Courtney Sim is putting the skills she learned studying the New Zealand Certificate in Interior Décor to good use.
On the recommendation of one of her facilitators, Courtney has found employment at ColourPlus in Invercargill.
“So far I’m finding that I can put some theory into practice. I’m still learning, but knowing I have a qualification in interior décor makes me feel like I add some validity to my role.”
Born and raised on the Gold Coast, Courtney visited New Zealand often, as both parents were from Christchurch.
“I had my first ‘taste’ of Southland in 2006. After my mum passed away in 2005, I needed a chance to get my head around everything, so a very good family friend suggested moving to Invercargill to study at the Southern Institute of Technology (SIT).”
Courtney started a degree in communications but couldn’t find the capacity to study. The year wasn’t wasted though, as she met her partner Stephen, and the couple have been together for three years.
She returned to Australia and completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at Griffith University.
“It was here that I found, what I’d consider, my first true calling. I majored in sociology and was able to combine my passions for writing, interviewing, researching, and formulating my observations into academic literature."
“I was invited to join the Honours programme in my fourth year, and it was here that I was given many opportunities within the academic world. My greatest achievement was having my original research published in a scholarly book. My dream from childhood was to be a published author, so I guess I can tick that off the list!”
After university, Courtney worked in rural Queensland supporting children and youth who were in residential care, helping improve their health, educational opportunities, build strength in their familial and social ties and support them in their employment and training goals.
“It was an incredibly rewarding job, but after two years it was time to go back home to the Gold Coast. I also worked with St Vincent De Paul as a Youth Facilitator, co-ordinating youth campaigns, support programmes, volunteer coordination, and guidance support for young people.”
When Courtney moved back to Invercargill in 2017, she studied a Certificate in Small Business through SIT, intending to open her own bricks-and-mortar shop.
“After completion I worked in a retail setting and realised how much I enjoyed working with customers to create beautiful spaces, so came about studying the Certificate in Interior Décor.”
She found the course to be incredibly thorough, with an abundance of practical course content.
“It did take a lot of patience and perseverance because the assessment required time, organisation, and thought."
“I have nothing but great things to say about the course facilitators, Gillian and Natalie – they offered thoughtful feedback, support and assistance all the time. They made the course a really positive experience.”
Right now, Courtney’s main interests are in the first new home she and Stephen purchased, going to the gym, and exploring Southland’s beautiful walking tracks.
“For the future, I’d like to start my own interior décor consultancy, within a home décor and soft furnishings shop front. As for future study . . . never say never.”