Passion gets foot in door
NEW Wide Bay TAFE teacher Belinda Quirk, brings 20 years experience to her hairdressing students.
She will work between the Gympie and Hervey Bay campuses helping to teach Certificate II and III in hairdressing and the new Certificate IV and diploma of salon management courses.
"I'm originally from Melbourne," Ms Quirk said.
She moved to Gympie eight years ago and more recently has been working in hospitality and hairdressing.
"I managed the cafe at Matilda Kybong for over two years and in that time taught 17 traineeships.
"I thought, 'I like doing this'."
With her passion for teaching sparked, Ms Quirk went to a careers expo at Gympie and found out what she needed to teach at TAFE.
"Now I'm a qualified teacher in hair and hospitality."
And she is still working in both industries, in hospitality at Kybong's G'Day G'Day cafe and as a hairdresser at Centro's Legends salon.
"I love teaching, I'm only casual at the moment but it's a foot in the door," she said.
"Who knows where it will lead.
"It's very exciting and rewarding seeing the kids remember stuff you teach them."
So far there are 26 students in the Certificate II course at Gympie TAFE.
"We're hoping it increases.
"There's lots of hands on and prac work.
"Some want to use it for beauty courses, others for cruise ship work and some to go overseas.
"Others want to do it mobile after they have kids. You don't have to work in a salon."
Senior hairdressing teacher Kerry Nellis, said the new Certificate IV course provided more advanced hairdressing skills and was good for someone who had been out of the industry for a while and wanted to update skills.
The only prerequisite for the Cert IV was a need to complete Cert III.
"It is more advanced cutting and colouring," she said.
Meanwhile the diploma of salon management was good for managers and owners, but there were no prerequisites.
Ms Nellis also said models were needed for her students to practice on and teachers would be there every step of the way.
Phone Gympie TAFE on 1300 656 188.