Through the Free TAFE initiative, Mandy Buchholtz changed career path to follow her passion in a career that she found purposeful. She enjoys building relationships and supporting people living with mental illness through a recovery journey.
“I was at a point where I wanted to leave my corporate life and change careers. I had just come back from maternity leave and was juggling two young children. With that came new responsibilities and a shift in financial and lifestyle priorities.
The Free TAFE course came at the right time. It’s made TAFE accessible to people who would have never considered the opportunity or have previously thought it may not have been an option for them. It is very accommodating to all students regardless of their background and I enjoyed both the structure of the Certificate IV in Mental Health (CHC43315) and the e-learning opportunity that allows for extra study time at home.
I was successful in making industry connections during my time at VU Polytechnic and managed to get a mentor by being proactive at one of the organised speaking events. I also had the opportunity to work in the wellness space at a local high school for my placement, allowing me to gain experience whilst staying connected to where I live.
As a mature age student, I have more career and life experience now, to know that I want to study and work in mental health. So to be able to access a Free TAFE course that offers flexibility to me as a mother, whilst also educating me on so much about mental health across the community sector was ideal.
I now get to implement my learnings and try to make a difference to peoples’ wellbeing. Everyone deserves to feel mentally well, to feel empowered, resilient and part of their community!
I have loved the journey and would recommend anyone who is considering a Free TAFE course to do it! There are so many available courses to choose from and I have loved learning new things and getting access to supportive teachers and all the resources VU Polytechnic has available.”