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Cristovao clicks his way to a creative career

TAFE Queensland student Cristovao Galambos has been awarded the Frank Hall-Bentick Education Fund to help support his passion for photography, making his education more accessible and achievable.

This fund distributes grants of up to $2,500 to people with disabilities from the Australian Disability and Indigenous People’s Education Fund to assist people in completing education programs, either formal or informal.

“Thanks to my teachers' assistance, my Frank Hall-Bentick Educational Fund application was successful, and I will invest the money into my photography business,” explained Cristovao.

“My studies have given me so much knowledge about photography, and I’m learning new things from my inspirational teachers who genuinely care about my professional success.”

After settling in Australia from Europe in 2015, Cristovao became interested in photography, which was only a hobby after buying his first camera and experimenting with it while studying information technology and computer coding.

“The more I studied IT, the more I realised my interest was in the design side, and wanted to do something more creative, picking up photography again and improving my skills,” he explained.

Deciding to take his hobby professionally, Cristovao found the pathway to the career of his dreams, enrolling to study for the Diploma of Photography and Digital Imaging (CUA50920).

Cristovao is using Fee-Free TAFE funding to kickstart his creative career as 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 and support continued economic growth.

With approximately 37,000 Fee-Free TAFE and vocational education and training places available in 2024, 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.

"The Fee-Free TAFE funding is allowing me to learn professional photography skills without getting into debt, which will make starting my business easier,” he said.

His teachers and classmates are helping Cristovao learn the latest digital photography trends with this advanced course, which motivates him and helps him grow his confidence.

“Every class is inspiring, and my teacher’s feedback expands my skills and knowledge, while my classmates and I have a good time in the collaborative and supportive environment.”

“Everyone in the class motivates me to improve as I make new friends and connections and seize any opportunity to benefit my future photography profession,” continued Cristovao.

“I love helping classmates to complete their assignments by guiding them to use tools and software and helping them prepare for upcoming classes. I hope I’ve motivated and inspired a few of them, too!”

With the course requiring Cristovao to create a body of his creative work, his confidence, skills, and knowledge have grown thanks to the guidance of his teachers, who are also teaching him the business side of photography.

“I’m building my brand, showcasing my work, and selling my services using a professional website that I’ve built using my web designing skills, and several people, including my teacher Paul Phillips, have noticed my creativity,” he explained.

“My confidence is always growing, and I’m having a wonderful time using the industry standard studios and equipment, experimenting with what’s possible, and building my skills.”

Cristovao’s photography skills came to the fore in 2023, with two Lord Mayor’s Photographic Awards entries being chosen as a People’s Choice Finalist in 2023.

“I was the only person from the hundreds of entries to receive two images selected for People’s Choice finalist, which indicated I’m on the right career path.”

With the skills and ability to work for himself, Cristovao already works as a freelance photographer shooting portraits, weddings and events for real-world clients while completing his studies.

“I want a career communicating through photos, capturing moments and bringing them to life through digital imaging. Seeing clients light up when they see my work is a great feeling,” concluded Cristovao.