Tara Cave
Tara Cave

Success and new life for Gympie teen through TAFE

GYMPIE teen Tara Cave is on the way to achieving her dream of becoming a film and television make-up artist.

Seventeen-year-old Tara dropped out of high school in Year 11. After some encouragement from a former manager, she decided to enrol in the Skills for Education and Employment Program at TAFE Queensland.

"I had depression and anxiety and it got really bad in that school environment, so I decided to leave,” Tara said.

"I also had a job that I lost because my anxiety got in the way, but the manager there told me that his daughter had gone through the SEE Program and it helped boost her confidence, so I took that recommendation.”

The SEE Program is funded by the Australian Government through the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, and provides up to 650 hours of free language, literacy and numeracy training to eligible job seekers. The specialised course provides practical skills that are tailored to participants' abilities, goals and interests.

It was through this program that Tara met TAFE Queensland's Gympie Essential Skills teacher Libby Salmon. In addition to imparting skills and knowledge, Libby has been a figure of support. With her guidance, Tara has developed the confidence to pursue her dream career.

"Libby is like my rock - she's just amazing. She's so easy to talk to and supportive, and she's kind of become more like family than a teacher,” Tara said.

"At the start of 2018, Libby was telling everyone about the different courses available through TAFE Queensland. She told me about the Certificate II in Retail Cosmetics, which I thought sounded perfect for me.

"I really enjoyed the course. I did the course one day a week and then every other day I was in the SEE Program, which was really great because Libby was able to support me through my studies.”

Tara completed her Certificate II in Retail Cosmetics at TAFE Queensland's Gympie campus in 2018.

While she is still participating in the SEE Program, she is in the process of upgrading her qualification to a Certificate III in Make-Up at the Mooloolaba campus, with the goal of someday working in film and television.