Community powers education at TAFE

What does it take to commit to a new career and make a dream a reality? You may have passion and dedication in bucketloads, but there’s also time, money and lifestyle commitments that come with it.
For some, these commitments can be the deciding factors between a dream and a ‘could have been’.   
Obviously, we are big advocates of the advantages of a TAFE education and where that can lead you. Hands-on learning, real skills and experience, and links to your industry are all great reasons to choose a TAFE course.

But there’s another factor at play, and it’s a big one. It’s the strength of community.

The Gordon TAFE is celebrating 130 years in 2017. We’re no spring chickens and have seen big changes in the culture, industry, and community of the Geelong region over those years.
But one thing has never changed and that is how we support the community, and in turn, how the community supports us.
Whether it’s by opening their doors to our students on work placement, providing real projects for students to practice on, collaborating on regional projects, or providing financial support – the list goes on and on. 

What does this mean if you’re a TAFE student?

It means you’re not alone in your journey and there is help and support available.
In February, it was the generosity of the community that allowed us to award $13,500 worth of prize money to 21 students across the TAFE, recognising their dedication and passion for their craft.
In March, the community again rallied to award more than $100,000 worth of scholarships and bursaries to almost 70 deserving students. Ranging in value from $500 to $5,000, these scholarships not only recognised students who are dedicated to their field, but who needed support to achieve their goals.

Louise’s story

In 2016, Louise Nicholas received a $5,000 George Alexander Scholarship. As a mature-age student, Louise was faced with the reality that she would need to continue to work while completing her Diploma of Conservation and Land Management. The scholarship not only reduced the pressure of earning an income, it also allowed her to fully dedicate herself to her studies, providing the time to gain additional industry experience through volunteer experiences and has led her to achieve her career goal of working full-time in natural resource management.
This dedication also contributed to Louise being named The Gordon’s 2017 Vocational Student of the Year, and she will now be nominated for the Victorian Training Awards.

And now for some shameless name dropping

When attending these events, it’s immediately obvious that the community really values the education provided by TAFE. And it’s not just big business. Most of the sponsors and benefactors are small to medium businesses and community groups, many of whom have had a close association or personal experience with The Gordon.
The Gordon Student Support Fund was in fact started by a local group of retrenched workers in the 1980s, who used their remaining social club contribution to start the trust. Their principle donation has never been touched, and over the years the fund has grown to be wholly funded by the interest earned on that principle. Cool hey?
So in the name of community spirit, we’d like to give a big shout-out to those who have supported our students in 2017, who are contributing to the growth and education of our region.
Apprenticeship Support Australia
Avalon Airport
City of Greater Geelong
Community Care Chemist
Deakin University
Dow Chemical
Emma and Morris Jacobs
Fagg’s Mitre 10
Geelong Building Industry Unions
Geelong Chamber of Commerce
Geelong Community Foundation
Geelong Connected Communities
Geelong Galvanizing
Geelong Manufacturing Council
George Alexander Foundation
Gforce Employment Solutions
ISS Facilities Services
Kevin and Jo Boland
Kinetic IT
Leura Park Estate
Marion and Ernie Speight
Mick Young
Middy’s Data and Electrical
Print Design
Rotary Club of East Geelong
Rotary Club of Highton
Shojun Concrete
Skilling the Bay
Ted Dimmick Charitable Trust
TWP Sportswear
This blog post is based on the Media Releases ‘The Gordon awards top students of 2017’ (22 Feb 2017) and ‘$100,000 makes studying easier in 2017’ (24 March 2017).

Posted: 12/05/2017 4:20:10 PM



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About The Gordon

The Gordon Institute of TAFE is one of the largest regional TAFEs in Victoria and has been helping people gain real skills for real jobs for over 130 years. We pride ourselves on delivering a great range of TAFE courses from short courses to nationally accredited training across apprenticeships, traineeships, certificates, diplomas, and advanced diplomas, which can lead you to a great career or create pathways to university.

Our training is delivered with Victorian and Commonwealth Government funding. | Authorised by the Victorian Government, Melbourne.

ABN: 27 241 053 246. | TOID: 3044 | CRICOS Provider No. 00011G | © Gordon Institute of TAFE 2014