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TAFE NSW helps young animal lover turn ambition into reality


TAFE NSW helps young animal lover turn ambition into reality

TAFE NSW veterinary nursing graduate Alesha Horton with greyhound Molly at the Forbes Veterinary Clinic. 


When Alesha Horton’s dog Tally died from eating rat bait when she was just six years old, she decided right then to spend the rest of her life saving animals.

“I hated being helpless while she suffered,” Alesha said. “I decided very young what I wanted to do.”

Thanks to her drive and ambition, and supported by TAFE NSW, the 20-year-old is already doing what she loves and working as a veterinary nurse at Forbes Veterinary Clinic.

Alesha was so clear about her career path that she began a school-based traineeship in Year 11, completing a Certificate II in Animal Studies with TAFE NSW Orange while studying her HSC.

“I never wanted to go to university, but I knew I wanted to work in a vet clinic. As soon as I heard you could go to TAFE NSW and be a vet nurse, I knew that’s exactly what I wanted to do,” she said.

“I had heard such good feedback about TAFE NSW and I was able to learn at my own pace while doing my HSC and working at the local supermarket. I set my life up exactly how I wanted it. It was perfect.”

Alesha went on to complete a Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing and was offered a job after undertaking work placement with the clinic.

“I love working in my community. I know most people that come through the door, and it’s beautiful to see how grateful they are. You definitely go home satisfied and feel like you’ve done a great job,” she said.

According to the Federal Government’s Job Outlook, strong growth is expected for veterinary nurses in the coming years, with employment numbers to increase to 13,600 jobs nationally by 2024. To support this expected growth, TAFE NSW offers nationally recognised qualifications so students can graduate job-ready with practical skills and work experience.

Forbes Veterinary Clinic Practice Manager Sue South said the clinic had an excellent working relationship with TAFE NSW, helping to train the workforce of the future.

“We simply can’t function without trained and passionate vet nurses. Many of those nurses, like Alesha, were employed after doing work placement,” Ms South explained.

Alesha said while she would like to work with exotic animals in the future, for now she is “happy where I am”.

“I reckon if you know what you want to do in life, just jump in and do it,” she said. “I would recommend TAFE NSW to anyone – the teachers are so helpful, you can learn at your own speed and they support you through anything. Whatever you are passionate about, they have courses in it!”

Pursue your passion in life and explore hundreds of nationally recognised qualifications at TAFE NSW. For more information visit or phone 131 601.


Media contact: Terra Sword, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist. E: M: 0437 697 723.