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“I never imagined myself in this position” – Tina’s rise from motherhood to award finalist

Tina Newman, a proud Indigenous mother of four, has emerged as a top three finalist for North Queensland Trainee of the Year in the Queensland Training Awards.

It was her relentless pursuit of education through TAFE Queensland's online Certificate III in Business (BSB30120) that catapulted her from full-time motherhood to award finalist.

"I never imagined myself in this position," said Tina.

"But with the support of my family and the opportunity provided by my employer, I took a chance, and it's been an incredible journey since."

The 34-year-old's path to success began when she applied for a position at the Carpentaria Shire Council in Normanton, seeking a better future for her family. Despite limited experience in the workforce, Tina's willpower propelled her forward.

"I wanted to show my children that anything is possible if you work hard and believe in yourself," she said.  

"And now, being named a regional finalist in the Queensland Training Awards, is proof of what can be achieved when you put your mind to it."

Tina feels immense pride when her usually reserved 16-year-old son speaks about how proud of her he is.

“Although he’s not one to speak much, my son’s expressions of admiration for my achievements when asked what motivates him, hold a deeply special place in my heart,” she said.

Studying the Certificate III in Business online with TAFE Queensland marked a turning point in Tina's life. Juggling her studies with the responsibilities of motherhood was challenging, but Tina's positive attitude saw her through.

"Studying online was new to me, but I embraced the challenge. With the support of my teacher and the flexibility provided by my employer, I was able to excel in my studies and gain valuable skills along the way."

Tina's TAFE Queensland teacher, Paula Joseph, guiding her virtually from the Gold Coast, described her student as a formidable force.

"I feel fortunate to have been part of Tina's educational journey, witnessing her growth throughout the course and her career," said Paula.

“I love that Tina is such a positive role model not only to her proud children but to other Indigenous women showing with determination and perseverance you can achieve your dreams.”

Upon completing her studies, Tina was offered a new role by her employer within the events and tourism team, where she looks forward to making a positive impact in her community and beyond.

"I am proud of how far I've come, and I'm grateful for the opportunities that lie ahead. I hope my journey inspires others to pursue their dreams, no matter the obstacles they may face."

Tina will head to Port Douglas on 13 July to attend the Tropical North Queensland award ceremony where regional winners will be announced.