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Angella Martin - Millinery

I completed the Certificate II in Millinery and the Certificate II and Certificate III in Clothing Production at CIT.

Angella Martin
Angella Martin, Graduate Millinery

I had long held aspirations to become a secondary teacher using my lifelong skills in textiles. As a mother of three, I love the interaction with my children's school, in particular their practical subjects. This interest, combined with providing home schooling to my autistic son, motivated me to formalise my interest and during 2010, I enrolled into the Bachelor of Education degree, majoring in textiles, at University of Canberra.

I chose to go to CIT to gain the vital practical skills and theoretical knowledge in textiles and design. My CIT studies have allowed me to formalise my skills in textiles to enable me to formally teach.

Studying at both university and CIT at the same time really highlighted to me the benefits of hands-on practical training. While university gives you the ability to apply the theory, compared with the practical skills from CIT, the practical skills in my opinion have been the greatest contributor to me successfully completing my studies.

With the support of my family and CIT teaching staff, I undertook a higher workload which allowed me to progress my bachelor degree to completion in 2013. This could only be realised through the support of the CIT staff, in particular the staff of the CIT Yurauna Centre.

2012 was a year that heavily tested me, and I had to overcome a number of challenges. For half of the year, my husband, an Australian Defence Force member, was away with work a lot, which resulting in me caring for our three children myself whilst balancing my demanding course. During that year, I not only was studying full-time at CIT, but I was also studying full-time at university. We had also just moved to Canberra, where I didn’t have the support networks that I was used to so life was very demanding.

Doing a double full-time load was particularly challenging and I had to ensure that I was able to prioritise and remain on top of my work. I credit my success to the support given to me from the CIT staff and CIT Yurauna centre. The teachers are much more aware of everything that you’re going through and they really take that into account. Early on in my studies, I explained that I had three children at home and they were always asking me what they could do to help – from giving me additional time for assessment or allowing me to bring the kids with me. No matter the situation, there was always someone to help.

Ironically, the support I received through CIT not only helped me through my certificate II studies, but also provided invaluable in supporting me through my university degree. Universities are often larger and have less support resources, so you’re not given as much individual attention.

As the recipient of the prestigious Governor-General Scholarship for Indigenous Teachers, I believe that as an Indigenous women and a mother of three, I have displayed what can be done if you apply yourself. I am immensely proud of my achievements and at every opportunity give back to the community.

My family has relocated to Sydney, and CIT provided me the flexibility to complete my studies externally. Since I moved, I was offered a teaching position at CIT one day per week. Despite the lengthy drive, I absolutely love teaching particularly in the CIT environment. I help out with teaching in Access10 (CIT's alternative to the Year 10 Certificate), or I teach textiles. I really get a lot out of returning and teaching at CIT.