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Fri, 15 Jul 2016

Learning’s all in the family

Young mum, Tara Bakon was so inspired by her mother completing a Diploma of Higher Education at James Cook University, she has started one herself, and her siblings are set to follow in their footsteps.

The Diploma of Higher Education is a one-year course (or two years, part-time) that is designed to help people who may not meet the academic requirements for entry into a Bachelor degree course.

It aims to help students develop the necessary skills to be successful university students, and consists of a combination of introductory and first year degree subjects.

Ms Bakon, who is 22, has two children aged 3 and 1, and is thriving in the course, which she started this year. She has received nothing less than credits so far in her academic results.

Born in New South Wales, she and her family moved to Townsville in 2005 and in 2010 she graduated from Northern Beaches High School.

Ms Bakon said she could really see the value in doing the Diploma and how well it would prepare her for study in a degree.

“I chose the Diploma because it had been a while since I was studying. I tried studying externally through TAFE NSW, which just didn’t work. Being an online course, without that interaction with other people it was difficult. Whereas here, I have to get out and do things and talk to other people.”

She said she was inspired by her mother Cherryl Luck who completed her own Diploma of Higher Education this year, which she completed while studying for a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in Archaeology and Indigenous studies.

“I just wanted to try it, because Mum had gone through it. She is so intelligent, but for her to go to uni, it would be difficult if she hadn’t done the Diploma. It would have been difficult for her to illustrate just how capable and intelligent she is. It taught her to learn how to learn, basically.

“She wasn’t going to, but we pushed her. She was 45 at the time, and she said ‘I don’t want to be an old student’ and she was quite nervous. We said ‘you know what, you’ve got the intelligence, just do it’. And she’s glad she did, because now she’s doing the Bachelor.

“I haven’t previously seen her so confident in herself.”

Ms Bakon said people often ‘looked down’ on diplomas, but she wasn’t deterred.

“You gain such good friendships, they’re all going through the same problems and difficulties.”

Ms Bakon’s younger sister Kirra has just started a Bachelor of Arts (Archaeology) after finishing Year 12, so she will most likely share some classes with her mother, and perhaps her sister.

In a family of six girls, which also includes Dana (26), Ehlana (20), Kirra (18), Bree (10), Skye (9), Ms Bakon said she was hoping some of the others would follow in their footsteps and apply for a Diploma next year.

“Both my older sister and another of my younger sisters are making noises like they want to, but we’re working on it.”


For interviews: Tara Bakon, tel: 0434 495 769, email: tjbakon@hotmail.com or tara.bakon@my.jcu.edu.au