Teachers highlight the differences they make to students and communities for National TAFE Day

04 September 2023
A composite image showing two men in hard hats, a woman painting on a canvas, two women looking at a hiairdressing model head, two chefs cooking, and two men and a woman examining a car engine on a green background with the words National TAFE Day 6 September, celebrating the extraordinary contributions of our CQUniversity TAFE teachers and trainers - cqu.edu.au/tafe
CQUniversity has celebrated its TAFE teachers and trainers for National TAFE Day on 6 September

CQUniversity TAFE teachers Megan Sutton, Kylie Hollier, Chris Wasiak, and Geoff Rooney have spoken of how fortunate they are to be able to make a difference to people’s lives through vocational education and training.

The four have looked back on their years as TAFE teachers in the lead up to National TAFE Day on 6 September.

Megan, who has taught Individual Support with CQU TAFE for the last seven years, said teachers were vital to the prosperity of their communities.

“I believe two of the most important things in society are health care and education and I get to work in both,” she said.

“I get to share my knowledge and experiences to help others, and I get to be the one who starts those people in their healthcare careers, with many often going on to become nurses and other allied health professionals.

“[Teachers] are very important to the community. There may be lots of people who can share their knowledge, but it may only be to a few people here and there, plus, will people listen? 

“Working in industry I would often hear, ‘that’s not what my TAFE teacher told me’, so it shows me students do actually listen. I can be an influence in someone’s life and career, but more importantly, I get to use that influence to help improve our aged care system.”

Geoff has delivered the Certificate II in Autonomous Technologies for almost two years with CQU.

Automation includes industrial automation in factories or buildings or mobile automation in vehicles, such as land, air, or sea vehicles.

“I get the opportunity to provide some of my experiences and knowledge to the future workers of our industries and offer them support and growth to their experiences at CQU during the course,”

“It is very pleasing to see these students go on to fulfill a passion or goal they may have set for their future. 

“I feel it is vital to have great leaders in any sector, especially education. We can influence so much in a young person’s future, positively and negatively, so doing a job well is very important for both personal growth and development and these students can then contribute to our communities in return. Hopefully our influence reflects in their behaviour and actions within the communities in which they work.”

A composite image of two men, one with short gray hair in a blue shirt and the other a man with short brown hair and gray beard in a grey shirt
CQUniversity Autonomous Technologies Teacher Geoff Rooney and Automotive Teams Head of Course Chris Wasiak

Kylie has been a Diploma of Nursing teacher for more than two years.

“Teaching allows me to contribute to the development and growth of aspiring nurses. Witnessing their progress, from novice learners to skilled nurses, is deeply fulfilling. It's a privilege to be part of their journey,” she said.

“TAFE teachers are incredibly important to our communities because they help train skilled workers and offer accessible education. This ensures that education and job opportunities are available to everyone on an equal basis.”

For Chris Wasiak, becoming an automotive mechanical teacher at CQU was “the best decision” he’s ever made because every day he gets to pass on his knowledge to the diesel fitters of the future.

“To me, teaching is a very enjoyable career. I can pass on my knowledge and learn new technology through both the students and industry,” he said.

“Speaking from my own experience, it was the best decision I made. Teaching various ages and personalities is very rewarding. Passing on your years of knowledge to a new emerging generation is a great feeling, but also learning from their experiences is an essential part of being a teacher of today.

“I would recommend teaching as a career to anyone.

A composite image of two women, both wearing glasses
CQUniversity Diploma of Nursing Teacher Kylie Hollier and Individual Support Teacher and Head of Course Megan Sutton