Jenneke Kijlstra-Shone started out making pieces of furniture for her family at home when knew she wanted to do more.

Realising TAFE could give her the skills to refine her practice, she enrolled and hasn’t looked back since.

“I’m a mother of two so I was nervous to commence study and be away from them, but what kept me motivated was the support of the teachers who were consistently understanding of how and when I wanted to study,” Jenneke said.

“The teachers supported every project that I wanted to undertake and helped me explore the different ways to create the end result that I wanted.

“In my time at TAFE I made a sharpening stone box, a small table, a bedside cupboard, six dining chairs and a dining table from recycled timber. Each of these projects I completed from beginning, starting with plans and drawings, right the way through to the practical elements, including machining the timber, joining, cutting and shaping the timber. This had the greatest impact on me as it showed me the complete process of a project.”

Jenneke is now focusing on improving her skills to become a better employee.

I’m now completing my apprenticeship at a sawmill where I make oversized timber framed buildings using the timber we mill ourselves. The joins need to be perfect which is why the skills I learnt at TAFE come in handy,” Jenneke said.

To anyone thinking about studying at TAFE, Jenneke would encourage you to do it! If everyone can study flexibly, take home the practical skills and work on the wide range of projects, she doesn’t know why anyone would hesitate.

To see a full list of the building trades courses that your local TAFE offers click here