2017 NSW Training Awards Vocational Student of the Year
Automotive Mechanical Diagnosis Certificate IV
Liam Muldoon's story shows it doesn’t matter if you don’t know exactly what you want to do. It also shows that VET opens up some pretty amazing opportunities. Thanks to VET, Liam has had a very successful career in automotive, mining and teaching. Along the way, he’s had some awesome experiences.
Video - Liam Muldoon
When I’ve come up against a barrier in my career, VET has helped me overcome it.
Liam Muldoon didn’t set out to become an Automotive teacher with TAFE NSW. But then he didn’t plan on becoming a heavy vehicle mechanic either. At school, Liam didn’t really know what he wanted to do.
“I applied for uni because I was told to, but uni wasn’t for me,” says Liam. “So I talked to my local job network about apprenticeships. I had no idea what – I loved surfing and cars. Luckily there was an automotive apprenticeship going.”
Liam’s story shows it doesn’t matter if you don’t know exactly what you want to do. It also shows that VET opens up some pretty amazing opportunities. Thanks to VET, Liam has had a very successful career in automotive, mining and teaching. Along the way, he’s had some awesome experiences.
“Good money, heaps of work, a whole other industry.”
After qualifying as a light vehicle mechanic and working as a mechanic in Lismore and Bulga for a few years, Liam got his heavy mobile plant certification and moved to the Hunter Valley to work with WesTrac. It was an amazing time and one that set him up for his next adventure - working on the mines in WA.
“I’d fly in for a week on, fly out for a week off,” says Liam. “I worked on cool things in a gold mine 1.5 kilometres below the surface – amazing stuff! I met incredible people. At Goldfields, if you do more training, they pay your fees when you qualify. Training has been good for me, so I thought, ‘Why not?’”
After making a motza in the mines, Liam returned to the North Coast where he worked as a heavy vehicle mechanic for Lismore City Council. He also started teaching part-time at TAFE NSW and found that he loved every minute of it.
“It’s another chance to diversify my skillset and learn new things.”
A natural born teacher, Liam thrives in the classroom, so when a full-time job came up he did what he’s always done and grabbed the opportunity with both hands. As an automotive teacher at the Wollongbar TAFE NSW campus, Liam is inspiring the next generation of mechanics. He’s also giving back to the system that he says has given him so much.
“When I’ve come up against a barrier in my career, VET has helped me overcome it,” says the 2017 Vocational Student of the Year. “I'm still employed because VET has set me on a very successful career path.”