Our Tour Guiding and Outdoor Recreation courses have now wrapped up for the year, and our team have been busy finalising our resulting and planning for another big year in 2016.
Over the next several months our plan is to celebrate the successes of our programs by profiling previous graduates that are now working in the industry. We have some wonderful stories to share.
Our first student profile is our recent Dave Gardner Student of the Year Award winner – Sue Beaumont:
- Where are you currently working? The Maria Island Walk and Freycinet Experience Walk
- What do you love most about your job? So many things!! The people, the outdoor office and the chance to inspire guests about the natural environment.
- When did you complete your training? I trained at TasTAFE in 2015. It was the best year of my life!
- What did you value about your training at TasTAFE? Learning how to do interpretation on the natural environment and Tasmania’s Aboriginal and European heritage. I also valued learning how to lead groups in a way that maximises safety and minimises risk.
- How has your training helped you with your Guiding career? The TasTAFE training has let me do a career change after having spent my working career in health. I’ve been able to step into guiding jobs feeling confident I can lead groups so that people have a great time. I’ve gained the skills to focus on flora, fauna, birds, heritage, or simply just peak bagging! It all depends on what guests are after! Whilst guests are having a great time, I’m also managing risks, monitoring group health, keeping things running on time, making sure the accommodation is spotless, and preparing gourmet foods. All behind the scenes of course!
- What is your most memorable moment you have experienced on a trip? There are too many memorable moments! Here’s a few..
- Sitting on the summit of Mt. Pelion East when walking the Overland Track and being able to see all the things we learnt in class. All the explanations of geology of the area and the history of the Trappers & Snarers and old timers and their routes to access the plateau were there in real life.
- Finding and exploring the doomsday bunker on the navigation trip to the Central Highlands.
- Camping in minus 6 degrees when the tent formed ice on the inside rather than being damp from condensation!
- Mountain biking down the Dam Busters trail at Blue Derby. The best roller coaster ride ever!
- Mt. Field when we discovered we weren’t as good at cooking rice for 10 people as we thought we were! We also discovered that singing songs to the group about why the rice wasn’t cooking, helped to pass the time!
- Sitting in the TasTAFE bus sheltering from a gale and hail storm at Recherche Bay. One of the staff (who’ll remain unnamed) decided we needed to practice our bird calls at 10.00pm. It could have been the sound of the gale force winds, or the fading torch lights, the fact that we were cold and damp, or just the time of night, but most of us didn’t pass the practice test!
- The TasTAFE bar on Friday afternoons! It may not be a trip off campus. Actually, it’s just a short trip down the stairs, but a great spot to unwind with other students and the staff on a Friday afternoon.
- If you could invite anyone on a trip, who would it be? Someone who likes to walk very slowly!! It needs to be someone who wants to look at all the plants and marvel over their beauty; listen to the birds and identify them; stop and swim at beaches when the sun comes out; and pour over books about Tasmania’s convict and aboriginal heritage. This person also needs to be prepared to eat lots of gourmet cheeses at lunch times; want to climb to the top of mountains where we can sit in silence and ponder the beauty of the world below; and be happy to slow down and have a snooze in the shade of a tree on a sunny afternoon. The world is too full of interesting things to walk fast!!
- If you could give one piece of advice for someone contemplating a career in the outdoors, what would it be? Just do it! Get to TasTAFE. Get yourself enrolled. Learn to be a competent, professional guide.
Don’t worry if you’re a bit older like I am. We all have life experiences and personal wisdom to add to the mix.