Bart goes from strength to strength
1 October 2010
It's safe to say that it hasn't been a smooth journey for Kangan Institute graduate Bart Breen, who has managed to overcome significant adversity and challenges on his journey through education and into the workforce.
Bart had always been a capable and dedicated student, however serious health issues first appeared in 2006, while he was halfway through year 11 at high school.
What began as a series of infections led to months of doctors' visits. These eventually returned a diagnosis of Bart suffering from a duodenal ulcer, which caused nausea, stomach pain, vomiting and weight loss.
During this time Bart's condition had taken another unpredictable turn, as he was falling into a deep sleep for up to 18 hours every day. These issues required additional trips to specialists over the following three years who required further tests, medications and proposed solutions, including the surgical removal of his soft palate and tonsils.
It was soon clear that his health issues were remaining a barrier to his schooling and, at the urging of his parents Karen and George, he put his school studies on hold in order to focus on recovery.
The downside to this decision was that Bart's friends remained in school, causing him to feel increasingly isolated.
Soon after, Bart and his family discovered a Kangan Institute course guide. Leafing through, Bart decided to apply for a full-time Certificate IV in Information Technology (Programming), chosen as something that would not only help him meet new friends and keep his mind active, but also allow enough time for his significant ongoing medical commitments.
Enrolled in his new course, Bart soon found himself in a place where he could be treated with respect, and learn in a positive and welcoming environment.
At long last, Bart's luck was looking up.
The flexibility offered by the contact hours proved a blessing, with Bart able to gain enough rest to remain healthy and manage his neverending doctor visits with a minimum of stress.
Not too long after that, an endocrinologist - a doctor who specialises in hormone imbalances and gland diseases - made a significant step towards diagnosing Bart correctly. After three long years, Bart was on the mend.
Continuing on from his cert IV qualification, Bart graduated from Kangan Institute in 2009 with a Diploma of Software Development, which won him both the Outstanding Achievement and the prestigious Silver Medallion Award from the IT department.
Bart's health has since vastly improved, and he is now placed at the top of his class at La Trobe University, having followed the guaranteed pathways that a TAFE qualification can provide. His grades rarely dip below 90%.
He has recently joined Kangan Institute to work part-time as a CRM Database Administrator within the Enterprise Solutions team, and continuing with his streak of good fortune, he's also recently become engaged.
Bart's mother, Karen, wanted to let Kangan Institute know that they helped make a real difference.
"Coming to Kangan could have been a negative experience," she said, "It could have caused Bart to give up all together.
"However instead it gave him hope that he could go further. My husband George and I want to thank you all."