Welcome to Blacktown Business Access

 fb yt 

Model student Simone Cunningham. Model student Simone Cunningham.
09 March 2024 Posted by 

I’m proof of resilience, says Simone who beat the odds

A FAMILY life fraught with heartaches and violence left Blacktown resident Simone Cunningham jobless for many years.
She recently turned 40, beaming with news of her first ever grandchild on the way from one of her six children. 
And this brave woman is telling everyone she meets that anyone can get out of the rough, she’s a proof.
Ms Cunningham opened up about her horrific experiences following the release of the Centre for Western Sydney Bridging the Divide Report which found less than half of Blacktown’s adult women can qualify for jobs in rapidly changing workplaces today.
The report revealed women in 13 suburbs in Western Sydney, including Blacktown, has the lowest proportion of women or 47.1 percent having a Certificate 3 or higher educational attainment compared to 61.8 percent across Greater Sydney.
Fairfield has the lowest at 29.4 percent or one in every three women residents has held Certificate 3 or higher educational attainment making it harder for them to compete in the job market, the report said.
Ms Cunningham has been looking for a job that not only pays the bills, but she can proudly share her hard-earned educational qualification to turn her future better than what it was.
“I was unfortunately sexually assaulted at the age of 13, and at the age of 15, I got into my first violent relationship,” Ms Cunningham said. 
“In those relationships, I was never allowed to do anything or go anywhere. I was not allowed to go out and seek employment on my own accord if my partner didn’t want me to.
“It wasn’t until I got out of the controlling relationships that I finally got to go out on my own, seek education and employment, and be my own person.
“Every single day, I aim to better my life for the sake of my children. Since being violence-free I am much stronger and happier than ever before. “
Ms Cunningham enrolled at Macquarie Community College as an adult learner to sharpen her skills after receiving a Year 9 leaving certificate.
She is now among the 85 percent of women students at the college which offers a range of courses designed to upskill its 5,000 students for jobs industries need, especially women, so they can compete in roles that require skills level at Certificate 3 and above. 
After completing the Certificate 3 in Individual Support in Ageing and Disability, Ms Cunningham said she quickly found a job at Home Care that ticked her training course from the college among the essential job requirements. 
“I have always been passionate about supporting and helping people. I know that working with the elderly and people with a disability would be something that makes me feel fulfilled as I'm helping people who are vulnerable and need assistance the most,” Ms Cunningham said.
“The aged care and disability space is the right place for me because I get to really make a difference. I want to learn more now so I can help individuals and give them the utmost care to the best of my ability.
“I feel so much better now. I want to get out there and help people who have been in situations same as mine that they can get help to get out of violent relationships, I’m proof.”
Ms Cunningham has been nominated to receive the Community Education Student of the Year Award from among thousands of students enrolled at Macquarie Community College campuses across Sydney.
The MCC started in Sydney in 1950 as an adult community education provider in English language and literacy and has expanded into a registered career training centre for jobseekers and employers.


Michael Walls
0407 783 413

Login to post comments

Blacktown News covers the business and community issues of the NSW Blacktown region. Blacktown News is a prime media source for connecting with the pulse of the region and tapping into it's vast opportunities.