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TAFE NSW Teacher Billinda Schipp with her champion alpaca
TAFE NSW teacher Billinda Schipp is bringing hands-on expertise from her own farm straight into the classroom, splitting her time between Sydney and Tasmania where she raises her prize-winning alpacas, rabbits and fowl.
With a career as a veterinary nurse that spans more than 28 years, Billinda is equipping TAFE NSW Ultimo animal care students with a range of practical, hands-on skills and experience that will prepare them for any situation.
It’s never been a better time to be in the animal care industry. Careers in animal care are abundant, with the number of Veterinarians expected to grow very strongly over the next 5 years. Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world, spending $12.2 billion on their furry friends each year.
Billinda said “I always wanted to own my own farm in Tasmania, where I could farm and raise all of the animals that I love. So I bought the property of my dreams and now fly down once a week from Sydney to touch base with my daughter and partner who manage the farm in my absence.
“We have loads of animals down on the farm – I like to say I’m collecting them! We breed alpacas for the fleece and have around 40 at the moment, and one of our alpacas won Supreme Champion at the Royal Hobart Show last month,” Billinda said.
Billinda works one night in Emergency nursing at a veterinary hospital, and spends the rest of the week teaching at TAFE NSW.
“It takes about one and a half hours each way so it’s not too difficult to manage, my friends say I’m crazy – but TAFE NSW offers such a unique learning and teaching experience the travel is 100% worth it. I couldn’t imagine working anywhere else.”
Billinda says her emergency veterinary skills and practical know-how on the farm have enhanced the knowledge she is able to pass on to her to her students, so they can thrive in a career in all aspects of animal care.
“I absolutely love teaching. The best thing about working at TAFE NSW is watching my students learn and grow and go on to have their own careers in the industry.”
TAFE NSW gives students real world skills for the job they want. To find out more about courses in animal care at TAFE NSW visit https://www.tafensw.edu.au/courses/animal-care-and-horse-industry-courses or phone 131 601.
Media contact: Alice Dalley, TAFE NSW Media and Communications Business Partner, mobile 0402 528 210.