The Meeting Place

Raymond proves you're never too old


Raymond Atkins never thought he would find himself studying art at TAFE NSW at the age of 72.

Raymond, from Greystanes in western Sydney, was resuscitated three times after a serious car accident when he was 22 and was in a coma for 21 days. That led him to adopt the motto that you’re never too old – or young – to do what you love.

“Looking back, I can’t believe I came out of that accident alive. It was a time where you didn’t wear seatbelts, you sat on them,” he said.

“The accident taught me a lot about how short life is, which is why all these years later I’ve decided to broaden my skill set at TAFE NSW and learn something new.”

Raymond has completed an advanced diploma of arts at TAFE NSW Nepean and is doing a bachelor of arts at Federation University, in partnership with TAFE NSW.

He gets inspiration from local sites around Parramatta, including St John’s Cathedral and the Parramatta River pedestrian bridge, which he uses to create printed etchings and watercolour paintings.

Half of Raymond’s garage has been converted into an art studio and he hopes his paintings can brighten up people’s homes.

“I’ve always enjoyed art as a hobby, but my TAFE NSW teachers have helped me develop the skills to be able to pursue my hobby as a career,” he said.

If you have a similar story to tell, email and put ‘My story’ in the subject line.


Good on you Raymond. I reckon that picture could be worth a few bob!

Looks a bit like Pro Hart too!

That is fantastic artwork. I used to do Craft (Quilling) many years ago and have now decided to go back to it. I never thought I had artistic talents until I went to classes. At the first showing at an Arts and Crafts exhibition I won a Highly Commended prize which encouraged me to keep going. After that I entered many Shows and won prizes. Looking very forward to next year when classes begin again. Not only do you do something that you like but you get to meet lovely people with similar interests. 




I have only admiration for Raymond. I feel it is never too late to chase your dreams. Many moons ago, I joined a small writing circle in Cambridge UK, mainly to get some respite from academic writing. The circle widened and my writing snowballed..the rest is history as they say.

One genre of writing I have always wanted to pursue is biological fiction, which requires a lot of research. Hopefully, I shall be able to make that my goal in my later years!

Oops typo!! 

Should be "biographical fiction" not "biological."

Knowing you, I am sure you will do it Sophie. As for me, I am married to a very proficient surfer and don't know how to surf. So I am hoping to do just that and follow in the steps of Gwyn Haslock, 73 year old British surfer. Hope my legs stay in good shape!

Image result for oldest female surfer Gwyn Haslock

Good luck with both your ventures ladies. Me, all I want is a small vineyard back in Lucca, Italy!

Well Raymondo, that's one dream I hope comes true and I hope you don't forget your friends who are wine connoisseurs !

Never too old to be a wine connoisseur.