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When dreams do come true

For Tyrone Murray and Darrie Lea, 2022 is certainly the year when a lifetime of dreams are all coming true.

Since both graduating from TAFE Queensland in late 2021, the committed parents of eight children are both working hard, as well as becoming valued role models in their tiny central Queensland town of Murgon.

Darrie completed a Certificate III in Community Services (CHC32015) and continues her hunt for work as a Disability Support Worker, while Tyrone travelled to Toowoomba to complete his Certificate III in Barbering (SHB30516) and has since become the first Aboriginal person to own a business in Murgon.

Named “Crow’s Barbershop" after his grandfather, the whole town turned out for the official opening of Tyrone’s business earlier this year.

An emotional Tyrone told the crowd at the opening that he had promised himself he would be the first Indigenous man to have a shop in the street.

“That promise has come true today as I open my shop,” he said.

Both Darrie and Tyrone agree that 2021 was chaotic, but the support and encouragement from TAFE Queensland and each other helped keep them on track to reach their dreams.

“Yes it was, wow; it was crazy, but I think we like to be busy. We don't like to sit around and do nothing," Darrie said.

"I pushed and pushed him to keep living his dream because he was going to give up at one stage. I said, ‘No, you just keep thriving for what you want.’"

Tyrone didn’t give up and has big plans to further his education and possibly even become a teacher himself.

“Hopefully one day I could be a teacher at TAFE and just try to mentor a lot of young fellows to try to get into courses,” Tyrone said.

“I’d tell them about my little journey and what I went through to get where I am today. I’m just so proud that I came this far and got my certificate. It just makes me feel really good.”

As well as studying in 2021, TAFE Queensland offered Tyrone a salon space at the Nurunderi Campus where he spent two days a week offering barbering services to people at Cherbourg Aboriginal Community.

“It's really good. I enjoyed working there too. I'm just trying to get a lot more young fellas to do barbering. It's just the way I started off just cutting people's hair at home. I just tell them it's best to come to TAFE so you can get some training you can go a long way,” Tyrone said.

“It's really good to come to TAFE because you'll learn a bit more skills and you'll find a lot of teachers are really good too.”

While the couple now consider themselves positive role models, Darrie admits it wasn’t always that way.

“We have lived here all our lives and we see the change and everything that happens here and we just try to do our best. We weren’t perfect at one part, but we changed our lives and turned it around for the better for our children. We just want to show them that you can do everything if you just set your mind to it,” Darrie said.

Tyrone agreed. “You got to do the sacrifices to get there to where you want to be today. TAFE can help you. TAFE will help you get there.”

Darrie’s study was made possible thanks to JobTrainer funding. JobTrainer funded courses help provide skills that Queensland needs for effective recovery from the pandemic. The program targets growth areas, and those have been hit hardest by the pandemic, helping fill existing skills needs or assist in reskilling.