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Fee-Free TAFE funding boosts Tiarna's career in caring

For Tiarna Young, there was never any doubt that her career would be centred around caring for people, and it was a trip to hospital that helped her make the decision to switch from childcare to nursing. 

Tiarna is studying a Diploma of Nursing (HLT54121 | 109308H) at TAFE Queensland’s Southport Campus, with her sight firmly set on a career in nursing at the Pindara Hospital.

“I'm a carer, I care about a lot of people, and although being in hospital is never really a fun time, I want people to be happy when I'm their nurse and feel safe. I want to leave a lasting impression on them as someone who cared,” Tiarna said.

“I worked in childcare for quite a while and was leaning towards teaching but my nurse who was actually a TAFE student completely changed my mind. We spoke about it for a really long time and she told me it was one of the best things she’d done in her life.”

Released from hospital and recovering from having her appendix and gall bladder removed and just shy of the cut-off date, Tiarna applied for Fee-Free TAFE funding and enrolled in the Diploma of Nursing (HLT54121 | 109308H) at TAFE Queensland to study in 2023.

Fee-Free TAFE funding is part of the Queensland Government's Good People. Good jobs: Queensland Workforce Strategy 2022–2032. It aims to connect, educate and attract the people needed to meet the state's workforce demand in existing and new industry sectors to support continued economic growth.

With approximately 37,000 Fee-Free TAFE and vocational education and training places available in 2023, the program will support Queenslanders to skill up to meet the state's current and future workforce needs by enabling them to complete selected qualifications at no or low cost.

“I don’t think I would have been able to study this course without the funding,” Tiarna said.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for people to be able to study and know they are not going to be hugely out of pocket for it. I am very grateful for it.”

With no burden of debt and still in the early stages of her course, Tiarna is focused on learning the theory components of nursing and is excited to begin the practical components of her qualification.

“Here at Southport Campus, the facilities are just like a real hospital – it’s amazing and very hands on. I think it would be easy to forget it is not a real hospital,” she said.


TAFE Queensland nursing students learn in clinical labs using innovative technology.