Name: Emmanuel Asante
Dreams of: Being an art teacher
Yesterday I went to Tafe as a student for the first time.
It’s very exciting. Everyone was nice. I met two other students – two guys. They were incredibly nice. We introduced ourselves, we’ll probably see each other again on Monday. It was just incredibly good. The teachers were welcoming and were willing to offer assistance if you needed anything. If only I knew it would be like this sooner!
I was dreaming of going to Tafe last year. I was like, “Is it possible? Could it be possible? Will I get the money in time?” And here I am. Voilà!
Going in to Tafe was a little bit surreal. I’d been dreaming of this day for a long time. When it actually came to reality I was nearly in tears. After a while I realised this is actually the beginning. This is the first step towards my dreams. This is my path to becoming a teacher. There’s many steps to go. I’m so hyped. I’m so ready for a new beginning.
There has been a growth in me. At the beginning, when everything started with the pandemic, when I got called about doing these diaries, life was so hard. Life was a bit uncertain. I wasn’t sure how it was going to unfold, especially in 2021. I was so worried and anxious. I was like: “How is this going to end? Is 2020 going to repeat itself? Or is there going to be a change?”
Then it seemed like I had good news, good news, good news. I was so excited. Work got paused again after the new Covid emerged, but now everything is slowly getting back on its feet. I’m so happy.
Nothing came of the job at the recycling plant my case worker told me about before new year. That’s OK. Besides, my plan has changed as well. Since I’m going to be full time at Tafe, it’s changed my steps in terms of working. My case worker and I sat down and decided it was better that I change from jobseeker to Austudy since I’m studying full time. I have no idea whether that will be less money. I’ve never been on Austudy. I’ll see how it goes. It’s my first time at Tafe, so I don’t know how it’s going to be. It’s going to be from 9am to 4pm. I want to have a feel of it. If I feel I can manage another part-time job, I’ll go for a part-time job. For now, I want to focus and go to school.
I want to say thank you to the people who helped me. Headspace have been incredibly good at helping someone who is worried and depressed, especially during Covid lockdown. SSI [Settlement Services International] are helping me, shaping me as an artist. When I started I knew no one in the industry. They welcomed me.
When things were getting really, really hard I’d text my mentor Abdul Abdullah: “It’s hard! It’s hard becoming an artist.” And he’d say: “I know. You can do it.” And sometimes I’d call my other artist mentor Safdar Ahmed and tell him how I was struggling, and he’d say: “Don’t worry. Come over to the Refugee Art Project on Saturday and let’s talk things over.” He would talk me through things. Without those mentors I don’t think I’d ever get this far.
And now I’m on my way to achieving my dreams and success. I can’t wait to embark on the journey.
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