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Parents, carers and support people

Parents and trusted adults – friends, relatives, community leaders or mentors – can play a vital role in steering children, young people and really those of any age to work through the possibilities to reach their goals.

As adults who care about the future of young people, there's always a lot to think about. This is especially true when they are choosing subjects at high school. Ideally, young people should get thinking about the future early and then, from around Year 10, start constructing some specific goals. But guidance can be welcome at any age.

Finishing school is an exciting, challenging time. It can also be stressful as young people make decisions about life, work and education that can have a big impact on their futures. With the amount of information to take in and the array of choices to consider, it can be overwhelming for young people – as well as for the adults in their lives. 

‘We started out with opposite opinions on whether Andy should go on to further education. With the help of a school careers advisor, we saw that it was about us supporting him to explore all the options, rather than there being any right or wrong choice.’

Rae and Dione, parents of Andy, 18, Lithgow

As a parent, carer or support person, you may feel that you lack the information and tools you need to support and guide these decisions. You may also feel unsure about what further education can offer and the benefits it might have in building your loved one's future.

This section of Make Your Mark is especially for parents, carers and support people. It provides the information you need to assist people in your life make the further education choices that are right for them and their futures. This might involve:

  • starting early (even at primary school)
  • getting help and information for yourself
  • building their confidence and aspirations
  • recognising their talents and interests
  • introducing them to a wide range of options
  • sharing positive stories of people you know or those you have found out about
  • showing them that people of all backgrounds succeed in further education 
  • exploring the different pathways through education to careers

Using Make Your Mark for information and support

This section of the website covers topics of specific interest to parents, carers and support people, providing answers to the following questions:

  • What are the benefits of further education?
  • What further education options are there?
  • How do you prepare a young person for further education and how early can you start?
  • What does it cost and can you afford it?
  • No one you know has been to uni or TAFE – how will he or she fit in?
  • How do you talk about further study to young people?
  • What exactly do you need to do to help a young person get ready for study?
  • Where can you find information on safety and security?

'Mala lived in my street and often spent time with me after school. We'd listen to CDs and I began teaching her the piano. I could see she had real talent. Now she's studying music at uni and wants to be a conductor or a teacher.'

Rochelle, retired musician

Other sections of Make Your Mark contain more information relevant to you and the young person you are supporting, including:

Look at and talk about this website with a young person

It can be fun and effective to look at the site together with the person you are supporting. You can learn about and discuss the issues together and then both follow up to find out more information before having another discussion.

Start as early as you can. Introduce this site to the young person long before he or she needs to make important decisions, allowing lots of time to think about and discuss options. The beginning of high school is a good time as he or she can go back to the site again and again over the years to hear more personal stories and learn about the different possibilities for the future.

Further support and information

As you go through the site, you will find links to other websites that can give you further information and guidance. Also, don’t be afraid to talk to the school's career advisor or call an institution directly.

Learn more

Speak to the TAFE experts directly

You can search for a contact at your nearest TAFE here.

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Learn more

Get answers to your uni application questions

The Universities Admissions Centre deals with all the university applications for NSW and the ACT.

Visit site
'We went to some open days and really talked through the options.'
Education choices 0:57 min
Anna & Walt Full Story