Young mums chase their education dreams


A young Bendigo mum says she wants to inspire other women to have the confidence to chase their career dreams after having children.

Ellie Treloar is completing her VCAL certificate at Bendigo TAFE this year after dropping out of high school in year 10.

The Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) is a practical alternative qualification to VCE.

The 27-year-old, who has two children aged 3 and 4, says through the young mum’s course at Bendigo TAFE she’s been able complete her high school education with her youngest child by her side.

“The young mum’s program at Bendigo TAFE gave me the opportunity to realise my ambition to complete my high school studies, while juggling looking after two young children.

“It really bothered me that I hadn’t finished high school, because I wanted to open the door to other career options like working as a parole officer, so this has really given me purpose.

“The set-up of the program meant I could take my 3-year-old along and have him looked after by a carer,” Ms Treloar said.

Ms Treloar said despite initial nerves about going back to study, the personal rewards have been enormous.

“For the past 4 years my focus has been on juggling my kids, so completing my VCAL has given me that sense of achievement that I was searching for, and I am proud of how well I have done.

“One of the unexpected benefits to come from returning to study was meeting new people and making new friends,” she said

Bendigo TAFE CEO Sally Curtain said further education had the potential to open up new career opportunities for all students, no matter what their background or circumstances.

“Bendigo TAFE is so proud of all the students that have completed the young mum’s VCAL course. It’s a fantastic achievement.

“We look forward to seeing them take their next step and reaching their goals in whatever they choose to do next,” Ms Curtain said.

From next year, VCAL will be replaced with the VCE Vocational Major, a 2-year vocational and applied learning program that will enable transition into apprenticeships, traineeships, further education and training and university (via non-ATAR pathways). 

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