FUTURE FOCUS: Steven Beaufils credits TAFE NSW with giving him the skills to rehabilitate his rural property outside of Goulburn.
A former lawyer and property developer has credited TAFE Digital with helping him forge an unlikely new path in life – as an environmentalist.
Stephen Beaufils, 66, had a long and successful career as a lawyer and property developer before recently purchasing a 2500-acre riverfront property at Peelwood, north of Crookwell.
Determined to rehabilitate the property and improve it as a wildlife corridor, Mr Beaufils sought the help of TAFE Digital to arm him with the practical skills and knowledge to realise his land conservation vision.
After completing the Certificate II in Conservation and Ecosystem Management through TAFE Digital in 2022, Mr Beaufils was so energised by the content and flexibility of the course, he immediately enrolled in a Diploma of Conservation and Ecosystem Management.
He said the benefits of the courses could be seen in the burgeoning health of his picturesque property.
“My vision was to improve the health of my property but you don’t get that by using the wrong inputs,” he said.
“The courses have been hugely beneficial and have helped me join the dots on everything from the right way to mix chemicals to control noxious weeds, to risk management, legal obligations and the importance of record keeping.
“The teachers have also been incredibly supportive and knowledgeable on bush regeneration principles.”
Mr Beaufils, who was diagnosed with Asperger’s in his early 60s, said the TAFE NSW disability support staff had been an “invaluable support”.
TAFE Digital Conservation and Ecosystem Management teacher Abraham Mijaresurrutia, who has almost 40 years’ experience in the conservation field, said Mr Beaufils was part of a growing band of learners using the courses to secure work in the conservation field or work on their own environmental projects.
He said conservation was a growing industry, with a range of potential job outcomes for TAFE NSW graduates, including ranger, bush regenerator, forestry workers, biodiversity officer, catchment officer and Landcare coordinator.
“It really is an exciting time to enter the industry, especially with the growing awareness around global warming and climate change,” Mr Mijaresurrutia said.
Both the Certificate II, III and Diploma of Conservation and Ecosystem Management are being offered fee-free at TAFE NSW, subject to conditions.
Media contact: Daniel Johns, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist, (02) 6938 1441, mobile 0477 722 428