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Zileache Fujii is taking advantage of an opportunity to kick start her dream career as a health worker, enrolling in TAFE Queensland training while completing her senior high school studies.

TAFE at School student Zileache said she wants to follow in the footsteps of her grandmother and pursue a career helping others.

“My grandma passed away, but she was a nurse for a very long time and she’s my big inspiration. I really looked up to her and she always encouraged me to strive to succeed and to never give up,” Zileache said.

“It’s just amazing seeing nurses and health workers saving lives or helping people who need it.”

Zileache, 17, grew up on Badu Island. On her mother’s side, Zileache belongs to the Argan tribe from the Torres Strait and her totems are thupmul (stingray) and thabu (snake). On her father’s side, Zileache’s cultural connections extend to the Gaidai tribe from the small village of Old Mawatta in Papua New Guinea, which recognises sible (crocodile) and gera (sea snake) as totems.

Zileache is completing Year 12 on Thursday Island, studying a Certificate II in Health Support Services (HLT23215) through TAFE at School.

“Listening to my grandmother and the Elders’ stories, they didn’t have the same opportunities like we have today. I’m glad that TAFE has given me the opportunity to study health.”

“I want to finish Year 12 and get my certificate II and one day become a primary health worker,” she said.

Zileache said she liked participating in practical training at TAFE Queensland.

“The TAFE teachers treat you like you’re an adult and they’re basically training you for the real world.”

“I’ve been learning a lot about health care including how to perform CPR and how to handle asthma and strokes," she continued.

“It’s good to learn those things because by gaining that knowledge I’ll be qualified and will know what to do in emergencies if someone needs help.”

Zileache said she wanted to set a good example for others.

“I want to make my family proud and encourage other Indigenous kids to not give up, to try their best and give it their all. If you put your mind to it, you’ll reach your goals.”


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