Gorges Marqos

Diploma of Vocational Education and Training

'If you do something you have to fight for it - first, you've got to have hope and then try.'

This has been Gorges Marqos' mantra for all of his life. As a young boy from a poor family in Iraq, Gorges studied hard, and gained a qualification which enabled him to work alongside doctors in a military hospital, helping soldiers recover from war afflicted injury. Hoping to find a better life for his wife and children, Gorges eventually moved his family to Greece and then to Australia, where they were granted refugee status.

Adjusting to this new country was difficult. Gorges spoke little English and found it hard to gain employment, so he decided to return to study. Gorges said he chose the Diploma of Remedial Massage because he wanted to remove pain from people without medication.

His teachers say he was an outstanding student, bringing information to share with his classmates, motivating his peers, and never expecting anything in return.

'I was always observant of others' needs,' Gorges said. 'If I saw anyone unhappy, I'd speak to them, to see what I could do to help.'

In the middle of last year, one of Gorges' fingers was severed in an accident, and had to be reattached by a microsurgeon. As hands and fingers are the main tools for massage, this was a huge setback for Gorges. But that didn't stop him from attending classes. He learnt to adapt new ways of doing things so he could continue working in the student massage clinic. Gorges displayed extreme courage to overcome these barriers to study, and even graduated at the same time as his fellow classmates. Gorges' future goals are to gain employment in disability services or aged care, and then to open a clinic of his own.