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Chantelle kicks off her career with accolade

Student of the Year Chantelle MacArthur was among the 65 students from TAFE Queensland’s Fraser Coast campuses who gathered to celebrate the culmination of their studies in the region’s first face-to-face graduation ceremony since 2019.

Sixty-five local graduates descended on The Beach House in Scarness on Wednesday 8 December 2021 to proudly don their caps and gowns and receive acknowledgement for their hard work, determination, and commitment to their future careers, after overcoming the challenges posed by the pandemic.

TAFE Queensland General Manager (East Coast), Ana Rodger said that while graduation has always been a momentous occasion for students, given the challenges they’ve faced during the last 18 months this year’s event was particularly special.

“For the last 12 months we have held our graduations virtually, so it’s fantastic to be able to return to some sense of normalcy and provide our students with the recognition they deserve,” Ms Rodger said.

“This is such an exciting time of year for our students as they prepare to enter the workforce and pursue their career aspirations, and this graduation ceremony is an opportunity to reflect on their accomplishments and celebrate how far they have already come."

“There is no greater reward than seeing our students complete their studies, and we are honoured to not only have played such a significant role in their journeys, but also to be able to share this special moment with them,” she said.

The ceremony was a proud moment for Diploma of Beauty Therapy (SHB50115) graduate and 2021 Fraser Coast Student of the Year Award recipient Chantelle MacArthur, who celebrated the completion of her third TAFE Queensland qualification on the night, having already gained a Certificate III in Nail Technology (SHB30315) and a Certificate III in Beauty Services (SHB30115).

“It began with nails and my passion grew from there. I’d started my own nail salon and I just wanted to keep adding extra services to my business, so I kept finding myself coming back for more,” Ms MacArthur said.

As a single mother-of-three, Ms MacArthur juggled her study with growing her business and raising her children, making this moment all the more sweeter.

“It’s been busy and challenging. It meant a lot of late nights studying after everyone had gone to bed, but it’s been worth it. That said, it was such a relief to submit the last assessment,” Ms MacArthur said.

Ms MacArthur said that while she enjoyed her time at TAFE Queensland, she was excited to graduate for the last time. She now plans to open her own beauty salon in Hervey Bay in January 2022, Utopia Beauty and Spa, where she hopes to one day employ others who are just as passionate about the beauty industry as she is.

“I’m so glad we've been able to graduate with a ceremony this year. It’s great to have the chance to see everybody one last time all dressed up, and to celebrate what we’ve achieved together — it makes it feel real,” Ms MacArthur said.

Ms Rodger said students will receive certificate and diploma qualifications across a variety of study areas including beauty, fitness, business administration, nursing and community services, which they will be able to use to contribute to the local community.

“We’ve seen students graduate and go on to do amazing things with the knowledge and skills they’ve learned during their time at TAFE Queensland, from becoming leaders in their field to starting their own businesses,” Ms Rodger said.

“No matter what career our students choose to pursue, their contribution is invaluable to the region and it fills me with immense pride to see them triumph.”