When the single mother of four visited TAFE Queensland’s Caboolture campus to enrol in a certificate course, she found that the course wasn’t running that semester.
Undiscouraged, and determined to study towards a career in human services, she decided to step up and enrol in the Diploma of Child, Youth and Family Intervention (CHC50313) instead – a decision that has since paid dividends.
“My training gave me the tools and confidence for working through the challenges of this sector,” explains Tarsha.
“I learnt skills transferrable to my job which have helped me succeed in employment. I know how to listen, understand and empathise to help people who have suffered trauma – and I’m really proud of what I do,” she continued.
She explains that her TAFE Queensland qualification and the guidance from her educators has set her up for success in the challenging human services sector.
“The educators I had, who have worked all over the industry, were able to give me a sense of what it’s like in the community and they prepared me so well for the situations I’m now working in."
“After completing the diploma in 2017 I worked with the Department of Disability Services for nine months prior to their closing when the National Disability Services (NDIS) rolled out,” said Tarsha.
“From there, I joined the Benevolent Society as an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child development specialist, partnering with NDIS in the community with a focus on early childhood intervention."
“I’m now a senior practitioner for community engagement working with Indigenous families and communities while internally I’m building the capacity of our staff’s cultural awareness,” she continues.
Working in the human services sector with a focus on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community is a sweet spot for Tarsha, as it combines elements of her personal journey and her professional training.
“Growing up, I was denied my Aboriginal culture and even in some situations today I’m still not allowed to acknowledge it,” says Tarsha.
Having worked for only three years, Tarsha credits the combination of her lived experience and her training for growing into her role so quickly.
“I’ve been on a massive personal journey throughout my adulthood and working in the community has opened my eyes to the many others who are in similar situations as me,” she says.
“Because the course is so hands-on, I have the skills and tools to succeed and understand what’s happening when working with vulnerable families in the community.
Tarsha credits the combination of her life experience and her training for being able to understand and help the community she works in. She also credits the communities she works with for helping her to become better when working with people in need of help.
“I love identifying as Aboriginal, and the help and support I’ve received from the community on my journey has been amazing. But there are many Aboriginal people out there that are in the same situation as me and the stigma that exists can cause them distress."
“My training gave me the tools to understand and identify other people who are experiencing what I have been through,” says Tarsha.