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For Central Coast father of three, Gavin Godwin receiving the TAFE NSW Managing Director’s award for academic excellence was the unexpected icing on the cake.


Mr Godwin graduated from the Associate Degree of Accounting along with 240 students across the state who completed one of 25 degree level programs at TAFE NSW in 2016. Mr Godwin received the top academic honour after achieving the highest level in his class, with 13 high distinctions and 3 distinctions across 16 subjects.


Mr Godwin enrolled in the Associate Degree of Accounting at TAFE NSW Ourimbah after having sold the family business he had been successfully running for more than 20 years.


Mr Godwin says his wife and children have been his biggest supporters in the decision to follow his passion and pursue a career in accounting.


“My wife has been really supportive, she was actually the one who guided me when I was thinking about what I was going to do after selling the business.  She asked me what I enjoyed most about it, which got me thinking and really put me on the path to accounting,” said Mr Godwin.


It has also had a profound impact on the relationships he has with his three daughters, one of whom he now commutes to Macquarie University​ with each week.


“My children have seen me really apply myself to this new challenge, it has been a great experience for them and I think it has actually pushed them in their own studies. Going back to study is hard, and there are sacrifices you have to make, but my family have been so supportive and it has had a really positive effect in our home.”


50-year-old Mr Godwin says he was initially hesitant to go back to study.


“At my stage of life it wasn’t an easy decision to make, but I would encourage anyone to do it. It has given me amazing confidence within myself and an enormous amount of satisfaction.”

“The TAFE NSW Associate Degree of Accounting had a transition pathway program which was one of the main appeals. You complete two years at TAFE NSW and that allows you to pathway to a sister university, in my case that was Macquarie University. From there you complete a third year to gain a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Accounting,” said Mr Godwin.

After completing his university studies at the end of the year, Mr Godwin will graduate with a Bachelor of Commerce from Macquarie University and hopes to work in an accounting firm focused on small business. Beyond that he will complete his Chartered Accounting (CA) certification and hopes to eventually run his own practice.


Having experienced first-hand the support and guidance of an accountant as a small business owner, Mr Godwin says part of his motivation of owning his own accounting practice is about helping other business people.


“There is so much an accountant can provide to their clients. When I had my business I would go and see my accountant and always enjoyed listening to his knowledge and the suggestions he had for me to move forward with the business. I think I have a lot to offer small business owners, having that small business background means I can really relate to what they are going through.”


Mr Godwin says he will feel a great sense of accomplishment when he receives his university degree later this year, something he has wanted to achieve since leaving school.


“TAFE has created great opportunities for me that I never thought possible. It’s the satisfaction I’ve received from going to TAFE, and TAFE giving me the opportunity to transition to the third year at university and come out with a bachelor degree. I don’t think if I had started off at university I’d be in this position. TAFE really got me to where I am today, this is just the cream on the top,” he said.


TAFE NSW offers 25 Higher Education qualifications including the Associate Degree of Accounting, Bachelor of Early Childhood Education and Care (Birth-5) and the Associate Degree of Applied Engineering (Renewable Energy Technologies) which are offered at TAFE NSW campuses in the Newcastle and Central Coast regions. Visit

Media Enquiries

For all media enquiries, please contact the TAFE NSW, Newcastle Media Team on (02) 4923 7680​.