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Never too late for change

When Kempsey local Mark Bunting decided it was time for a career change, his choice was clear.

“I thought working in community services would be a good fit with my personal values and there’s a lot of employment opportunities locally. I had been running my own horticulture business for ten years and it was time for a change,” says Mr Bunting.

Mark completed a Certificate IV in Community Services in 2014, then continued his studies in 2015 with a Diploma of Community Services, both through Kempsey TAFE.

“I’d heard great things about the community services course at Kempsey TAFE. The quality of the teaching was fantastic and I think it was a great atmosphere for learning. Kempsey is also my home town and I think it’s good to support local education and to work locally,” says Mr Bunting.

Not only has his hard work been recognised by winning the Excellence in Community Services Award at the Kempsey TAFE 2015 Student Awards, the transition from study to employment has been smooth.

“I started with Kempsey Families in 2014 doing work placement for my Certificate IV and continued there when I started the Diploma in 2015. Now I’m employed in a permanent role as a Youth Support Worker, so I’m really happy,” says Mr Bunting.

Kempsey Families is a well-known local organisation which provides services to support the well-being of children and families, especially those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged.

“It’s very important to have the right people working in the service and Mark fits in perfectly here. He has a very sound and respectful relationship in the workplace and brought amazing skills from both his TAFE course and from his work placement,” says Diane Garfield, Service Manager at Kempsey Familiess.

“I’ve been here 20 years and we’ve always been happy to take Kempsey TAFE students because they understand our standards for work and practice. By the calibre of students they send us, it’s obvious they do a very good job educating them in the field. We really value the ongoing relationship we’ve had with TAFE as it’s always been mutually beneficial,” says Ms Garfield.

“What I studied at TAFE has been invaluable, as it transposed straight into the workplace. Things couldn’t have worked out better for me. So if anyone is interested in community services and thinking about studying, don’t hesitate. Just do it,” says Mr Bunting.

For more information about studying Community Services at North Coast TAFE- Kempsey Campus, please contact the Customer Service Centre on 1300 628 233 or visit


Our Funding

We are funded by the NSW Department of Communities and Justice under the Early Intervention Prevention Program and Families NSW. Engage2Change Men’s Behaviour Change Project is funded by NSW Office of Women. Speakout4kids is funded by the Benevolent Society.

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