Jim recalls his difficult school years, missing a lot of school due to illness and then having to leave school to become the family breadwinner when his dad died. “I lost a lot of time at school due to illness when I was very young…. this put me on the back foot regarding my high school education. I left school very young and found myself working in a number of dead-end jobs where there was no future.
My big break come when I got a job with Sydney Water. I stayed for around thirty years in a number of roles in the organisation. However, I really struggled with my level of education when I was sent on courses. One of my supervisors, suggested that I improve my education because I was a young bloke and had a long way to go”.
This led Jim to TAFE to improve his reading, writing and maths skills to do a Riggers course. His teachers then suggested he complete his school Certificate. Jim spent many years of his learning journey resulting in acceptance to University to complete graduate diplomas in both Transport Management and Logistics. As Jim reminds us all, “The greatest journey starts with a footstep”.
“I’ve really got to commend the teachers. We are so lucky to have them. I don’t know where I’d be without those guys teaching me. Education is so important. Not being able to read or write doesn’t mean you are stupid. Often it means people have missed out on learning something as a kid and need to revisit it. I can still remember my first TAFE teacher and the feeling of realising that the TAFE classroom is a safe place and people respect each other and support each other.”
“I will be forever grateful to the many teachers in foundation studies for giving me the confidence to move forward”.