Having watched her two children build successful careers with their TAFE Illawarra trade qualifications, 48-year-old Rebecca Green decided it was her turn.
“I should have done this a long time ago,” she says.
“I’ve worked for 26 years in disability support. And while I’ve loved my job, all I’ve ever really wanted to do is cook.”
It wasn’t until Rebecca took the brave step of enrolling in a food handling course with TAFE Illawarra that she unlocked an even bigger passion for the industry.
With a supportive family and an appetite for a career change, Rebecca says: “If you do something, you should do it properly. I thought, if I’m going to do this, I want the qualifications I need to succeed.”
After completing the food handling course, Rebecca went on to study a short course in cookery.
With the support of her TAFE Illawarra teachers, she then landed herself a job with a local restaurant with an offer to take up an apprenticeship.
On her newfound role, Rebecca says: “I feel great. I can now cook all day and still be smiling when I drive home at 10pm.
“I’m finally living my true passion. I’ve loved cooking since I was 10 years old. I love Italian food and my husband says I should have been born an Italian.”
Looking to the future, Rebecca laughs and says: “One day I might just be as good as Pete Evans from My Kitchen Rules. I have all his cookbooks at home. I love him.”
Her advice to others thinking about a mid-life career change?
“Life is short. Never be afraid to change careers and do something for yourself. Do something you love. If I can do it, anyone can.”
Enrolments are still open for Semester 2, 2016 at TAFE Illawarra. To explore courses on offer and enrol, visit www.tafeillawarra.edu.au or call 1300 766 123