NEW HORIZONS: San Remo mum of six Laurie Salt is pursuing her passion for conservation, thanks to TAFE NSW.
TAFE Digital is arming a Central Coast mum-of-six with the skills and experience to pursue her passion and join the booming conservation industry.
Laurie Salt, 39, has children ranging in age from two to 21 and has faced a barrage of operations for both cervical and colon cancer in recent years.
But she hasn’t let her challenges distract from her dream of working in conservation, this month completing her Certificate III in Conservation and Ecosystem Management at TAFE Digital.
She said with her two youngest children entering daycare from next year, she will finally be able to start her conservation career – aged 39.
“I’ve been raising the kids all these years and this is finally my time for a career,” Ms Salt said. “I’ve always loved wildlife, plants and the outdoors, and I’m passionate about conservation and bush regeneration.”
She said studying with TAFE Digital allowed her to balance her course work with her busy lifestyle, completing assignments where and when it best suited her.
“I didn’t think I’d be able to do it but because of the way the course was structured and how supportive my teacher was, it just suited me,” Ms Salt said. “My teacher would respond almost immediately to any queries I had and explain things in a way I could understand.
“The work experience component was amazing too. I was able to go to a local property and spray weeds, replant plants, erect wooden nesting boxes and learn about soil science.”
It’s been a difficult road for the San Remo mum, who underwent two operations after discovering she had cervical cancer last Christmas, and facing more surgery in the coming months after doctors found cancerous polyps in her colon. Undeterred, she now plans to enrol in the Diploma of Conservation and Ecosystem Management in 2024 while working in the field.
TAFE Digital Conservation and Ecosystem Management teacher Abraham Mijares Urrutia, who has almost 40 years’ experience in the conservation field, said Ms Salt 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 Mijares Urrutia 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: Dan Johns, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist, mobile 0477 722 428