Basketball coach fashions way to new career thanks to TAFE ‘hobby’

FRUSTRATED with his sportswear ripping constantly, basketball coach Setaleki ‘Seta’ Teuhema has used the pandemic lockdown to learn how repair his own clothes through TAFE.

A coach at Kings School, he enrolled in a Certificate III in Applied Fashion Design and Technology at TAFE NSW Lidcombe and what began as a hobby, has transformed into an international business idea for his community back in Tonga.
The Bankstown resident also learnt how to make face masks in line with NSW Health Guidelines and use natural dyes like beetroot juice and coffee to colour the masks in the TAFE class and has some big plans to put his new skills to wider use.
“I never realised how much we need practical, hands-on skills like sewing simple garments, especially in a climate like this where material face masks are the new normal,” he said.
“I’m planning to return to my home country of Tonga in the near future to teach basketball and I want to help my community learn how to sew and feel confident mending their own clothes and sports gear with the skills I have acquired.”
TAFE NSW head teacher of fashion, Fiona Lloyd, said the course was great for people looking to get a head start in the industry.
“Students learn hands-on skills like how to design, construct a garment, pattern-making, fabric identification as well as an introduction to computer aided design,” she said.
For info on fashion courses, call 131 601 or visit

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