17 February 2022

Cootamundra's Ash Voll on the path to a bright new future

| Edwina Mason
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Ash Voll.

Ash Voll walked straight out of the TAFE NSW Young campus into a job with the NSW Department of Communities and Justice in Cootamundra. Photo: TAFE.

A Cootamundra man has vowed to use the pain of his own childhood and the skills learned at TAFE NSW to help light a new path for vulnerable people.

A proud Worimi man, Ash Voll was taken from his parents and raised by his grandparents from the age of five after an early childhood marred by dysfunction.

This exposed him to a series of Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) caseworkers, whose compassion and care inspired him to pursue a career in the same field and enrol in a Diploma of Community Services at Young’s TAFE college.

Mr Voll, 26, graduated last month and has recently secured a community support officer role at the DCJ office in Cootamundra, with plans to become an Aboriginal case worker.

“My upbringing was rough but I now want to help other children who are in the same position I was, just as those caseworkers helped me,” Mr Voll said.

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Complicating matters for Mr Voll was the fact his grandparents, who had raised him, both passed away this year while he was studying the course.

According to a National Industry Insights Report, the community services sector is in a steep growth phase, with 1.8 million people employed nationally in 2021, a figure expected to climb to two million by 2025.

Mr Voll said the TAFE NSW course in Young gave him the practical skills, work experience and confidence to make a flying start into the industry.

“My TAFE NSW teacher was one-of-a-kind, he went above and beyond for every one of his students,” Mr Voll said.

“He is a great motivator who has amazing industry experience and contacts.”

TAFE NSW Young Community Services teacher Andrew Bailey said Mr Voll was a powerful example of how TAFE NSW could help students unlock their potential and thrive in their chosen field.

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“When Ash first came into the course he was very quiet and really lacked confidence,” Mr Bailey said.

“It was clear to me though that he had the makings of a great community services worker.

“I’m proud to have helped him build his skills, knowledge and confidence to the point he has now set himself up for the future.

“The fact he’s able to use his past experiences to help him empathise with clients is a bonus.”

Mr Voll was offered a job before graduating after completing work placement at DCJ.

For those people interested, a Certificate III, IV and a Diploma of Community Services is being offered at TAFE NSW in Young again this year.

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