A Queanbeyan mum-of-two who migrated to Australia to forge a new life for her young family has vowed to give back to the community in a career as an aged care teacher – with the help of TAFE NSW.
Manpreet Johal, 45, was a school principal and teacher in her native India before moving to Australia in 2007, choosing Queanbeyan as her home in 2013.
Determined to resume her passion for teaching but unable to secure a job, Johal studied a Certificate III and IV in Individual Support (Ageing) before completing a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.
“It was a difficult time because everywhere I looked for work, they wanted references from Australian jobs which obviously I wasn’t able to provide,” Johal says.
“I knew aged care was an area with a worker shortage so thought it might be able to help me get back into teaching.”
In October, the NSW Government launched a new teacher supply strategy, aimed at attracting an extra 3700 teachers to the ranks over the next 10 years.
Johal has worked her way up to the role of training coordinator at BaptistCare Queanbeyan and is about to graduate with a Diploma of Community Services from TAFE NSW Queanbeyan, which she hopes will help light her pathway to teaching aged care.
“Teaching is my passion because I love to seek knowledge and share it with others,” Johal says.
“Aged care is such an important area and it would be wonderful to know you’re helping train the future workforce to help provide the best possible care to elders.”
She said her experience at TAFE NSW Queanbeyan had given her the practical skills and work experience to better understand the community services field.
“My teacher was incredibly experienced in the industry and a great communicator,” Johal says.
“And because the course was done by virtual classroom, I could network with like-minded people from all corners of NSW.”
TAFE NSW Community Services teacher Virginia Fitzclarence said Johal was a powerful example of how TAFE NSW helped students gain the in-demand skills for the job they wanted.
“I’m very proud of what Manpreet has achieved and I have no doubt she will achieve her goal of teaching in Australia,” Fitzclarence says.
“The community services sector is brimming with opportunities right now and a very exciting industry to be a part of.”
To enquire about or enrol a TAFE NSW Queanbeyan course for 2022, click here or call 13 16 01.