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Four TAFE NSW graduates in dream job

TAFE NSW Kingscliff

Four TAFE NSW graduates are now lucky enough to spend their days working alongside koalas, meerkats, seals and bears after all securing their “dream job” at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.

As part of a training program offered by TAFE NSW, students have the opportunity to put their skills into practice at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, gaining practical skills and real world experience. TAFE NSW Kingscliff students studying a Certificate III in Captive Animals complete a weekly practical lesson at the sanctuary as part of their 12 month course.

According to research by Seek, demand for Zoo Keepers will increase by 12.7% over the next five years within New South Wales and Queensland. The job satisfaction rate has been recorded by real Zoo Keepers as 100%.

Upon graduation, Paige Garton, Melissa Kooy, Melanie Halcoop and Megan Allen were all offered employment with the iconic Queensland sanctuary.

Paige Garton has been lucky enough to secure a position working as an Animal Trainer and Show Presenter and said she loves it.

“I am 100% working in my dream job. It’s the role I fantasised about when I was a kid. I work with parrots, raptors, possums, rats, snakes and lizards. I do three to four animal shows on any given day.

“My experience with TAFE NSW was amazing, from day one when we met our teachers who had a wealth of industry experience, we knew we were very lucky. I was able to get hands-on experience through TAFE NSW which is vital when working towards a career with animals.

“When I found out that Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary had offered me the job I was in complete disbelief. I’ve had the amazing experience of being able to train and learn through TAFE NSW at Currumbin with the animals and now I have been offered a job because of that training.”

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, General Manager of Human Resources and Volunteer Programs, Jane Jamieson said the sanctuary had offered employment to many TAFE NSW graduates over previous years and will continue to do so.

“There is a high standard of skill from TAFE NSW graduates, and these graduates typically score very well in our job interviews. Securing a role as a Keeper at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is very competitive and it’s a testament to the commitment from Paige, Megan, Melissa and Melanie and the calibre of their training with TAFE NSW that they have been successful in obtaining these roles and are performing so strongly.”

TAFE NSW Graduate Megan Allen secured a role as Wildlife Education Officer at the sanctuary and said she loves that her day consists of hanging out with animals and great people.

“The program that TAFE NSW has with Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary allowed me to explore a range of jobs in the animal care industry. That’s how I discovered that I really enjoy sharing my love of animals with other people.”

To find out more about studying animal studies or veterinary courses at TAFE NSW phone 13 16 01 or visit or call 131 601.



Media contact: Sarah Lievore, TAFE NSW Media Officer,