Ike goes from the shop floor to award-winning interior designer with TAFE NSW

Ike Sonder has taken his career to the next level, going from his day job in furniture sales to award-winning interior designer thanks to TAFE NSW. 


He enrolled in the Diploma of Interior Design at TAFE NSW and has recently been named the NSW Graduate of the Year for interior decoration in the Design Institute of Australia’s (DIA) Graduate of the Year Awards (GOTYA). Ike competed alongside 173 top graduates from TAFE NSW, university and private training providers in NSW and took out the top award for his category.  


He’s taken the step towards a career in demand. According to the Australian Government’s Job Outlook, employment in interior design grew very strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to grow another 16.3% by 2025. 


“I was always very interested in interior design, but not having accreditation under my belt I wasn’t sure how to break through and land myself a job as a designer,” Ike said.  


“I’m so glad I made the decision to take the plunge and study interior design. TAFE NSW has a great name in the industry and was practice orientated, which was important to me.” 


Ike now works for residential interior design firm Lawless & Meyerson and is also doing his first commercial interior design project in his spare time.   


Head Teacher of Interior Design at TAFE NSW Design Centre Enmore Tanya Dobble said the Diploma develops practical design skills combined with theory to give students a sound understanding of design best practice both in Australia and internationally. 


“TAFE NSW Design Centre Enmore is a purpose-built design studio where students are able to immerse themselves in design,” Tanya said. 


“Students get the chance to refine their hands-on design skills, build business skills, and become a creative force in an industry where designers are in high demand.” 


Ike says TAFE NSW was pivotal in allowing him to get into the job he wanted and is encouraging others to give TAFE a try. 


“I would definitely take the step. TAFE NSW has really allowed me to study the way I would like to; starting part time, changing to full time. It has fantastic teachers that are still working in the design industry and that are a great source of knowledge.”   


To find out more about the range of study options available at TAFE NSW including the Diploma of Interior Design, visit www.tafensw.edu.au or call 131 601.