Timothy Presser, Swinburne University
After a troubled youth, I dropped out of school at fifteen years of age. I came to Melbourne. A Salvation Army hostel had taken me in. The social worker helped me find a job in Sheet Metal and Engineering in Richmond, where unfortunately I started to take drugs.
I came down with depression after staying awake for nine days which cost me my job. I wanted an apprenticeship but was told I needed twelve months at night school.
My drug taking spiralled out of control which led to hepatitis C, depression and eventually Acquired Brain Injury. I felt scared.
After years of detoxing and rehabilitation I decided it was time for me to get an education. So I started at Swinburne in Prahran doing English, numeracy and computer skills. There were lots of barriers to overcome as I had not studied for thirty years. I could speak English but I did not know it. There were also lots of stops and starts due to my mental and physical health issues. However, I completed Certificate I of the General Education for Adults and then completed a number of units in Certificate II.
After a significant break I decided I needed to complete Certificate II to enable me to continue my education for work. I woke at five twenty to leave home at seven am to catch the 7:18am train to Oakleigh, to change to the 693 bus to Stud Rd, and then change again to the 901 Airport bus to Wantirna, Swinburne. I arrived just before eight thirty am. Tomorrow I am receiving my full Certificate II in General Education for Adults. This has taken six, long, hard, difficult but well worthwhile years. I feel great. I have achieved my goal.