She says she has Lidcombe TAFE, its wonderful staff and her classmates to thank for helping her on her on way.
After her hobby of selling pieces of furniture and various products received a good response, she began staging for open homes and thought if this was all she was going to do for the rest of her life, she needed a qualification to take it further.
She had reservations but approached TAFE NSW Lidcombe about studying the Certificate IV Interior Decoration.
“When I called to find out about the course, the lady I spoke to was so beautiful and so understanding,” Caroline said.
“I had reservations about studying as I had never done any study but that one phone call lead to me enrolling in the class as a mature age student.”
With no educational background or qualifications she thought of attending class was a petrifying situation for her.
“I had considered walking out a number of times, had it not been for my supportive and encouraging teachers, Emma, Narie, Kerry and Catherine and my wonderful colleagues in class,” she said.
“I also couldn’t do it without the support and love of my family who have been there every step of the way.
“My son is a builder and I’ve been able to put in place what I’ve learnt in my studies, the practical skills I’ve gained at TAFE NSW are helping me to help him with his business.”
“I’m proud of everything I have achieved, I came in here thinking you can coordinate this colour with that and this chair with that but there is so much more to learn.”
Studying has not just been about learning new skills, for Caroline it has also been about self-healing and finding a sense of purpose.
“No one can help you except you, you either stay down or you go up. I knew that it was not the end for me.
Caroline is enjoying her studies, will further her studies in interior design.
With the building industry across NSW booming, especially in the area of residential construction, there is a demand for interior designers.
According to research by the Australian Government, the number of interior designers grew over the past five years and is expected to grow strongly over the next five years from 14,000 in 2018 to 16,100 by 2023.
To find out more about studying interior design at TAFE NSW visit tafensw.edu.au or phone 131 601