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High flyer lands a new TAFE NSW qualification

A floristry qualification has enabled a Southern Highlands woman to skilfully land her 25-year career as a Qantas flight attendant and launch her own boutique business.

Selina Dickson is a vibrant lady brimming with life and a love of people, perfect for ensuring passengers have a trouble-free flight.

While domestic and international border closures grounded many travel-based careers, Selina decided it was the right time to make a change. She had already embarked on her studies in 2019 by following her desire to learn floristry while still flying.

"I reached a point where I thought, I'm highly qualified in aviation but I don't have another qualification and there aren't many places I can use my aviation skills without an aircraft," she said.

As a child, Selina was enthralled by her grandmother's cottage garden, those cherished memories guided her to explore a career working with flowers. "While browsing for ideas on the TAFE NSW website I saw Certificate III Floristry and as soon as I saw it, I enrolled. I didn't give it a second thought,” she said.

“From day one of my course I was impressed with the industry-standard facilities and the teachers who are incredibly talented, with highly sought-after industry connections.

“In the beginning I lacked confidence in my skills, but our teachers were reassuring and in a short time I think the whole class could see how far we had come – how many new skills we had learned.

"I had many moments where I was pinching myself thinking, I'm actually doing this.”

After graduating from the Certificate III in June 2020 Selina enrolled in Certificate IV with the goal of gaining employment in the floristry industry. While studying, she worked with florists in the Southern Highlands to put her new-found practical skills to use.

Flowers on Argyle owner Cindy Stone said Selina was an asset to the shop. “My advice to anyone considering a career in floristry, you need to be passionate about flowers.”

Selina said she was proud to have a Certificate IV in the floristry trade. “I can go anywhere in the world and know I have the skills to do this job. I'm industry qualified. If you have a trade, you have a skill for life that is transportable.

Selina has since rekindled her love of caring for travellers, this time aboard the iconic Indian Pacific. When she's not travelling, she puts her creative skills in floristry to work in her studio-based business aptly named Skylark Floral.

Internationally accredited floristry competition judge and TAFE NSW Floristry Head Teacher David Berger has a passion for sharing the skills of his craft and his broad industry connections.

"Selina is one of our many success stories. Our high-quality practical training delivered by industry qualified teachers, is the perfect combination to equip our students with the latest techniques and ensure they graduate with the skills and confidence to meet the growing need of employers."

To find out more about studying fitness at TAFE NSW, visit, or call 131 601.

Media contact: Adam Wright, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist, (02) 4421 9895, mobile 0466 375 552.