Student Stories Byron Community College

Student Stories

Student Stories

Over the years we have had many students achieve certifications allowing them to progress in their chosen field.

Below are some of their stories:

David Willison – Cert III in Individual Support

David Wilson Having spent most of my working life as a jewellery designer I retired in 2012 and moved back to rural Mullumbimby. With spare time on my hands I started working as a volunteer in the Aged Care industry and realized that there was a great need for people like me.
The time I spend assisting and engaging with the elderly in everyday life was enormously gratifying. Staff at the Nursing Home suggested I should do a Certificate III in Aged Care so that my many hours spent at the facility would be financially remunerated and future paid employment was guaranteed.
I looked at several options offered to do such a course a`nd the Byron Community College appealed the most to me.

The setting is picturesque and the office staff at the college helped me immensely in choosing the right course.
I enrolled and spent seven months with a fantastic group of mature aged students, working and studying together was uplifting and revitalizing. The teachers spent many hours teaching in a calm and captivating manner and learning was more entertainment than actual work.
Since completing this course I have been fully employed and relish my work.

Luise Gortz – Cert III Individual Support – Aged Care

Luise Gortz Luise Gortz. Having spent most of my working life as a jewellery designer I retired in 2012 and moved back to rural Mullumbimby. With spare time on my hands I started working as a volunteer in the Aged Care industry and realized that there was a great need for people like me.
The time I spend assisting and engaging with the elderly in everyday life was enormously gratifying. Staff at the Nursing Home suggested I should do a Certificate III in Aged Care so that my many hours spent at the facility would be financially remunerated and future paid employment was guaranteed.
I looked at several options offered to do such a course a`nd the Byron Community College appealed the most to me.

The setting is picturesque and the office staff at the college helped me immensely in choosing the right course.
I enrolled and spent seven months with a fantastic group of mature aged students, working and studying together was uplifting and revitalizing. The teachers spent many hours teaching in a calm and captivating manner and learning was more entertainment than actual work.
Since completing this course I have been fully employed and relish my work.

Mac Maderski – Cert III Aged Care

Mac Maderski Mac Maderski. The course not only offers necessary skills and knowledge needed to work in the industry but also provides personal development at a socio-multicultural level. It improves our understanding of what it is to care for our elderly and people with disabilities, teaches humility, compassion and patience which also reflects on the personal, family and community well-being, it is a skill set worth learning regardless of our circumstances or background.
I have to admit that this course kind of landed in my lap without any pre-planning or previous interest in that field, but I can honestly say without a shadow of regret that I’m glad it did, if not for myself than for others, and would recommend it to anyone looking to become a carer or further improve their personal development.
The professional, flexible and friendly approach by the Byron College staff and an amazing group of students made it a pleasant and memorable experience. I never expected such a high standard of education and support from a small Community College.
Thank You
All the best

Liz Winter – Certificate III in Aged Care


Running a small business from home for 25 years while my children were growing up was wonderful but a year ago I had a strong desire to do something different. I have always wanted to work in the health industry after briefly being involved in hospital work back in the 1980’s.
I had strong doubts being in my early 50’s and out of the workforce for so long. I decided to do an aged care course and chose the Byron Community College as my place of learning.
I had no idea this choice would transform my life in so many ways. The course was well planned and led by inspiring mentors who had a wealth of knowledge, wisdom and experience. Whenever I needed extra help or support, the college was incredibly supportive. An added bonus was the fantastic people I met through the college.
Forward 12 months later, I have a permanent part time position at a local facility that I absolutely love and am constantly challenged by in the most positive way. I was offered the job while I was on work experience. I have a greater sense of self-esteem and a consistent income.
The whole experience has taught me we can do anything we set out minds too and that it is never too late to achieve your dreams.

Richard Fielder – Certificate III in Aged Care

Richard Fielder Richard Fielder. Coming from a self-employed career in landscape gardening/horticulture, Richard realised that he was running out of energy for the physical side this kind of work requires and needed a career change. He was also looking for more people contact/interaction with local community and hoping to feel more useful and gain a sense of fulfilment from his job.
A friend of his did the Certificate III in Aged Care course with Byron College a few years ago and recommended that he give it a try, so earlier this year Richard enrolled to prepare himself for the start his new career.
So far he has really enjoyed his experiences and enjoys the different teaching styles, through role-play for example, where you get to experience putting yourself in other people’s shoes. He always feels uplifted after class having been with like-minded people learning new skills. He thinks this is a great course to learn acceptance of people and to be less judgmental and would highly recommend it to anyone who feels they want to reach out to others in a meaningful and fulfilling career. Sure, there will be challenges, but they help to keep you on your toes.

Phoebe-Violet – Cert III Early Childhood Education and Care

Phoebe Violet Phoebe Violet. I love working with children. Not only is it a fun and energetic job, but it’s rewarding in so many ways. I love teaching children skills they will carry with them for life. Enrolling into the Child Care course was not a hard decision as I wanted to further my understanding of connecting with them so I could really offer them the best teaching.

The college is a sustainable environment with beautiful gardens and a great positive vibe, offering a relaxed learning place. The staff and educators who work at the college are all very good at the jobs they do. If you have any questions, problems or need any help or anything at all, you are more than just supported, they build a positive relationship with each student making you feel comfortable and welcomed. It’s almost like a family. They believe in you and help you to achieve everything you are capable of. I am truly grateful to the staff who not only helped me become an educator and better teacher but who also accepted me as a person and guided me along to a better future and better understanding of children- a passion of mine.
The things you learn you will carry with you for life! It is a fun course with a mixture of both theory and practical. I know I am much better off working with children now that I have obtained my certificate and I recommend it to anybody who wants to work with children. It really is a fun rewarding career and the course is laid out in a way to help you succeed by loving supportive educators.

Rama – Early Childhood Education and Care

The most joyful part for me that would be in the creative part of making project of ideas for children and us as well, to play and learn.

English is not my first language so it was quite a challenge for me.
Jud is just awesome, such a great tutor as she’s very supportive, resourceful and nurturing to all of us throughout our study.
She always tries to make every learning process interesting.
I was learning, sharing, and have good laugh a lot as well.
It was such a great bunch in her class.
That was what mads everything less stressful and enjoyable.
Awesome tutor and friends.

Danielle Rowland – Cert III Early Childhood Education and Care

Danielle Rowland Danielle Rowland. I am a born and bred Byron Shire teenager who was eager to continue educating myself. However, I was not only reluctant to leave our beautiful environment for further education, it was financially an impossibility. Fortunately, Byron Community College provided a most rewarding option. I have always loved children and believed they deserve nurturing to develop into all that they can be. Studying the Certificate III in Children Services has given me the skills and knowledge to implement this belief. I feel very privileged to have shared the company of fellow friendly students and be guided by a caring, and highly educated teacher. I would fully recommend this course to everyone intending to work in child care or for anyone becoming a parent.
Danielle Rowland

Sandi Vaerio – Diploma Early Childhood Education and Care

Sandi Valero I am a mother of 4 with a busy schedule . My passion is early childhood and I have always dreamt of working the the field. Just last year I studied with Byron college and completed a Cert III in Early Childhood.
My teacher Jud King was amazing, after not studying for over 30 years it was a big step to take but it was made easy with her guidance.

I enjoyed the course so much I decided to upgrade my skills and complete my Diploma in Early childhood this year. My teacher Marie was equally supportive and made the study time enjoyable and very rich.
I am moving from the Northern Rivers next year, with my diploma under my belt, a love of children and Steiner education as my underlying passion I feel equipped to pursue a career in Steiner Early childhood.
Thank you Byron College.
Sandi Valerio

Ben Mallison – Permaculture

Ben Mallison Ben Mallison. It’s been a long road for me in finding the right permaculture studies. I enjoyed the brand range of skill sets taught from botany to business management to community engagement. These were gaps I had in my existing skill-sets as a permaculture professional. My peers were lateral thinkers and passionate.

Mark was the right tutor for me. His invaluable wisdom form his long working career, vision of where permaculture needs to go and flexibility with students circumstances meant I was able to get the most from the course despite my circumstances moving to the area last year.

During the course the framework of required activities and evidence encouraged and complimented my community involvement. The course is based on practical principles, directly applicable to professional conduct.
The qualification gives me the first impression legitimacy with industry professionals in the design & construction industry, where there is great potential for emerging permaculture professionals to be involved in large impact projects Australia wide. Coming from the architecture industry in Sydney as a specialist consultant, I can now demonstrate the benefits and positive cultural impact of moving the ethics and principles of permaculture into the mainstream. I am now starting my own business – a local food sovereignty project based on the suburban cultural integration of market garden farming. I am also now teaching the design & documentation module of the course, being asked back this year due to my professional background and completion of the course.

Terry Gray – Cert III Permaculture

Terry Gray I moved to the Bryon Shire about 6 years ago after falling in love with the area on surfing trips from Sydney. What started out as an interest in organic gardening led me to the college as I had discovered Permaculture and the college was offering the Cert III in Permaculture, which, through life circumstances, I was unable to complete the first time. The college gave me the opportunity to come back and give it another go.
I completed my Cert III in Permaculture and went on to recently complete the Certificate III in Horticulture.
I have just had the most incredible learning experiences here at the college. The college staff and trainers have given me all the support that I have needed and I have made some life- long friends. The buildings here and the grounds are really inspiring also. One day I would love to be able to teach Permaculture and I believe the college is giving me the opportunity to reach that goal. I am excited to be doing the Certificate IV in Permaculture this year and could not recommend the Cert III in Permaculture and Cert III in Horticulture highly enough.

Mario Plaatsman – Cert III Permaculture

"Ralph' as he is known to his classmates is a mature age student currently undertaking the Certificate III in Permaculture at BRCC. We sat down with him for a chat recently to find out a bit more about his life, studies and aspirations.
Ralph has a history working in food horticulture having worked on farms picking fruit in various locations around the country. After a 6 month stint in Sydney over 20- years ago, he knew he was not cut out for the fast pace of the city and moved to the Northern Rivers region. He has previously studied a Cert III? in Horticulture and undertaken work at the Byron Herb Nursery which he speaks very highly of. Now living on acreage out near Nimbin, Ralph came to the course looking for practical experience to help him manage the land and perhaps derive a livelihood from home. After seeing an ad in the Echo and finding out the fees were heavily subsided under Smart & Skilled, he decided to enrol.
He is coming to realise that the stand out skill gained from the course will be more in lateral thinking than the practicalities of permaculture. In terms of the landscape, Ralph see Permaculture as learning the ‘Art of Farming’ and seeing the ‘land as your canvas’. He has begun getting involved in some of his local communities projects and is proving to be a mature and grounding force for the whole class. Ralph appreciates the flexible and accommodating elements of the learning, especially the additional support he has received with IT and using the computers.

Katie Lloyd – Cert III Visual Arts

Last year, I gave myself the gift of studying Visual Art at Byron Community College. I call it a gift as a year of studying visual arts is one of the most rewarding, and nourishing experience you can give to yourself. I felt so enriched by the process that I felt compelled to tell my friends that it was my best year ever. I had already been painting but the diversity of the course deepened my practice and provided me with a broadened range of tools to express my creativity in a fun and supporting environment. After completing the course I decided to change my career path and am now opening the creative reuse centre called Earthwise Reusable Arts so I may support other artist, and the arts within the Northern Rivers. I started life modelling too! I would recommend for anyone considering the course to just do it! Who knows, maybe it will change your life too....

Katie Lloyd
Earthwise Reusable Arts

Susanne Sweeney – Cert III Visual Arts

Susanne Sweeney Susanne Sweeney. Art as a life changing process
Susanne Sweeney had heard wonderful things through the community about the Byron Community College’s Certificate III in Visual Arts course, and decided to enrol back in 2014.
Coming from more of an academic background, she was drawn to the course as a way of developing her more creative side and wanted to see where the journey would take her.
With the opportunity to work across a wide array of mediums and be guided by a wonderful group of highly talented and supportive tutors such as Virginia Reid, Suvira McDonald and Dale Rhodes, the low levels of confidence that her and her fellow students initially felt, soon gave way to a freedom to connect with their passions. Whilst the course does give invaluable techniques which can be explored in depth, Susanne found that there was no pressure from the tutors to stick to a structured process and often students guided the learning process with ideas that they wanted to explore.
Flash forward one year later, and Susanne found herself wanting more.
When the Early Bird enrolments for the 2015 course were open for business, Susanne was knocking down the door with her deposit for another year of creative learning. An idea had taken seed during her initial course that she wanted to develop, and she was able to take what she had learned about the basics in that first year, relax, and develop what is now her new business, Red Boots Yoga. Her Girl with the Red Boots was an idea that started to move through all of her work in her first year of study, including drawings, lino prints and paintings. She has now has become the character that that is the driving force behind her business.
The course gave Susanne and her classmates the opportunity to connect, both to themselves and with each other through their work. The art journaling proved an invaluable tool through which Susanne continues to workshop her ideas, thoughts and day to day life challenges, and she intends on continuing this process beyond the completion of her studies.

Andrew Dredge – Certificate III in Visual Arts

Andrew Dredge Andrew Dredge. During 2013 I studied Certificate III in Visual Arts with Byron Community College in the Laneway studio, Mullumbimby The basis was to learn the fundamental techniques of fine arts, such as composition, colour theory and life drawing, which I found improved my confidence and ability. In the many exercises there was room for each of us to explore our creative freedom too. I’m starting a Fine Art Degree in Brisbane next year, such a privilege to continue learning, the course and the friends I’ve made have been so supportive. I loved it!

Daniel Hend – Cert III Visual Arts & Cert IV Small Business Management

Daniel has been a student of the College for 2 years, completing the Certificate III in Visual Arts CUV30111 in 2012, and then enrolling in the Certificate IV in Small Business Management BSB40407 in 2013.
The son of a local artist, Daniel developed his creative talents through his studies and has created a range of screen printed clothing plus multiple artworks over the past few years. These were recently displayed in his exhibition in Mullumbimby. Half the money raised for the exhibition has been donated to Education Care Projects in Kenya, displaying a philanthropic side rarely found in most 19 year olds.
Whilst studying the Small Business Management Certificate, Daniel was introduced through the College to Peter Spill, who became his mentor throughout the course. From relatively shaky foundations between the two, Peter and Daniel developed a mutually respectful relationship. Peter watched as Daniel unfolded from a protective, guarded place to become a young man who was motivated to take his life in positive and creative directions. He remarked on seeing Daniel at his exhibition that he ‘was a changed man – barely recognisable from the person he had met’.
Daniel’s story is a story of success – one that shows how education and the role of a mentor can really help to change people’s lives. We are honouring Daniel with an award on the night for his personal growth and development, and both he and Peter will be available on the evening for any potential interviews.

Felix Abercrombie Wood – Cert IV in Visual Arts

Felix Abercrombie
After finishing year 12 at Byron Steiner School last year, Felix decided to stay in Mullumbimby and undertake the Certificate IV in Visual Arts rather than move to Melbourne or take a gap year. He felt that an interstate move and University study was a massive commitment at the time, although this remains an option down the track.

“The vibe at the college is really nice” says Felix. “I like that I can come to class and concentrate on my work with the tutors always there to help and learn from”.

Felix hopes to use his developed artistic talents to produce and sell art. He’s also planning to take time to travel once the course finishes at the end of the year.

Therese Clark – Mosaic for beginners

Therese Clark Therese Clark. Mosaic! Mosaic! Piece by piece I created my beautiful wavy Tree. I was new to town when I did this course and it was very lovely having an outlet to express myself every week. Since completing my mosaic course, I have gone on a very inspired journey in creativity and have finally pin-pointed a passion of mine. I enrolled in the Sewing course at the end of last year with the Byron Community College and plan to continue my studies by doing a Certificate 3 in Fashion Design at Wollongbar TAFE. These courses sparked something deep inside of me, almost like they knocked on that door of creativity within!

I’m excited about further study and the journey of opening up to my hidden talents. Adult learning is special and encouraging for us to believe in the power of everything is possible.

Thank you.

Claudia Schick – Bellydancing

Claudia Schick

Here I find myself, once again, in an enlightening course with the Byron Community College ….and the classes are magnificent- as always!!

The belly dance class with Tatiana was an awesome experience – she is a very experienced and super enthusiastic teacher. The dancing reconnected me with my femininity side of life and with nature and earth itself. The combination of warm up and cool down phases with yoga and stretching made you walk away after each class relaxed and revived. Plus you discovered plenty of new muscles you haven’t used before :-) Well, there is always something new to learn. All of us in the class had lots of smiles on our faces and plenty of laughs while dancing back into our bodies.

Keep up the good work at the college and I will definitely see you soon again for more. From an ever happy student – Claudia Schick

Kylie Mowbray-Allen – Cert IV in Small Business Management

I’ve had my business for 6 years now, and outsourced where my own knowledge-base was lacking; however I was frustrated when problems arose and I didn’t have full understanding. So, this year I completed the Cert IV in Small Business with Byron Community College which was a juggle struggle at times whilst also running the business, life, and undertaking the course, but I’m so happy I completed it!

From the inspiring speakers to the knowledgeable tutors, and the assessments which I was able to base each one on my actual business, my brain is now brimming with ideas for a clearer way forward. The course culminated with each of us writing a comprehensive business and financial plan which was an incredible learning process.

I’ve gained so much in-depth knowledge of the workings of my business, processes, improvements needing to be made and identifying areas for growth. The class workshopped each other’s business issues in various areas throughout the course which was incredibly helpful.

Being a teacher of social media (another hat I wear) I was able to offer my knowledge and expertise in this arena with the class, and now will be teaching for Byron College in term 4, helping small businesses with Instagram and Pinterest social marketing.

I took away so much from this course, and my office vision board now reminds me of this every day; “Constantly think and reflect on your business. Take time each week to think. How can you improve, what can you do?”

Julia Chant – Cert IV in New Small Business

Julia Chant
Participating in study at the Byron Community College has allowed me to rebuild my self-confidence personally and professionally in a supportive environment, while also encouraging me to develop new skills and to stretch beyond my comfort zone and self imposed barriers. At the beginning of the course, I almost dropped out as I felt I wouldn’t be able to complete the Business Plan. However, I pushed my own boundaries and developed a full Business Plan for a business ready for launch mid-year 2017.
For me, the value of learning has been a way to empower myself. Previously, I held the belief that I had to work for someone else but through the course at Byron Community College I learned that I could create and run my own successful business. At times I found myself feeling overwhelmed, but the support and accessibility of the College tutors and staff made for beneficial and effective learning and I was able to work through the tasks. I can see that through education and hard work, I have developed the skills and tools to be able to set new goals, overcome any obstacles and achieve successful outcomes. I believe that this process underpins small business entrepreneurship.

Leah Wright – Cert IV Small Business Management

Byron Rashie – a Success Story

Leah Wright Leah Wright. Leah Wright completed the Certificate IV in Small Business Management with Byron Community College in 2013 to give her Byron Rashie business some traction.

1. When did you realise you needed this qualification?
I’ve been involved in several start-up businesses over the past 15 years, so loads of ideas, but realised my weakness lay in running the business – which is crucial. I’d reach a point with an idea i.e. concept through to implementation or production, but the next step was always a stumbling block as I didn’t have a point of reference or anyone to guide me. I kept thinking “I really need a business plan”, so decided to do something about it. Now, I constantly refer back to my business plan, particularly for financial updates and keeping online marketing strategies on track.

2. How did your business plan/vision change as result of your studies?

My vision became much more specific, the ideas far more expanded. Most importantly I learnt about sustainability – for my business, the community, the environment, for myself and my family.

3. What were the ‘WOW’ factors of the course?
Our tutors were inspirational and made going to class exciting – I wasn’t expecting to have so much fun! The other surprise was the students. We became a tight knit group – due to some rigorous debates and brainstorming sessions. There was loads of support and it often felt like each business idea had a whole team behind it.

4. What would be your advice to people considering enrolling in the Small Business qualification?

Just do it.

Merryn Boller – Certificate IV Small Business Management Semester 1 2014

Merryn Boller Merryn Boller. Merryn Boller is a local musician who, along with three other members makes up the pop folk band Potato Potato. They have performed at some of the Shire’s best known festivals such as Splendour in the Grass, The Blues Festival, Mullum Music Festivel and further afield at Woodford. Given their growing popularity, Merryn recognised the need for some clear direction, to ensure that The Taters continue to establish themselves as a successful and well respected music business.

Though only completing her HSC last year, Merryn took on the challenge of enrolling in the Certificate IV in Small Business Management through the Byron Community College. Despite the shock of being back in the swing of regular assignments, Merryn had the support of the Small Business tutors, a tight knit group of students and the College to help her complete it successfully. She found the learning environment to be loving and free from judgement.

As a result of completing her Small Business qualification, her managerial skills have been honed, and she has discovered the inner workings of what is involved in presenting a more professional image for her and her bandmates.

Byron Community College is currently taking enrolments for the Semester 2 Certificate IV in Small Business Management BSB40407, which runs 2 days a week (Monday and Wednesdays) in Byron from the 18th August until the 24th November. Please call the College on 026684 3374 for more information, or download an information pack from the College website at

Mango Davis – Certificate IV in Small Business Management 2013

Mango Davis Mango Davis. I first started to study with Byron Community College in 1995 when it was ACE, I completed 3 massage workshops and a certificate IV in Remedial Massage, qualifications I have used over the last 8 years working as a remedial and deep tissue therapist.
I have also been building my business ‘Sticky Art’ making high quality art stickers. Looking to expand the business I recently completed a Certificate IV in Small Business Management with the College which has given me the extra confidence to grow a successful business. I’m about to start an adobe illustrator course to learn more skills to apply in my business.
All up I’ve attended at least 10 courses and workshops with BCC including photography, screen print, dream and psychic development workshops. I highly recommend the College for interesting, unique and enjoyable courses and I look forward to continuing to study with the College in the future.

Mic Deacon – Cert IV Small Business Management

Thank-you Esther and Paul, for an amazing, enlightening and very professionally presented journey into Small Business Management with Byron Community College.
Your extensive business knowledge, together with your ability to extract our inner thoughts, backed up by a unique supportive administrative staff made every day a pleasure to learn the fundamental skills of small business management.
I now feel prepared to journey out and tackle the issues of undertaking, maintaining and progressing my specific business plan.
I highly recommend this course to anyone from any background, regardless of past business experience.
With Esther and Paul at the helm, this is the gem of the North Coast for value for money education.

Mic Deacon
Certificate IV in Small Business Management 2013
Production Event Management

Benjamine Pierrsenne – Cert IV Small Business Management

Benjamine Pierrsenne Benjamine Pierrsenne. I first had the good fortune to move to this region from a village in England when I was just ten years old. Growing up in the Shire, I learned to swim, juggle and dance like never before! I’d had a PC at home from the age of five; in my first year of primary school, my teachers told my mother that there was nothing more they could teach me about the classroom’s computer.
Studying for the HSC at Mullum High, I was using a second-hand laptop. It was tediously slow so I decided to web-search for an alternative to Windows, the operating system. The colourful range I discovered, such as Ubuntu, “Linux for Human Beings” had me very excited.
When I finished Year 12, I lived and taught in Malaysia for about two years, all the while using only the Linux operating system at work. I left because I knew I’d have more to offer as my own boss.
While visiting friends and relatives in England I began to form ideas around my passion for information freedom.
Earlier this year I decided to do the Cert IV in Small Business Management with Byron Community College.
This course has helped me to shape my ideas into a realistic and sustainable business plan. My tutors have a unique relationship with the local business environment and, as students, we’re encouraged to work together to a common goal within the community.

Jordie Gundersen – Training and Assessment

Jordie Gundersen Jordie Gundersen. 1. What brought you to this course re a little about your background
Why Byron? Because upon meeting Lance & discussing TAE Byron style, I knew it was 4 me. All my concerns about quality learning were laid to rest; a stark contrast to my previous disappointments at another institution. I had heard about Alasdair’s tutoring qualities also.

2. Why did you choose the Byron College to study with?
I had no real expectations, but rather had faith that I would come out of the course capped full with usable knowledge, fun sharing and sharp in the sense of professionalism. All this was provided.

3. What has been your experience/highlights from doing this course?
I chose to do TAE Cert1V mostly to become groomed for a higher level of teaching my passion & craft in piano playing and singing coach. My philosophy is “If you can wiggle a few fingers and alter the pitch of your voice when you speak, you can learn to play piano and sing. ”

4. Anything else you’d like to share
As my course with Byron College nears its conclusion, I have secured a wealth of practical knowledge in my head and notebooks along with fondest memories of an interesting, useful and smooth ride. Thank You all

Charmain Cosgrove – Cert IV Training and Assessment

I have gained so much from this course and I give much of the credit to your delivery. I understand so much more about how VET and training packages are set out and delivered now. It has definitely boosted my confidence to apply for future work. Thank you again.

Alice Miyagawa – Cert IV Training and Assessment

Alice Miyagawa Alice Miyagawa. After 12 solid years in Japan working as a teacher and coach, I returned to live in Australia with a wealth of experience in the field. I had a stable, respected career, honouring my passion for guiding adults to achieve their best through clarity of language in PR and liasons, and in cultural integration, related to their international careers.

The Australian workforce is renowned for it’s emphasis on pre-requisite training, so as an employment pathway to teach adult education in Australia, I completed Certificate IV in Training and Assessment at BCC in 2104. The course gave me a deeper understanding of the Australian Department of Education’s VET (Vocational Education and Training) program. I learnt about the administrative requirements for trainers, and gained some new skills and knowledge related to the profession.

Having worked in Universities, Vocational Colleges and privately for so many years, I look forward to continuing my career in Australian institutions. My teaching and coaching programs are always tailored to suit the participants. I am offering a special course this term through BCC for those interested in an introduction to The Japanese “Way”.

Peter O’Connor – Various Courses

Peter O'Connor Peter O’Connor. The 2 courses I chose both required movement, concentration and social interaction. All good elements to integrate into many learning experiences. The first was Argentinian Tango with Esther who was a very communicative and experienced teacher. While I could dance the traditional ballroom steps and rock and roll, learning the tango was a totally new, different dance with plenty of challenges.
The second was Golf at Ocean Shores with Chris. He is a patient and encouraging teacher with many useful techniques to master this challenging game.
Thanks to the College I am now continuing with both activities and enjoying them very much.
Peter O’Connor

Nathaniel Caldwell – Various Courses

Byron Community College helped me get ahead

Nathaniel Caldwell Nathaniel Caldwell. In 2012, when I was in year 10 I started attending Caroline Fischer’s photography workshops on the weekends, whilst still at school. This enabled me to develop skills and build a portfolio which led to me having my photos on the cover of Northerly Magazine a number of times. I gained volunteer work as a photographer in workshops and at the Byron Bay Writer’s Festival and increased my portfolio. My portfolio gained me work experience as 1 of 20 students from across Australia at Animal Logic (where I assisted with The Great Gatsby, Wolverine, Walking with Dinosaurs), I also had work experience at Playstation Mag, ABC 3, Good Game and ABC based on my portfolio.
In 2013 I began assisting Caroline Fischer in her workshops. I also furthered my extra curriculum study with Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign at night while I finished year eleven. My portfolio and the skills gained based on courses at Byron Bay Community College allowed me to gain underage entry straight from year eleven into a Diploma of Screen and Media specialising in 3D Animation at SAE. My Diploma (instead of doing year 12) gave me advanced standing into Qantm University and enabled me to complete my Bachelor Degree in 3D Animation specialising in 3D Modelling in fourteen months. Because of my skill set I gained work experience at Alt.FX one of Australia’s top Animation companies. I graduated uni at twenty and wore my Kylo Wren Costume instead of graduation gowns and was head hunted straight from uni to Binyan Studios where I am doing what I love and combining 3D Animation in Environmental Design and Architecture.
There are many paths to your destination, Byron Bay Community College made mine more tailored to me and let me focus on the skills I wanted to develop so I can now continue to do what I love. The school classroom was not for me. The college always treated me with respect and as an equal and it allowed my creativity to flow.
I still use my skills from Caroline and the design courses and am starting my own design and production company Phoenix Cre8ions.
Nathaniel Caldwell

Suzie Deyris – Various Courses

I am very grateful to Byron Community College for the courses I have done, and the ones I am yet to do. They cost little in the way of money and enlarge life. Some save money and also Health, such as the Green Cleaning workshop. I had Bees that were in my eaves and learnt how to look after them in hives, and now have honey to share. Better than a holiday away for me to learn more about our present world. I want to do the butterfly workshop again, and the water tour. Actually there are many I would like to do. -- Great selection. - We, who live in this Shire are blessed.
Suzie Deyris

Simon Hall – Golf for Beginners

I’d been thinking for a while that I’d like to try golf. It only took one game for me to realise I needed lessons, badly.
The community college course was a fantastic introduction to the sport. Chris Graham is a fantastic teacher. His skill and expertise equips you with enough knowledge to get you started and plenty of tips to keep working on. His enthusiasm for the game is addictive and he’s helped create another golf tragic over here. Since completing the course I’ve joined my local club and now play whenever I can.

Jessica Pollard and Brooke Ralph – Cake Decorating 101

Taking advantage of the ‘Learn together and save’ offer
"We loved our cake decorating course 101 with Lauren Blogg. The day was so much fun and provided us with all of the knowledge and skills we needed to successfully decorate a mud cake. During the day we got our hands dirty with delicious chocolate ganache and learnt how to smooth and surface a cake with fondant. The whole day was an absolute ball and everyone was ecstatic with the outcome of our own individual cake. It was fun spending the day with a group who were all working together to give hints and a helping hand. At the end of the day we left with our own cake and all of our family and friends absolutely loved both the look and taste. Byron Community College also provided a discount to anyone who booked and paid together for the course so we were fortunate enough to receive a 25% discount each. We are now excited to plan for and attend the next square cake decorating course and cupcake decorating course. All in all we rate 10/10 and are so grateful for the experience"

Jessica Pollard and Brooke Ralph :)

Alexander Booth – Mandy Nolan’s Comedy Course.

Alex Boothy Alex Boothy. I love Byron Community College because it encourages us all to challenge our boundaries and be impassioned by the process of learning. I attended Mandy’s Comedy Course and have never looked back. The journey was incredible, by the end everyone had developed their own style and outlook on comedy and life, bringing a light and fun perspective to the everyday. Life has definitely been changed for the better; as a training doctor I find myself better able to interact and connect with my patients through the funny experiences common to us all, and I can safely say that my ‘dad jokes’ are now second to none. I still continue to experiment with new material and try it out at open mic nights in the area. I love learning from the courage and wit displayed by all the other participants who get up on stage and turn the ordinary into amazing.

Petra Stark – Various Photography Courses

Petra Stark Petra Stark. As an older person, relatively new to digital photography, I can’t stress enough how important it is to constantly train, retrain and improve your skills.

To take part in photographic workshops is a chance to do just that. I have taken part in a few now and enjoyed every one.
You interact with other photographers, exchange knowledge and get inspired with new ideas.

This is where the Byron Community College plays an important role. It offers affordable courses, ran over two days.

The Tutors are well known professional photographers with excellent tutorial skills, they inspirie and teaching at the same time.
Something, you can’t take for granted.

You are learning in an friendly, relaxed atmosphere and in well equipped modern rooms. There are no more then 10 Participants
in each workshop, so working around each other is a breeze.

Also, I like to add, having more interested people wanting to participate in workshops, it would inspire more professional photographers
to come to Byron or Mullumbimby to teach. We have very creative communities and can inspire and learn from each other when coming
together in a college environment. A win, win situation.

I like to thank the admin and all the people that make it possible for us to take part in the Byron Community College environment.


Petra Stark