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TAFE NSW students take on the great outdoors


TAFE NSW outdoor recreation students will venture into Watagans National Park for two days and nights next week when they undertake a search and rescue assessment event, which will equip them with skills to take on the great outdoors upon graduation.

Thirty-six Certificate III and Certificate IV in outdoor recreation students will be assessed on their ability to conduct searches, asses and treat injuries and deal with emergency scenarios.

TAFE NSW outdoor recreation coordinator, Peter Ljubic, said the searches are made to be as realistic as possible with makeup used for injuries and participants staying in character throughout the scenarios.

“Searches last anywhere between 3-6  to six hours. The students need to first figure out why a student or group member has disappeared then organise and execute the appropriate search. For example, a student who is upset because they have been bullied and someone failing to return from a day’s bushwalk will require a different form of search over a vastly different area. 

“Some of the scenarios we run through include bushwalker failing to return from the hike, a student with minor burns to feet from boiling water, a fallen climber with suspected spinal and a student disappearing from camp after being bullied by peers”.

“It’s necessary for TAFE NSW students to be prepared for any situation and job-ready upon graduation for the complexities that exist when working with school aged students and large groups in a dynamic environment,” said Mr Ljubic.

Job outcomes for students studying outdoor recreation include canoe guides, bushwalking guides, outdoor instructors and program leaders.

TAFE NSW student Imogen Lewins said she loves getting outside and is looking forward to the two day event.

“I’m excited to get outside and see what situations we face, you can’t learn everything in a classroom and it is important to go and experience life-like emergencies with no warning of what a scenario might be.

“The possibilities are endless with this course. My dream job is to be an expedition leader, but with that comes risk and it’s important to be prepared and to practice as many situations as possible.”

For more detail on TAFE NSW courses, face-to-face or online, visit or call 131 601.


Media contact: Sarah Lievore, TAFE NSW Media Officer,