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Learning how to take care of his mob

The pandemic caused a shift in Mick Lacey’s life that he never knew he needed and now the proud Wakka Wakka man is reaping the personal rewards of knowing he is playing a pivotal role in improving the health of his mob. 

With the loss of his fast-paced job as a travelling sales manager, Michael secured a role as an Indigenous Liaison Officer at Toowoomba Hospital, a step that opened his eyes and his heart to a career in health he now finds incredibly rewarding.

“I really love that I am able to help people in my community and help to improve the health of my mob,” the father-of-two says.

“Sometimes I see people on what is the worst day of their lives and it feels good to be there for them and to be able to help them through that.”

As well as learning on the job, Mick is also studying the Diploma of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care (HLT50113) with TAFE Queensland, and aspires learn as much as possible to help as many people as he can.

“Honestly, TAFE Queensland has been fantastic. The teachers are so supportive and really want to see you succeed. And everything is so flexible - they understand work commitments,” he says.

“I’ve loved it and I whenever I am talking to people as part of my job I am asking them if they are at school and encourage them to think about TAFE, especially healthcare because there are lots of jobs and it’s so rewarding.”

Michael is the grateful recipient of a TAFE Queensland scholarship thanks to partner CPL. The scholarship, valued at $5000, enabled Mick to purchase a laptop and cover some of his enrolment costs.

TAFE Queensland has awarded more than $2.6 million to 550 Queenslanders to pursue their career goals since 2015.

“I am 46, and we didn’t have computers and all of that so I’ve had to learn a lot – I had to buy a laptop and set myself up to be able to study. The scholarship helped me to do that – get myself set up and ready to study.”

“I am so grateful that I was able to access the scholarship and I thank CPL for helping to make the TAFE Queensland Scholarships available.”

Scholarships can be life-changing for students, and TAFE Queensland is grateful for the support of organisations like CPL – Choice Passion Life who generously donate each year to the TAFE Queensland Foundation which funds our scholarships program.

Students can apply for two types of scholarships – Merit and Access and Equity, with application details available here.

Mick says his relationship with TAFE Queensland will not end when he completes the Diploma of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care (HLT50113) in a few months, with plans to study Business and Management to further progress his career in the healthcare industry.

“For some people, COVID was the worst time of their lives, but for me it was the best thing that happened. I no longer work 80 hours a week, nor spend so much time away from my family – I also have an incredibly rewarding job, have learnt new skills and been able to take better care of my own health, as well as the health of my family and mob,” he said.