I was raised in South Africa and have been profoundly deaf since birth.
After graduating at the St Vincent School for the Deaf, I enrolled a course at Architectural Technology through Technikon in Johannesburg, which is equivalent to TAFE.
I was struggling with the course due to a lack of support for the deaf
students during that time and I was compelled to withdraw after 2 years.
Then I enrolled at another college, called the Design College, where I
finally obtained my Interior Design Diploma in 2000
I moved to Australia in 2004 after meeting my future husband Trevor and our baby daughter, Gemma, was born in October 2011. Firstly, I worked as a Senior Exhibition Designer in Banksmeadow until 2007. I found the position limiting, therefore, I applied for another position at Woolworths’ Headquarter in Bella Vista, which I was successful.
While working full time at Woolworths as the Design Manager in National Store Planning/ Design and Construction
, I was given the opportunity to study Architectural Technology through correspondence to OTEN during my private times.
While doing the course, it was tough, having to juggle with full time work, raising baby Gemma and my studies. With the wonderful support demonstrated by Kerri Stefais during the course of my studies, I finally graduated in March 2013 with a Diploma awarded to me.
At Woolworths, I was also recognised for my success at TAFE and I was then promoted as Senior Designer for Victoria and Tasmania region in early 2013. The position I hold requires skills in designing and planning new supermarkets/refurbishing existing stores across Tasmania.
The course at OTEN had actually opened my door to further success and I was recognised as one of the best store designers in the team.
In July 2013, I was awarded as the NSW Deaf Employee of the Year precisely for that reason.
I was grateful for the wonderful supp
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