Blogs (Career Inspiration Articles)

Laos to Riverina

Phaeng is from Laos, but these days he’s in the Riverina, learning about progressive and sustainable horticulture at the TAFE NSW National Environment Centre.

Laos to Riverina

Phaeng, on the right, learning on the farm

Phaeng Xaphokhame is honing his skills with a Diploma of Permaculture and getting his green thumbs dirty at TAFE NSW NEC's Greengate Organic Farm.  It's a long way from his home, but the Destination Australian Scholarship, as well as a part time job at a restaurant, meant that Phaeng could pursue his goals. He answers questions about the Destination Australia Scholarship, his studies, and his life in Thurgoona, NSW.

What sort of things do you do each day?

As a part of my course I am involved in developing a farm design for a couple whose farm was destroyed by recent bushfires. This can help me to build relationships between Lao and Australian grassroots farming communities.


What has surprised you and interested you about being in regional NSW?

It’s proving a great opportunity to explore Australian cultures, modern technology and wildlife in the ‘golden soil country.' This is just to mention the three categories that interest me the most.


Tell us about the course

The curriculum is fantastic. That means that after exploring theory, students can directly apply practices because the (TAFE NSW) institute is located in the (Greengate Organic) farm.

The course runs three days a week, which includes crucial guidelines, then students have sufficient time to explore further related information by themselves and do reflection.

TAFE NSW teachers are friendly, supportive and informative.


What support have you received?

TAFE NSW is a very supportive organisation. For international students, we are supported by teachers since the first day of arriving. Teachers provide extra explanations and try to help us breakdown every learning barrier.


Would you encourage others to enrol at TAFE NSW via a Destination Australia Scholarship?

Yes! I encourage others to enrol at TAFE NSW through DAS because TAFE NSW is very supportive organisation and the courses are connected to global networks. Thank you for supporting my education.

BE on the land

Destination Australia Scholarships are funded by the Commonwealth Government. Each Scholarship provides $15,000 per student per year to meet the costs associated with relocating, living and studying in regional Australia. Scholarships are open to domestic and international students.