Read some success stories about TAFE Queensland indigenous students:
Kevin Edmondstone has discovered just how far TAFE can take him. Since graduating in 2004 with an Advanced Diploma in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts, Kevin has gone on to full time employment and his artwork has traveled the world.
"I initially came to TAFE to learn more about art and I chose this program because it is designed for Indigenous people and taught by Indigenous people," he said.
His journey whilst successful has not been without its challenges and Kevin is the first to admit this.
"I had trouble with my math and spelling when I came to TAFE but I gradually learned more and more and got better at it with time.
"The key was to keep trying and not give up."
Kevin also credits his success to the support that he received from teachers and fellow students.
"There was always someone there, a teacher or a student to help me get through and overcome the challenges I faced," he said.
"At first I was shame to come here but that didn't last long. Now I tell everyone to come to TAFE and not feel shame because TAFE is a good place and it provides a lot of opportunities for Indigenous people."
In the future, Kevin would like to go back to his community and teach the skills he has learnt to his people but until then is happy to continue his employment with TAFE as a tutor in the Indigenous Art program.
"I enjoy teaching Aboriginal Art and showing my students different techniques.
"To see the look on their faces when I teach them something new is very rewarding."
Neil Fourmile, of Yarrabah, south of Cairns, believes the rewards from studying at TAFE can be huge.
Neil studied a Certificate III in Engineering (Fabrication) at TAFE, which he completed in 2003.
His interest in a trade first took shape during his senior years at Abergowrie College, west of Ingham. He enjoyed studying metalwork at school so decided to apply for an apprenticeship with Yarrabah Council.
''When I finished in 1997 and came back to Yarrabah, there was an apprentice boilermaker position advertised with the council. I went for it and got it, so three weeks after finishing school I had a job - I could not believe it,'' he said.
''It was good training, really helpful. The block training was excellent too because I was able to get out and meet new people, and learn new things in a different environment.''
''The training and guidance I received from TAFE teachers was integral to helping me complete my
''If you get in there and stay committed the rewards are huge,'' he said.
Neil was the first Yarrabah resident to complete a boiler making apprenticeship and in 2004 was named National NAIDOC (National Aboriginal and Islander Observance Day Committee) Apprentice of the Year.
He hopes his success will encourage other young Indigenous people to pursue apprenticeships and traineeships.
"If I can go to high school, and go to TAFE and finish my trade, you can do it too."
Monique Rosas came to TAFE to improve her skills and establish her career after successfully obtaining a traineeship in business administration.
She is currently undertaking study in a Certificate III in Business Administration and is proud of the new skills that she has learnt, particularly in computers.
Studying and working hasn't always been easy for Monique and managing the two has been her biggest challenge since commencing at TAFE.
"In the beginning I found it challenging to be working full-time and studying part-time because I had never had to do it before," Monique said.
"It took a bit of getting used to and my employer and my TAFE teachers helped me to get through it and taught me some good time management skills.
"Everything is great now and I'm managing just fine."
Monique credits the ability to obtain skills to increase employment opportunities as TAFE's greatest benefit.
"The skills that I have learned here (at TAFE) are invaluable as they are required in the workforce," she said.
"My study has given me the opportunity to excel in the workforce and my ambitions are to climb up the corporate ladder.
"I encourage people to take advantage of the opportunities you are given and put your best into it because it is worth it in the end."
Forming a reggae band and supporting world renowned band UB40 on their tour of Cairns has helped Hope Vale resident Gregory (Greg) Woibo, 33, discover where TAFE training can lead.
Greg decided he needed a change in his life and decided to combine his desire to do something different with his "music dream."
"My music dream is to become a well known Indigenous band like Yothu Yindi and then go back into my community and become a music teacher," Greg said.
"I would also like to start music shops in Bamaga and Injinoo," he said.
Greg decided to enrol in a Certificate IV in Music at Tropical North Queensland Institute of TAFE in Cairns, one of the 13 TAFE Institutes across Queensland.
"My upbringing was filled with music and I have always been surrounded by it and that's why I chose to study it at TAFE," he said.
"I like learning how to use the latest technologies and equipment, such as computers, to write music. I have enhanced my skills and learnt new skills. I didn't know anything about computers before I came to TAFE."
He said he faced challenges along the way, like having to leave his community and find accommodation and move from 'the bush' to the city, but the encouragement and help he got from the TAFE Indigenous Student Support Officers made all the difference.
"While studying, I joined a reggae band "One Drop" with some of the other music students and since forming we have played at a number of community events and have a regular gig at Johnno's Blues Bar in Cairns," Greg said.
"One Drop supported UB40 on their tour of Cairns... I have been in bands before but I have never made it this far or accomplished this much."
"This success has prompted me to take my studies further. I am currently enrolled in an Advanced Diploma of Music and expect to complete that this year."
"TAFE is a good learning place for any person of any age."
"The benefits of studying at TAFE include learning new skills, meeting new people and making new friends, and obtaining a qualification that will lead to employment and a new career."
"If I did not choose to come to TAFE I would never have met the other people in the band, I wouldn't be in the band and I would not have shared in its success."