- Join Got Your Back Sista and stand up to domestic violence at the Newcastle Knights versus Canterbury Bulldogs NRL game on July 12. Register at https://www.mycause.com.au/events/2019gybsknights
NADENE Curzi describes education as a "gift".
The TAFE NSW teacher of 25 years is preparing to deliver her second eight-week entry-level course at Got Your Back Sista (GYBS) in Tighes Hill, teaching women computer skills with the aim of helping them pursue further education and employment.
She can see first hand how transformative education can be.
"The first class they're saying 'I don't know what I'm doing or what I want to do'," Ms Curzi said.
"By the time we get to the last class it's 'Why do I have to stop? What can I do? Where can I go?'
"This helps women jump out of their comfort zone and make a difference for themselves, their family and their children. It's a pathway to confidence and independence."
Ms Curzi said the classes were tailored to match participants abilities.
She said those who completed the course received a statement of attainment and a transcript.
They can then choose to complete a certificate two in career pathways - which involves spending three days a week covering employability skills and literacy and numeracy with a focus on their chosen vocation such as construction, animal care or community sector - or pursue other qualifications at TAFE NSW.
She said of the 12 students who completed the course, one has started studying for a qualification in hospitality and the other 11 are pursuing further studies in computing or business administration.
GYBS' Melissa Histon said many women who had completed the course and similar gardening and cooking courses had felt "helpless and hopeless" following trauma, but building skills had helped them "blossom", to make friends and "strive for more".