Tegan’s amazing year of growth

Tegan Mawdsley, 18, a SkillsPlus Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning graduate, talks about what led her back to study.

Everyone is raving about leaving school, but for me I am leaving my family. Training organisation SkillsPlus was the last resort for me. I had been out of school for 12 months because I had been raising my three younger siblings. Every day I woke up, got them ready for school, cleaned, cooked, got them ready for bed, cleaned a bit more and went to bed myself.

 Obviously there was no time for school, so I dropped out. I fell into a really bad state of depression because there was no time to go see friends and I was constantly at home. In October 2014 I moved out of my mother’s house and in with other relatives.

I started seeing Mel at SkillsPlus Employment Services who worked hard to get me into SkillsPlus Youth Education. I remember how scared I was on my first day and how I thought I wouldn’t make any friends. I was so wrong. Everyone was amazingly nice to me and it only got better.

Later we started volunteering at Nepean School. I can’t even describe the joy I felt when we went there. That place just brings so much happiness to everyone’s lives. To see how happy the students were even when struggling with everything is incredible. I started to imagine working there with the amazing young people with a disability. It made me decide to enrol in a Certificate IV in Disability Services with BRACE, which I have now completed.

It has been a roller-coaster of emotions, but I would not change a thing. I have never met a more amazing group of people. Without them I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I am leaving SkillsPlus and BRACE with a Year 12 pass, a Certificate IV in Disability Services (CHC43115), a new job and an incredible family.