Heartbreak for VCAL teacher as peers depart

Bleak future: Tashara Roberts has slammed the government for TAFE funding cuts that have led to job losses and course closures. Picture: Michael CoppTASHARA Roberts is living in fear, waiting for the day she’ll be told she is no longer needed at the Kangan Institute.

Ms Roberts, a VCAL teacher in Broadmeadows and former Kangan student, told the Weekly the past few weeks had been “heart-breaking” as she watched her peers being made redundant.

“At the moment, 25 staff have been made redundant from where I work and that will be up around 200 by December.”

She joins students in their anguish as she won’t be able to complete a diploma of business next year.

Ms Roberts, who has dealt with depression and anxiety in the past, said studying at Kangan, which led to her full-time employment, had saved her life.

She has worked for Kangan for two years and completed an indigenous traineeship studying business.

“I hadn’t studied in years and the thought of going back as a mature-age student was really daunting,” she said.

“But having something to focus on helped and gave me hope that I could turn my life around.

“My VCAL kids are asking me where their future lies and I don’t know what to tell them.

“Previously they would finish VCAL and go into TAFE, but now their opportunities have been massively minimised. I am disgusted with the government over the unfolding disaster for TAFE. The TAFE system and the teachers employed in it saved my life and many others like me.”