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“It wasn’t an easy journey to say the least. I have a young family and I’m the bread winner”

Brooklin Toia says study wasn’t easy, but the end result has yielded a brighter future for him and his young family.

Brooklin Toia, graduating with a New Zealand Certificate in Plumbing and Drainlaying (Level 3), was Tuesday morning’s student speaker. The third graduation ceremony celebrated students from the Centres for Engineering and Industrial Design, Applied Science and Primary Industries, and Trades. 

The father of two said it was a real privilege to be chosen to speak at the graduation ceremony.

He said he originally wanted to be a football star and moved to Australia to pursue his dream but unfortunately, he ended up with a serious knee injury. 

When he moved back to New Zealand, he said he had no idea what he wanted to do with his life.

Meanwhile, his brother had studied to become an electrician creating a spark in Brooke to study a trade.

Plumbing caught his attention because it was a short six-month pre trade course. 

“It wasn’t an easy journey to say the least. I have a young family and I’m the bread winner.”

Brooklin worked a full-time night shift and studied during the day to complete the course. 

“I was almost never home and there were a lot of ups and downs in that. But there is a light at the end of every tunnel. My babies keep me motivated, they are my ‘why’ for everything I do.”

Brooklin said he would always come back to the same scripture whenever he felt like things were getting too hard.

“Jeremiah 29:11 says for I know the plans I have you, declares the lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Having that at the front of my mind helped me get through those tough times.”

Brooklin has recently started an apprenticeship with Plumbing and Gas Works and the weekend following his graduation ceremony he married his fiancé.

Brooklin finished his speech by addressing the graduates directly. 

“What an effort, what an amazing bunch of people, just to see everyone’s faces here today, the achievements you’ve made, it blows my mind. It’s good to see so many people wanting to change and wanting to better themselves for their future, not just for themselves but for their families, I just want to applaud you for that.”

Read more about our 2024 graduation ceremonies here.

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