Wagga mums find friendship, purpose and new careers at TAFE NSW

No challenge too great: Wagga TAFE graduates Amanda de Jong and Mattina Soley found friendship, purpose and new careers when they embarked on an educational journey this year. Picture: Kieren L Tilly
No challenge too great: Wagga TAFE graduates Amanda de Jong and Mattina Soley found friendship, purpose and new careers when they embarked on an educational journey this year. Picture: Kieren L Tilly

It was the nurses, who took care of Amanda de Jong‘s daughter during cancer treatment, that inspired a new dream. 

The mother of two was working in retail at Coles, taking care of a sick child and looking after her family when she decided to change her career. 

Ms de Jong wanted to become a nurse. 

"We were in and out of hospital with a seriously ill child and the nurses were an amazing support,” Ms de Jong said.

“They played a massive role … I wanted to give back.”

The 40-year-old was one of 820 TAFE NSW students to graduate at Wagga’s campus on Tuesday, December 5.

Ms de Jong will join friend and fellow graduate Mattina Soley as an assistant nurse, at the Rural Referral Hospital next year, after completing their Certificate III in Health Services Assistance. 

Juggling a work-life-study balance, the pair proved no challenge was too great when striving toward a goal. 

“Once you find that passion, you grab hold of it and you do it,” Ms Soley said.

“I didn’t think I could do it … the best thing about today was realising you can accomplish your dreams.”