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Pathways To Success: Victorian Training Awards Nominee Steve Cranage

What started as simple gaming to self-taught reverse coding from the confines of his home. Never in Steve's wildest dreams, did he imagine that he would train and get paid to “play” in the field of Information and Communications Technology.

Home >What's on >Articles >Pathways To Success: Victorian Training Awards Nominee Steve Cranage

Steve remembers the first computer he ever owned.

"As a kid, I remember getting my hands on my first personal computer, which was a Commodore 16. The Commodore 16 was the much more affordable version of the two popular Commodore computers at the time. I plugged it in and was immediately hooked, and quickly discovered that I could start coding and gaming right from the confines of home, and so began my love affair with information technology."

Steve has lived a life of eclectic occupational pursuits, from working at Telstra in IT-related roles to running for and successfully being elected as company Director of the Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-Operative. He spent his time at Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-Operative giving the community a voice on the board of directors and learning the importance of governance.

Eventually, Steve decided to move back towards one of his true passions in Information Technology and returned to a classroom, where he undertook a Certificate III in Information, Digital Media and Technology, Certificate IV in Cybersecurity, and a Certificate IV in Training in Assessment.

During this period Steve was awarded the 2019 GOTAFE Information Technology Student of The Year and was nominated for the Victorian Training Awards Vocational Student of The Year.

Steve now works for GOTAFE where he shares his industry, and life experiences with students eager to learn the ins and outs of ICT. We talk to him about his journey as a student and what NAIDOC Week means to him as a proud descendant of the Yorta Yorta, Bangerang, and Wiradjuri peoples.

What has your journey as a student been like?

What a wild ride the last two and a half years have been!

Who would have known that an inquiry about returning to study would lead to me not only completing ICT30115 Certificate III in Information, Digital Media, and Technology, 22334VIC Certificate IV in Cybersecurity, but also TAE40116 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment?

Certainly not me!

When I first walked into the foyer of GOTAFE back at the end of 2018 I had one goal, which was to throw myself headfirst back into full-time study. I had no idea that this was the commencement of a journey that has propelled me to where I am today, as a humbled nominee for the Victorian Koorie Student of The Year award.

I’ve been fortunate enough to be surrounded by some amazing trainers at GOTAFE who have supported me throughout my journey here. They believed in me, even when I wasn’t quite sure that I did.

Steve Cranage with colleagues at a computer

What have been some of the highlights during your study?

There have been plenty of highlights along the way, like:

• Participating in group work with other students, to achieve some amazing portfolio work.
• Developing new skills in penetration testing.
• Representing GOTAFE in the media, and at other functions like careers days.
• Speaking with industry experts about the wide array of emerging jobs in Cyber.

My family and community have been so supportive of me along the way and have shown me nothing but love and support. All of this has made things a lot more achievable.

Did you face some challenges along the way?

Of course, none of this came without challenges, and just like any student, these had the potential to derail my journey. Some of the challenges faced along the way have been:

• Being the first member of my community to attempt Certificate IV in Cybersecurity qualification.
• Losing both an uncle and cousin under different circumstances.
• Supporting my sister by helping babysit, and often picking up and dropping off my nieces to school.
• Providing full-time care to mum.
• Dealing with the COIVD-19 pandemic.

I look back to my time in the classroom now and think “I don’t know how I got from there to here?”, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

What's happened since you finished studying?

After finishing up studying in 2020 I was offered a position as a trainer and assessor with GOTAFE delivering the Certificate III in Information, Digital Media and Technology and Certificate IV in Cybersecurity.

I now work as a trainer with GOTAFE, helping deliver Cyber and IT-related content using my many years of industry experience, and time spent refining my skills in the classroom.

Being able to do this gives me the best of both worlds, by allowing me to use my Certificate IV in Training and Assessment to help share my experiences with new learners and being able to evolve and improve my leadership skills.

Steve Cranage

As a proud descendant of the Yorta Yorta, Bangerang, and Wiradjuri peoples, what does NAIDOC Week mean to you?

NAIDOC week has always been a time for me to stop, reflect and acknowledge my elders, and recognise the hard work that they put into trailblazing the education and career paths which have set me up for success.

In my own small way, I feel like a modern trailblazer for my community, as I show that there are paths that we dive into new careers like Cybersecurity. I would like to hope that I have set an example in which anything can be achieved if you set your mind to it.

Healing country to me means taking an active role in repairing the damage that has been done to our country.

Modern society has decimated the Australian landscape in just over 250 years, by not listening to the land and its traditional custodians.

I want a sustainable ecosystem, where I can fish, hunt, and survive off the land, without worrying about depleting resources for future generations.

2021 Victorian Training Awards

GOTAFE is proud to have Steve nominated as Koori Student of the Year for the 2021 Victorian Training Awards. It is an opportunity to recognise and honour the outstanding achievements of individuals and organisations under TAFE Victoria and the vocational training sector.

Finalists will be announced in August, all the best Steve and thank you for sharing your inspirational story.

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