Michelle Ryan
Certificate IV Education Support
Bairnsdale Campus

Michelle Ryan knows exactly what it means to be determined.

As a single mum, Michelle has juggled work and study with raising her son to follow her passion and create a better life for her family.

Michelle has always loved working with children, so when she started out studying fitness, it didn’t take long for her to realise that it wasn’t her passion.

Michelle enrolled in Education Support at TAFE Gippsland Bairnsdale Campus.

“I love kids and helping people, plus the hours work for me being a single mum,” said Michelle.

“I chose TAFE Gippsland because it was local and offered the course I was looking for.”

Moving to Bairnsdale from the city, Michelle was also faced with a new town and community, but she didn’t let that stop her. Michelle dedicated herself to study and took every opportunity she could to develop her networks.

“I was lucky to have placement as part of my course,” explained Michelle.

“I was new in town and it was a great way to get more experience and contacts.”

As Michelle continued to study her determination paid off. After showing incredible effort and consistently high results, Michelle was nominated by her teacher Nanette for the Annual Student Awards. She took out top honours taking home ‘Student of the Year’ for her committment.

Michelle is the first in her family to achieve a post-secondary qualification and her proud mum attended the awards with her to witness her success.

Although Michelle continued to achieve success throughout her course, there were times when things became a little difficult. With a young son and work, Michelle had to find the time to study and manage her placements.

“I found the workload challenging at times, I was working two jobs at the time and also raising a child alone. I had to stick to a timetable and really manage my time. My teacher was very supportive,” she said.

“My course gave me the confidence and skills to get where I am today. I worked at various schools during placement and picked up a lot of skills on the way.”

After completing her work placement with a local primary school, Michelle stayed on as a volunteer. She was then offered relief work before the school recommended her to another local school when a vacancy arose.

“I have since been offered a contract and have been given great opportunities, such as coordinating the schools ‘Active’ program and Oral Language program,” she said.

"I was born to do this work, I just love the children and the team there."

For Michelle, TAFE Gippsland offered the flexibility and support she needed to achieve her goals. She was able to develop a flexible learning plan the suited her needs, with the support of her teachers whenever she needed.

For those considering study Michelle says to “Chase your dreams!”

“TAFE Gippsland can help you get where you want to be and make them come true!”