Thirty-year-old Lucy Carseldine enrolled in a Certificate III in Screen and Media (CUA31015) at TAFE Queensland’s Nambour campus last year with the goal of expanding her skills while expressing her creativity. But Lucy’s passion project has now become her safety net, after the spread of COVID-19 restricted international travel and left Lucy grounded for the foreseeable future.
Lucy said her interest in screen and media was ignited in high school and has been stoked over the years by friends who work within the industry.
“Last year I wanted to get more creative,” Lucy said.
“As a flight attendant I only work while I’m in the air, so I wanted to find something I could do during my time off; I could only commit to one day a week but I wanted something new to sink my teeth into," she continued.
“I have a bit of knowledge behind-the-scenes in media but I had no hands-on experience myself, so I wanted to start playing around with some cameras and lighting equipment and just get a little bit more familiar with the equipment.”
Despite Lucy’s love of film it had always taken a back seat to her career in the sky, with the travel and lifestyle that comes with being cabin crew proving to be too alluring an opportunity to pass up. But after a decade in the air, Lucy began to crave a different kind of journey – one of self growth.
“As cabin crew, you can get this mentality that you’re not enough. It’s not something you really have to study for and it doesn’t necessarily feel challenging when you’ve been doing it a while, so a lot of us feel like we need to change careers to do something more academic,” Lucy said.
“I love my job and don’t want to leave it, but it also comes with a lot of freedom, which I saw as the perfect opportunity to study and fulfil that need to do something more.”
Following the recommendation of her sister, Lucy enrolled to study with TAFE Queensland, balancing study with work and parenting her two young children. It has been a challenging experience for Lucy, but one she has thoroughly enjoyed.
“It’s been really great meeting the teachers – they’ve been really open to me asking questions and have been great mentors, having such great experience from being in the industry themselves,” Lucy said.
“Being an older student and surrounded by a much younger demographic has also been great – it's been a fun learning curve for me because normally I wouldn't get to interact with 17-year-olds on daily basis, but it's really interesting to see things from a different perspective.”
Lucy is now on track to complete her qualification in October, and though she’s uncertain of where her path will lead, she is grateful to have broadened her horizons when she did.
“With everything that's happening with COVID-19 now, my end goal after completing this course is to have a skill set that will allow me to find some fun assistant work or maybe do some studio setup while I’m home and on the ground,” she said.
“Having something else to add to my resume shows my interest in the field of screen and media, but it also shows my interest in my own self development. Just to be able to say that I have something else up my sleeve – it may be a passion project, but who knows what other areas I can take these skills into?"
“I can now go to my friends in the industry and offer them a helping hand, but I can also apply the skills I’ve learned in other ways – for example, watching myself on screen was a huge self-improvement tool.”