Finding my Study Tribe

There is an old African proverb that says it takes a village to raise a child. I believe the same can be said about choosing to study as a mature age student and I could not have asked for a better group of inspirational people to make up my village.

My name is Chryseis (pronounced Chris-say-is) Richardson and I am currently studying a Diploma in Beauty Therapy at CQUni Rockhampton City.

20161214_132341_resizedBeing a single mum of one, having two casual child care jobs, being a consultant for Tupperware and Nutrimetics as a side project and being a local belly dancer for Sabaya, I never thought it would be possible to fit in study. Not just that but I didn’t feel confident and questioned my ability to complete a qualification however with the support of my amazing village, I have already completed a Certificate III in Beauty Services and am now working hard to complete my diploma.

My study village consists of:

  • My parents

Without my parents’ ongoing support and encouragement I wouldn’t have taken the first leap to turn my passion for make-up into a career. My parents suggested a family day out where we would attend the 2015 CQUni Open Day and see what it was all about. The day was fantastic, I was able to visit different study areas where I was given heaps of information and got a chance to ask plenty of questions. The best part was I got to meet inspiring and compassionate teaching experts who gave me wonderful advice in choosing the perfect course for me, this is where I met QC/LVT of Beauty Mary Mckenzie. I had a fantastic chat with Mary and she suggested I enrol into some simple short beauty courses to see whether or not I enjoyed them before studying a Certificate III in Beauty Services. The short courses gave me confidence to progress my studies in make-up.

  • CQUni Teaching Experts

Throughout my studying journey I have received ongoing support from TAFE teaching experts. Their patience and drive to want to help each student to achieve their goals is outstanding, they have helped remove my fear of failing.

The ability to have a relationship with the Head of Beauty, Mary McKenzie is something I didn’t expect would be possible but all students have access to all teaching staff which says a lot about the inclusive learning environment the CQUni offer.

A big shout out to my teacher Felicity Walker. Fresh from the industry, Felicity is knowledgeable, professional and strives students to perform quality treatments and deliver high level of customer service. She provides us with real life examples, and shadows us until we a confident in performing beauty treatments. Felicity recognises that students have different learning styles and easily accommodates to ensure all students achieve their goal. Felicity noticed I was having some difficulties in retaining information. Knowing text books were content heavy and required concentration, Felicity provided me with video demonstrations to make learning easier.

  • CQUni

CQUni itself has provided support in offering flexible study options, exposure to a simulated environment with real clients at the City Campus’s Beauty Salon but most importantly they provide study support including access to counsellors and financial assistance.

To accommodate studying a Diploma of Beauty Therapy I was required to quit my job which created financial and emotional stress in my life. As a result I felt uncertain I would be able to continue studying however through the support of Felicity and Mary, they organised for me to visit a professional counsellor for free at the Women’s Clinic. Felicity and Mary were also able to assist me by recommending I contact student support staff who provided me with more information about the available payment option through VET FEE Help*, a loan scheme provided by the Australian Government to assist with paying for tuition fees for selected VET courses.

  • Friends

Finally, I am lucky enough to have the most amazing friends who have been my cheer squad on the sidelines, keeping me motivated but most importantly have helped with looking after my son so I could focus on my studies and attend classes.

While it can be challenging and overwhelming at times, I am so proud of what I have been able to achieve so far and I focus on the little wins like now I am qualified to give massages to clients – enter victory dance here!

For those who may be in the same position as I was, I would recommending attending a CQUniversity Career Expo or Open Day and speak to teaching experts and student advisors. They can help open a world of opportunities for your career goals.

Visit a TAFE Careers Expo in Gladstone, Mackay or Rockhampton on Tuesday, 24 January from 2 – 5 pm. Register your interest so the team can keep you up-to-date with information specific to your event of interest.

*The VET FEE Help is no longer being offered as of 31 December 2016, however has been replaced by VET Student Loans commencing on 1 January 2017.

CQUniversity Australia (

Leave a Reply