“I knew from the start that my passions did not lie in mathematics and physics at school. I wanted to work with my creative strengths while also being able to create and design something practical.
“Art and Drama were the two subjects which I always found to push me outside of my comfort zone and allow a sense of genuine creativity and curiosity,” explains Jade.
This creativity flourished when Jade began studying at TAFE Queensland’s Fashion Centre of Excellence, based in Mt Gravatt, where she completed an Advanced Diploma of Applied Fashion Design and Merchandising (MST60116).
“I really enjoyed everything that I was taught during my advanced diploma,” said Jade. “The teachers gave me a lot of fashion knowledge and the facilities allowed me to perfect my practical skills.
“Studying with TAFE Queensland also gave me industry experience and workplace connections, nurturing my passion for the industry and my career.”
While studying, Jade successfully represented TAFE Queensland for WorldSkills and was awarded the national silver medallist, recognition for her refined and elegant collections.
After graduating, she was also awarded the BBM Youth Support Global Industry Scholarship, taking her to the United Kingdom, furthering her fashion education at the world-renowned Central Saint Martins arts and design college at London’s University of the Arts.
"I was so excited to win the BBM Youth Support Global Industry Scholarship – it gave me a wonderful opportunity to continue building my skills and give me a step into the industry," she said.
“I started four days after arriving, and despite the jet lag, I got to work learning about draping and couture tailoring, which I had learnt at TAFE Queensland but it was still really good to get a feel for it again.”
While in the United Kingdom, she also got invaluable experience using technology to develop patterns and designs for sublimation dyed fabric for sportswear jerseys with Edward Tailor Textiles.
“Having studied and gained the fundamental fashion skills from TAFE Queensland, moving abroad and having these experiences has helped me grow as an individual, and given me a determination to chase goals within the world of design,” says Jade.
Janelle Rayner, Discipline Group Manager, Creative Practices, Creative Arts and Digital Design, added that Jade is a worthy recipient of the scholarship.
"While we were thrilled when Jade was recognised with this award, we weren’t surprised,” said Janelle
"We knew she was on a pathway to stardom after she won silver at World Skills. Now she’s becoming a truly global designer," she said.
Jade is currently living in London and planning to begin her own label in the near future.
“Sewing has been on hold during the pandemic and beginning a new life overseas, but I have now settled and I’m ready to begin my creative journey in full,” continues Jade.
“It hasn’t all been bad, as I’ve used my time in lockdown to explore other creative avenues, including interior design, sculpting, painting, embroidery and collage, and have been appreciating learning about the world around us which is an endless source of inspiration.”
Her advice for current students?
“From my studies, work and moving overseas to pursue my dream, I would say it’s most important not to be afraid to talk to people. Some of your best connections will come from the most unlikely conversations.
“Work hard and ask your mentors lots of questions. Take a risk, be afraid and grow from it. Keep doing the things that you are passionate about and your energy will bring your life to you,” she says.
And throughout her career, Jade still appreciates her TAFE Queensland roots.
“I am thankful for the experience, the friendships which I still cherish to this day, the support and guidance from my influential teachers and knowing that I had such a great foundation that took me around the world,” she said.