Paul Cheshire shares his experience studying shoe-making at RMIT as a short course at the Brunswick Campus.
"From an early age, I have had a great interest in having something comfy on my feet." Paul Cheshire told Short Course Coordinator Francis Devlin.
Paul completed the Shoemaking Intensive: Derby short course in RMIT's Brunswick studio.
"I was born with two dislocated hips that were not picked up until I was two, when I could not walk or crawl. From aged two to four years, I was hospitalised for six weeks, then six weeks at home. This lasted two years and I had various hip operations and traction and in plaster. I went to school but found it a bit of a struggle, as it was a very big school and we had about 40 children in the class," he shared.
Before he enrolled Paul contacted the RMIT Short Courses team who put him in touch with the Equitable Learning Services to ensure he had the support he needed to attend classes and fullfil his dreams of making his own shoes.
"I became a NDIS participant last year, and I have a Support Coordinator who assisted my family in finding the Shoe Making Intensive Derby course at RMIT Brunswick.
As I have difficulty learning, my Support Coordinator Ryan along with my sister organised a carer to accompany me to RMIT every Saturday. We travelled from Cheltenham each week. It was a long day, but I felt so happy to be able to study my greatest passion.
I found the course quite challenging at times. I had some occupational therapy sessions before the course to help me build strength and co-ordination in my hands. There is a lot of stretching and stitching to do with shoe making and my carer helped me a lot", he said.
"I have always had great passion and a real interest in shoes. I have quite a collection of good quality shoes and have spent quite a lot of money on shoes over the years.
For a long time now, I have been interested in learning how to make shoes. It has taken a long time to find a suitable course for me to take.
In the future, I will succeed in completing the proper full time shoe making course and move on for a much greater future," Paul said.
Thank you to Paul and photographer Deborah Dorman.
Acknowledgement of country
RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nations on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.