When an opportunity arose to work with Chisholm’s international department offering training and education around the globe, Nic van Wamel jumped on it. He never looked back.

Like the idea of working with people from all over the globe?

Want a career that allows you to travel to exotic countries like Mauritius, China and Sri Lanka?

For Nic van Wamel, he found an opportunity in international training and education which allowed him to do just that.

“I love seeing people from other cultures be recognised for what they do have, but also being able to switch on a light for them,” says Nic.

Nic came into training and education as a mature-aged student and ended up sticking with the TAFE sector.

During his time with Chisholm, he has worked in training and education, transformative education, and in educational consulting to improve the capacity and capability of Chisholm’s teaching staff, as well as running programs for Chisholm.

When an opportunity presented to work with Chisholm’s international department delivering TVET training to educators across African nations alongside several other international TAFEs, Nic put up his hand straight away.

“That was really cool,” he says. “I’ve seen some places in Africa that are unbelievable. When you experience the highs and lows of bringing vocational education into an African country at the grassroots level and up, it gives you a whole new appreciation of how to interact and work with a variety of different educators, and more importantly, the students themselves.”

Since then, Nic has run programs for Chisholm’s international department all over the world.

Highlights include delivering training to the Chinese Electrical Commission, TAE training to Sri Lankan-based maritime college, CINEC, and providing training to upgrade skills for Vietnamese vocational educators.

“CINEC has been my biggest success – it was a magic project,” Nic says. “It’s been a huge success and built capacity and capability of their teaching staff, based on everything I have learned from previous international experiences.”

What makes Nic so successful at his job is his ability to build enduring partnerships with international stakeholders.

“Whenever I’m with a new group of participants, the first thing I do is recognise their existing skill and capability,” he says. “They come with a whole lot of different processes, policies and procedures or cultural differences that need to fit into the program you’re running. From an Australian point of view, we need to adapt what we are trying to deliver and marry the two cultures together to form a partnership.”

For Nic’s exceptional work in his field, he won Educator of the Year at the 2022 Chisholm Education Awards.

“I was stoked,” says Nic. “The legacy I’ve tried to leave to others is to enjoy yourself as an educator, open yourself up to question and realise that you’re facilitating the skills that other people already have, then filling any gaps or opportunities for improvement.”

Nowadays, Nic works out of a small town in regional Victoria. He rarely goes to the Chisholm campuses and delivers all his international and industry training almost completely online – a sign of the times.

“It’s great,” he says. “That’s another change of mindset that I’m trying to pass on as a legacy to teaching staff – that as a teacher, you can be in a classroom or online for a few hours, but the connectivity goes beyond that. It’s a job where you can connect 24/7.”