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Leigh's career hits the right note

Coming from a single-parent home in Darwin, Leigh Chui-Clark's mother worked two jobs to send him to boarding school in Brisbane to ensure he got the best education possible.

Watching his mother make countless sacrifices made Leigh, an Indigenous student from the Wadjigan Tribe, more determined than ever to repay her efforts through academic success and hard work.

"I was fortunate to study at a prestigious school from Year 7 and have worked harder to show my mum that what she's done for me was worth it," explained Leigh.

"While at boarding school, I got involved in live sound production within the audio and visual industry as an extracurricular activity, studying a Certificate II in Music Industry (CUA20615) in my final year."

"While at school, I got involved in the Audio Visual Club, which gave me work experience opportunities assisting with school hosted events, festivals, musicals, formal dinners, concerts, live streams, and many other types of events."

As his passion for sound production grew in his final years of school and won awards for his dedication and strong work ethic, he enrolled to study for the Diploma of Music (Sound Production) (CUA50820).

But the accolades didn't end there, with Leigh also one of 100 Queenslanders awarded a TAFE Queensland scholarship to support him to create a better future for himself through education and training in 2022.

Scholarship recipients receive up to $5,000 to study a TAFE Queensland qualification from any study area, from a certificate III to an advanced diploma or bachelor's degree.

"Applying for the scholarship was easy, and when I opened the email telling me I'd won one, I was so relieved. It's a significant amount of money, and it helped me pay rent and buy equipment for my studies," said Leigh.

He's now on track to fulfil his career goals and continue repaying his mother by forging a stable career within the audio and visual industry by studying his passion at TAFE Queensland's South Bank campus.

"I'm studying for the diploma because I know this is my calling, and one day I hope to own an audiovisual company that goes global and gets sponsored by big brands."

Now on his way to completing his following qualification, Leigh is learning techniques to arrange and compose musical pieces and how to record, edit, and mix audio in a fun and engaging environment.

"My teacher is highly experienced and brings years of industry experience and passion to each class. He still works in the industry and gives the class guidance to prepare for a career, and I'm learning things like microphone techniques and polar patterns, which I know I'll use when working in the industry."

Also helping Leigh's learning are his collaborative classmates, who share his passion for sound production and learning their craft in TAFE Queensland's facilities, using the same standard of equipment in the industry.

"Everyone in class is like-minded, so when we complete group work, we solve problems, testing our knowledge simultaneously. And because my classmates come from different backgrounds, I'm picking up more things," he said.

TAFE Queensland's scholarship program was first launched in 2015 and has since helped more than 390 Queenslanders pursue their career goals.