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A TAFE NSW qualification has opened the door for former Dubbo local Josh Edwards to score his dream job maintaining the revered turf of Stadium Australia.
Stadium Australia – home to the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs – hosts some of the state’s biggest sporting events and concerts, seating up to 83,500 spectators, which is quite a crowd for Josh to impress with his greenkeeping skills.
“Working at Stadium Australia is a huge honour. Every day the grounds have to be absolutely world-class,” Josh said.
“I’ve always had a soft spot for Stadium Australia because it was the main stadium for the Sydney 2000 Olympics, so it is the highest level. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
The 35-year-old completed a Certificate III in Sports Turf Management at TAFE NSW and undertook an apprenticeship through employment services provider Skillset with Dubbo Regional Council, before travelling to Sydney to gain experience working in elite sporting complexes.
He took annual leave from his job to volunteer with the University of Sydney, helping to tend their first-grade cricket pitches. He later volunteered with the Royal Agricultural Society, who were so impressed with his initiative that they employed him on a full-time basis to maintain the Sydney Showground Stadium.
“Most places these days won’t hire you without a trade certificate, so TAFE NSW was an essential stepping-stone to learn the skills I needed and get those qualifications,” Josh said.
“I loved going to TAFE NSW and learning new things, and I still find those skills helpful today.”
Josh was head-hunted for his current role by Stadium Australia’s Graeme Logan, who knew he’d give his all for the job he loved. Josh also now works for its sister ground, the Commbank Stadium in Parramatta.
“Josh had the practical skills and industry knowledge we were looking for thanks to his TAFE NSW qualifications and his work experience,” Mr Logan said.
“At this top level, we then refine and polish those skills, because venues like this are in a whole league of their own. If you have passion and love the job, that’s 90% of the battle, and Josh has that in spades.”
Josh said anyone with a career goal should remember that everything starts with a first step in the right direction.
“If you have a dream that you want to succeed in, you have to be tenacious and chase it down, do the work, and stay passionate. TAFE NSW is a vehicle to do just that,” he said.
Explore hundreds of courses and pursue your passion with life-changing training at TAFE NSW. For more information visit www.tafensw.edu.au or phone 131 601.
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