Touched by Love inspired by living at a women’s refuge

Luciane at her graduation ceremony in 2015 with daughter Johanne

Gosford’s , Ms Luciane Sperling, was living at a women’s refuge and hearing first-hand women’s traumatic stories of domestic violence when she decided she would write a book. ‘Touched by Love’, to be launched on September 8, at Hunter TAFE Ourimbah Campus, is Ms Sperling’s story of overcoming her own experiences of domestic violence.

“It’s not easy to share your story, but I wanted to help other women who were facing domestic violence,” she said. “I wanted to give them the steps to recovery, to let them know where and how to get help. “Many people say that they stay for the children, but I didn’t want my daughter living in an environment like that,” Ms Sperling said. While living in the women’s refuge with her daughter, she began studying Business Administration at Hunter TAFE, a decision which gave her both business skills and the confi dence to share her story with others. Ms Sperling was awarded a Hunter TAFE Foundation Scholarship in 2015 and spoke at that year’s Hunter TAFE Foundation Awards presentation about how her Scholarship supported and encouraged her.

It was following this inspiring address that the Hunter TAFE Foundation made the decision to provide a small fi nancial grant to Ms Sperling to assist her with the publication of her book. Ms Sperling is now studying Community Services at Hunter TAFE, with the goal of gaining employment in a role that allows her to work with women and children to support, re-educate and empower them. “Sometimes I ask myself, ‘Am I really doing this?’ but I will not stop,” she said. “I will use my experience to help others in the community. “My daughter and I are surrounded by lovely people and we have a backyard now. “I want to show others that they too can fi nd the light,” Ms Sperling concluded.

Hunter TAFE  Central Coast Institute Director, Ms Christine Warrington, said Ms Sperling was a fine example of Hunter TAFE alumni. “As a survivor of domestic violence, Luciane is passionate about sharing her story of overcoming incredible challenges to not only survive, but to thrive,” she said. “We are so proud of what Luciane has achieved and so pleased that Luciane has chosen to continue her studies at TAFE. “We look forward to continuing to follow Luciane’s inspiring journey,” Ms Warrington said.

Media release, Sep 5, 2016 Emily Gallagher, Hunter TAFE