Ku-ring-gai resident Sandra Shergill has taken her volunteering to the next level and is being paid to do what she loves, thanks to a TAFE NSW course.
As her children got older, the mother of three looked to follow her interests by volunteering in bush care in her local area, and her interest blossomed as she learned more about the local native wildlife.
When Sandra heard about a TAFE NSW course in Conservation and Land Management, she jumped at the chance to learn more, not realising that it would soon lead her to a paid job in the field.
“I loved volunteering for the local bushcare group and learnt a great deal. When a fellow volunteer told me about a TAFE NSW course where I could learn more, I decided to give it a go,” Sandra said.
“The teachers were knowledgeable and experienced, and great at imparting knowledge. Typically, we’d have practical information in class and then go out to practice skills the same day in the field.”
“I’d just finished my Certificate III when I was approached about a possible paid position. I now work for Ku-ring-gai Council in bush regeneration and am happy to be getting paid to do the work I love.”
“My kids are also proud of me and it’s a great example to them that you can retrain to get a better job, no matter what your age,” Sandra said.
According to Head Teacher Applied Environmental Management, Agata Mitchell, workers such as Sandra can bring a huge benefit to local ecosystems through the work they do.
“The work that’s done in bush regeneration helps restore our native ecosystem, protecting both flora and fauna, and supporting biodiversity conservation,” Agata said.
“Bushland areas close to urban environments such as we have in Sydney, need specialised care, as they are easily degraded by invasion of plants that are not native to the area, through things like storm water runoff.”
“Our courses in conservation and land management are a great way to learn about the local environment and contribute, like Sandra, to the diversity and preservation of the local bush,” Agata said.
To find out more about conservation and land management courses at TAFE NSW, visit www.tafensw.edu.au or call 131 601.