Faith says Stolen Generations apprehension and heartache brought her to ECEC
Faith Kennedy, a 31-year-old Wiradjuri woman from Leeton, recently graduated from TAFE NSW with a Certificate III in early childhood, saying she was drawn to working in the sector because she wanted to assure parents who are dealing with hurt and apprehension arising from the Stolen Generations that there is someone who understands their struggles.
Ms Kennedy came into kinship care at two weeks of age, and has numerous qualifications, including commercial cookery, business administration, beauty therapy and education support. Education, she said, has played a huge role in her life, and as such, she hopes to “inspire other Aboriginal people to see how they can better their lives through education”.
“A lot of people go through hardship and I managed to break the cycle in my family and become a better person,” she said.
While a qualification in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector is an attractive prospect, in terms of the current demand for jobs, for Ms Kennedy, entering the profession is about far more than the attractive job prospects.
“There’s still a lot of apprehension and heartache in my community from the Stolen Generations and I want parents to know that I’m there looking after their children and make them feel comfortable to access daycare services,” she said.
Having completed 120 hours of work placement at Leeton Early Learning Centre, Ms Kennedy is confident of securing work in the sector shortly, having set a medium term goal of attaining a Bachelor in Early Childhood, and opening a centre in Leeton in the coming years.
TAFE NSW Leeton Early Childhood Education Teacher Karyn Johnson described Ms Kennedy as an “exemplary” student and was confident she would forge a successful career in the ECEC sector.
“Faith finished her course a couple of weeks ago but kept coming back to help other students that were struggling, which is testament to what sort of person she is,” Ms Johnson said.
“There is a real shortage of carers in Leeton, especially casual staff, and Faith should find work without a problem. In my estimate, more than 80 per cent of our students that graduate from the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care end up working in local centres because they are job ready and equipped with practical skills and experience that employers are looking for” she added.
To find out more about studying childcare at TAFE NSW, phone 13 16 01 or visit the website, here.