Tim has discovered his talents

Tim couldn’t wait to get away from school and left when he turned 15.

Now 43, describes his work history since then as a case of falling in and out of work rather than following any kind of plan. After a stint as an apprentice after he left school, he spent 20 years in the coffee industry, including 10 years running his own business repairing coffee machines. But he got tired of the competitiveness and looked for a change. He took a job at Bunnings where he was well on the way to a management role when his mental health took a nosedive and he had to give up work with severe depression.

Tim was subsequently diagnosed with ADHD and later autism, and this gave him a different perspective on why school had been so difficult for him and armed with this new understanding he decided to try again. But this time he was determined to study something that he enjoyed.

Tim had an interest in gardening and signed up for a horticulture course at Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House. Since then he has successfully completed Introduction to Horticulture and Horticulture Continuing and is enrolled in the upcoming Bulbs & Orchids session and a 12 week Permaculture Design course.

Tim’s tutors say he is a highly motivated and committed learner with a thirst for knowledge, actively interacting with others in class, participating in discussions, asking questions and taking extensive notes. He works well with the class and is supportive and respectful of other people’s learning and happy to help any student having difficulty.

Tim brought in tools and equipment from home to share with the class during practical work assignments, shared his experience and knowledge with the class and happily transported other class members, at his own expense, to off-site excursions.

A friendly, inclusive and sincere person, Tim has made many friends at the House and within the class.

By participating in the two Horticulture courses, Tim has gained in confidence as a gardener, achieved a sense of success and accomplishment and has discovered his talents.

Tim had always dismissed education as ‘not his thing’ but he has discovered a love of learning alongside a passion for gardening and his confidence has blossomed.

He’s developed strategies in the classroom to cope with his distractability and is much more aware of learning in ways that suit him. For someone who’s never had a career plan Tim is enjoying the building blocks each course offers and the satisfaction that comes from knowing how to do things properly.

With his newfound passion for learning Tim intends to keep studying, both formally and informally, by taking a Permaculture Design course, volunteering for the neighbourhood house’s new community garden and joining a local beekeeping group. He has also joined the local SES and is enjoying the training and great community that they provide.

A scholarship would allow Tim to take next steps in his learning journey.

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