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Pitak Navigates New Horizons in Toowoomba

After a life-changing move to Australia, 18-year-old Pitak found safe ground at TAFE Queensland.

For Pitak, adjusting to his new reality in Toowoomba wasn’t easy. After arriving from Thailand at the age of 18, he felt apprehensive about a new town without the familiarities of home or his circle of friends.

Despite a rocky start, things started to change when Pitak enrolled in the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) at TAFE Queensland’s Toowoomba campus.

The program, which is available at over 40 TAFE Queensland locations, aims to support the settlement journey of eligible migrants and refugees by delivering free English language classes.

As a member of the Youth cohort, Pitak was able to engage with students of similar ages and participate in community-centric activities, such as fundraising, youth camp, and swimming lessons.

In particular, Pitak enjoyed engaging in the innovative Diverse-a-Tea program, which linked students with senior Toowoomba residents over a TAFE-catered morning tea.

After some time in the AMEP, Pitak became motivated to pursue a career in hospitality, and commenced a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery (SIT30821) alongside his English lessons. In addition to his contributions in the kitchen at the Diverse-a-Tea events, Pitak found part-time employment at a local restaurant.

Pitak recently ended his studies at TAFE Queensland in preparation for his move to Melbourne, but his learning journey is far from over. Thanks to TAFE Queensland's collaboration with Melbourne Polytechnic, and the work of his AMEP teacher, Kelly Barron, Pitak will seamlessly transition into AMEP lessons upon his arrival.

Pitak's experience shines a light on the impact of programs such as AMEP Youth—not just in an educational context, but for its impacts on settlement, community integration, and personal wellbeing.  

The Adult Migrant English Program is funded by the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs.