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An unbearable love of animals inspired Natacha's career move

TAFE NSW Wellington

An unbearable love of animals inspired Natacha's career move

With employment opportunities in the veterinary industry expected to grow strongly over the next five years, there is no better time for animal lovers to be considering a rewarding career caring for all creatures great and small.

According to Australian statistics, there will be more than 7,000 new job opportunities for Veterinarians in NSW over the next five years. TAFE NSW research also reveals that out of the animal attendant and trainers sector, the Veterinary Nurse occupation will receive the largest employment growth until 2022, with almost 100 additional workers needed for this role in NSW.

Wellington resident and self-proclaimed animal lover, Natacha Richards is now working in her dream career as a Veterinary Nurse, thanks to her studies at TAFE NSW.

“People would always say that I should work with animals and when I was at school there was no clear direction to any animal profession. It wasn’t until later in my working life that I looked at becoming a zoo keeper,” Ms Richards said.

“I decided to study a number of courses at TAFE NSW including a Certificate II in Animal Studies and a Certificate III in Captive Animals whilst volunteering at zoos and I felt that a Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing would be the next step in my career development.”

Ms Richards studied the Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing at TAFE NSW Orange by blended delivery, which included online learning and traveling to Orange for a hands-on face-to-face class once per month.

“I felt really supported being able to study at my own pace and complete work placement at a local clinic as part of the course. I am now working as a Veterinary Nurse at the clinic where I undertook my work placement.

“I have learnt so many skills at TAFE NSW and the course gave me the confidence to approach each situation in the clinic on my work placement.

“I love being able to assist Vets to find the cause of their patients presenting symptoms and to see the animals leave the clinic happy and healthy or at least well looked after.

“Once I have worked for at least another year at the clinic, I plan on traveling to Thailand, Vietnam or Cambodia to work with animals and local Vets,” Ms Richards said.

TAFE NSW Animal Studies Teacher, Michelle Bond, said Natacha was a passionate animal lover who was dedicated to the industry and her work placements.

“Natacha is the perfect example of students coming to TAFE NSW to get the hands-on skills and experience to be in a job they love.”

TAFE NSW has a range of animal studies courses available for Semester 1 enrolment. Visit or phone 131 601 for more information.

Media contact: Emma Curtis, TAFE NSW Media Officer, (02) 6338 2509, mobile 0427 901 515.