TAFE Queensland staff on the Gold Coast are rallying together to support international students doing it tough, after recent events have left many struggling to make ends meet.
TAFE Queensland General Manager on the Gold Coast, Karen Dickinson said many students came from around the world to further their education and have found themselves without family, employment or financial assistance.
“Here on the Gold Coast we train more than 500 international students and many of them are facing financial hardship, but providing food and essential products is one worry we can take off their minds,” said Ms Dickinson.
“For the last three weeks, TAFE Queensland staff have been sourcing non-perishable goods, and I am overwhelmed and so grateful for the response we have received.”
Ms Dickinson said as word of the drive has spread from staff and domestic students to their networks, campuses across the Gold Coast are being bombarded with kindness from the community.
“Many Gold Coasters are struggling to make ends meet right now, and it’s humbling to see people generously sharing what they can to support those in need,” she said.
“The community response has been fabulous with several community agencies and businesses making donations.”
“We’ve received everything from food, personal care items, and grocery store vouchers which are being packaged for our international students to takeaway.”
A number of international students have already been into the TAFE Queensland Gold Coast Ashmore campus to collect their care packages.
Isabela Tronco from Brazil, who studies early childhood education and care at TAFE Queensland’s Southport campus has been out of work since the pandemic hit.
Mrs Tronco said she is extremely grateful for the generosity and support TAFE has shown to its international cohort.
“As an international student I am not eligible to receive any support from the government, but I still have to find a way to pay the rent and buy food,” she said.
“The package from TAFE has helped me and my husband to get through this hard time and we were able to save a bit of money for bills as we didn’t have to buy groceries for the week.”
“It’s been hard, but this kind gesture has released some of the pressure and made us feel supported.”
Donations can be delivered to TAFE Queensland Customer Service Offices at the Ashmore, Coomera and Southport campuses. However the Ashmore campus is the collection point for all international students.
For more information on how to donate or collect please call (07) 5581 8625 or email firstname.lastname@example.org