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Hittin' the road - Episode 2: Moruya

Colin couldn't be prouder of Nick as a student and graduate of Moruya TAFE

I left Goulburn and headed towards the coast, for the charming seaside community of Moruya.

At the heart of the community in Moruya (other than TAFE, of course) are growers markets, which are extremely popular here. Some of the 1st year apprentice Building Trades students at Moruya TAFE are taking part in a harvest garden project. This involves constructing the wooden planters in which fresh community produce will be grown.

The Building & Construction program in Moruya has been an integral part of the community for decades. In fact, one apprentice in the class is the 3rd generation in his family to study this course at Moruya TAFE. Once the planters have been completed, Moruya TAFE Horticultural students will sow their seedlings to prepare the gardens to yield a Spring harvest. A great example of different faculties working together towards a common goal. The resulting produce is then sold at the community growers markets.

Maritime training is another important aspect of Moruya TAFE and of Illawarra Institute. The TAFE Illawarra Student of the Year for 2013 was Nicholas Cowley, who studied to become a charter boat skipper while he was still studying for his HSC. His working days are now largely spent on Narooma's sparkling blue waterways with Charter Fish Narooma. I'm jealous! (btw, the name "Narooma" is said to be derived from an Aboriginal word meaning "clear blue waters").

Nicholas took me for a brief ride in the charter boat he works on. Accompanied by his head teacher Colin, you could easily see that Nick is a well-trained skipper. Extremely proficient at what he does, plus a delightful lad. Something else I didn't know is that the skipper of a charter fishing vessel is also responsible for ensuring that no caught fish are undersized. When you have rough and tumble, experienced blokes on board who just want to keep their catch, I asked Nick if this was a problem for him, considering his age. But he seemed to take that all in his stride. Nick's biggest problem is people trusting an 18yr old skipper at the helm. But, as Nick said, "once they see that I know what I'm doing, they're fine".

Colin couldn't be prouder of Nick as a student and graduate of Moruya TAFE. Nick studied the Certificate III in Maritime Operations (Master up to 24 metres Near Coastal) and Certificate II in Maritime Operations (Marine Engine Driver Grade 3 Near Coastal) whilst still at school.

What better way to spend the final moments of a long day of road tripping... bobbing around on a boat whilst basking in the sun!

In Episode 3 of the Illawarra TAFE Road Trip, we'll be going to Nowra TAFE to hear all about their Celebrity Chef event.