Melanie White from Pullenvale is well on her way to making her dreams of becoming a sustainable building designer a reality.
The mother-of-three has changed career paths from professional photographer and childcare worker to building design student with the help of a TAFE Queensland scholarship.
From a young age Melanie knew she had a passion for architecture. She recalls spending her afternoons as a teenager designing homes on software programs hoping to one day follow the footsteps of her architect grandfather.
Her biggest career aspiration is to design intelligently for the Australian climate in partnership with her husband’s construction business, Allan White Constructions.
"My career goal is to run my own building design practice, in particular sustainable designs using solar power passive design principles," said Melanie.
"Designing intelligently for the climate and environment where people live is something I'm really passionate about."
Working alongside her husband, who specialises in high quality work for residential and commercial projects, Melanie has gained a good understanding of the building and construction industry. She recognises the demand for sustainable designs and hopes to make a real impact in the industry.
"I'm quite interested in sustainable building design because I think it’s so simple to face a house in the right way, use the right materials and have windows in the right places. It doesn’t necessarily have to cost any more but can produce a house that’s far better to live in."
Having previously completed a Diploma of Children Services before going onto further study at university, Melanie said she decided to return to TAFE Queensland because of the flexibility and practical skills.
"Once I had decided to pursue design I researched the different study options and how to become a QBCC licensed building designer. I concluded that studying a Diploma of Building Design (CPP50911) through TAFE Queensland would help me to meet the study requirements to achieve a building designer’s licence," said Melanie.
"I have previously studied at both university and TAFE and found TAFE Queensland offers a real-life approach, equipping you to work in your chosen industry."
Melanie is using her TAFE Queensland Scholarship funds to help cover the costs of study fees and encourages others to apply for the current round of scholarships before they close on August 29.
More than 50 scholarships are currently available across Queensland to support study in a wide range of qualifications with each recipient receiving up to $5,000 to help cover the costs of studying.
The TAFE Queensland Scholarship Program first launched in 2015 and has since awarded over $1 million in scholarships, helping more than 250 Queenslanders pursue their careers goals.