A former teacher who once taught his daughter to play football has urged the Federal Government to give her a degree that could help her pay for a house and take care of her parents.
Yvette Williams, now 29, attended the University of Melbourne before graduating in 2009.
She then went to work as a teacher in Perth, teaching children aged five to 12, before moving to Sydney in 2013.
At the time of her daughter’s college graduation, she had been in and out of jail for drugs offences.
In a submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, Ms Williams said she had worked for more than two years to pay off debts and get her daughter a degree in nursing.
“I have not been able to do it because I cannot afford to, but now I can and I need the assistance,” Ms Williams told the committee.
It was then she decided to start studying to work on a full-time basis, and was eventually able to get her degree in public health.
The submission was published in a submission from the former head of the Australian Medical Association, Dr David Keating, to the Standing Committee.
Dr Keating said he hoped the committee would consider his submission and “take the initiative to make a difference”.
“This is about the very young, and the very old, and for that reason I believe this is a good time to raise this issue and to make some changes that might help,” Dr Keating told the ABC.
Ms Williams has worked as a home health nurse for the past three years.
As a part-time nurse, she said she did not have the money to afford a home, so spent most of her time working in a hospital, nursing home and other accommodation.
However, she did have a part time job teaching in Perth and in the past two years, she was working part- time at a university.
One day she went to a cafe to meet a colleague, who had taken a look at her résumé and said she would work there as a nursing assistant.
After a couple of weeks she moved to the community to live with her mother.
“[I was] able to find the opportunity to move to a different place to live, because I did not feel that I needed to live in a hotel room, a hotel, and a nursing home.”
I was able to go to university, I did get an education, I went to the University and I am now able to take the opportunity now and have the opportunity of working full- time.
“She said she has had a good experience at university, where she was able “to develop my skills, learn, and develop friendships with the people”.”
I did not get to the point where I wanted to move back to a city,” she said.
Mr Keating noted that Ms Williams has been in jail for several drug offences, and said the issue of her education was important.”
She is a young woman, who has not had a proper education, but she is not alone in that,” he said.”
Her parents, who are elderly, and who are in the process of dying, have no education.
“The ABC has approached Ms Williams for comment.