your career, I cannot recommend the RPL process enough."

As part of the Queensland Department of Education’s Standing Offer Arrangement (SOA QED101115), TAFE Queensland is providing the Certificate III in Education Support (CHC30213) through a recognition of prior learning (RPL) process.

Experienced teacher aides (TA2 level 4) employed in state schools can access the arrangement to gain a full qualification. There’s no cost to teacher aides—schools will fund the cost of the RPL program.