Tamani Nicholls, VCAL Senior
Class of 2016 Arnold Davis Koorie Student of the Year Award
“Returning to education gave me a sense of purpose and the confidence to be a role model for my son, my nieces and nephews, and my community.”
Tamani had two goals in mind when she decided to return to studies at age 25: to gain a job to move into her own house and to pursue her dreams of being a café owner.
“I was a stay home mum for many years and decided to return to education so that I could better my own life,” she said.
“I had completed a Certificate I in Information Technology at Kangan Institute in 2008 and it helped me get a job at a solicitor’s office, so I know studies can help me find employment.”
Coming back to education wasn’t always easy for the single mum who also faced domestic and housing issues during the course of her studies. But Tamani says the benefits far outweigh the challenges.
“The Indigenous Education Centre (IEC) provided me with a safe family environment and studying helped me deal with the personal issues I had. I knew that if I put my mind to it I could successfully complete the course,” she said.
Tamani’s success in studies was evident in the work she produced – as part of her course she coordinated a Cultural Community Day to raise funds for the HeartKids Foundation.
“The fundraiser was a success and it brought a lot of the Indigenous community back together whilst raising awareness about education opportunities at the IEC,” she said.
Tamani has one message for others hoping to transform their lives – stay positive and have faith that education can make a real difference.
“Returning to education gave me a sense of purpose and the confidence to be a role model for my son, my nieces and nephews, and my community. It’s important to strive for the best and be positive. You’re never too old to learn and the choices you make will affect your life in a big way,” she said.
“My focus now is to find a great job, get my own house and build towards my dream of being a café owner.”