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Cimah aims to help thanks to fee-free program

Fee-Free TAFE and CQU help Cimah start a new path into health industry
Cimah Orion-Williamson is pursuing a passion for helping people thanks to CQUniversity and the Fee-Free TAFE program. Photo: contributed.

A dream to once become a park ranger has now changed to helping people for Cimah Orion-Williamson thanks to CQUniversity and a fee-free TAFE program.

The Bundaberg woman decided to study a Diploma of Nursing at CQUniversity after trying to find employment in the parks and wildlife sector.

“My original choice in career was park ranger. I even completed a Bachelor of Applied Science (Natural Systems & Wildlife Management), but this was a difficult industry to obtain permanent work,” she said.

“I want to advance my knowledge and skills into the health science industry without the financial impact as a single, middle-aged person looking for a secure future and purchasing my own home.”

She said the joint Australian and Queensland Government Fee-Free TAFE program has made her aspirations possible.

“Without Fee-Free Tafe, I would not be able to afford to undertake study into health care, purchase my own house or have the diverse opportunities that nursing can provide for a stable and comfortable future,” she said.

“I changed career paths into disability support as I have a natural empathy towards the people I support, and I maintain a steady calm in emergency situations.

“Nursing is the next logical career advancement, and it will provide more work opportunities with emergency health science/paramedic being my long-term goal.

“I enjoy the challenge of a fast-paced and constantly changing environment and I feel I have the skills and ability to perform under emergency and complex situations.”

Although she has only just started the course, Cimah said she was excited about the possibilities that CQU and Fee-Free TAFE have provided.

“Personally, it has given me a sense of achievement and the self-confidence, encouragement, and drive to succeed and build upon my existing skills and knowledge to provide comfort, support, and empathy to individuals in their most vulnerable moments.

“My ultimate goal is to become an emergency paramedic or work in emergency rescue.

“I cannot say enough about the teachers. They are very patient, approachable, understanding, and helpful. With their guidance and good time management, I feel I will gain the skills required in time for the first stage of industry placement.

“I am extremely grateful for this opportunity.”

The Fee-Free TAFE Diploma of Nursing is fully funded by the Queensland Government through an investment of up to $87.5 million to support 3,500 training places in 2024.

The Diploma of Nursing is being delivered by TAFE Queensland, CQUniversity and Mater Education at locations across the state.

For more information on Fee-Free TAFE click here.