Graduate Profile : Sam Thorp

Sam Thorp

Where are you currently working?  Currently, I am taking a short break from my transient guiding lifestyle but have recently completed my employment with the company Epicurious, operating on the Larapinta Trail outside of Alice Springs in Central Australia.

What do you love most about your job?  It is very difficult to pin point any one aspect of guiding that I have particularly loved, but something that really stands out for me is the connection you build between yourself, your colleagues, the guests of course, and also the incredible surroundings you are privileged to call your office.  The understanding and knowledge of the natural world around us that we gain and share with so many through this job brings an indescribable sense of joy.  As guides we become a conduit, possessed by nature as it speaks through us, bridging the gap between so many busy, city living, office working, conference attending, suit wearing business people and the real, clean aired, tree filled, green earth in which we have evolved to live within.

What training did you undertake with TasTAFE?  I undertook the Certificate III and IV in Adventure Guiding and the Certificate III in Outdoor Recreation, completing my training at the end of 2012.

What did you value about your training at TasTAFE?  I valued, and continue to value so many amazing friendships I have gained through my guiding training at TasTAFE.  I couldn’t go without mentioning the incredibly knowledgeable and supportive Coordinators involved in this course, that invest so much of their time and themselves into teaching the students, preparing them entirely for the guiding industry, and creating the most enjoyable schooling atmosphere imaginable.

How has your training helped you with your Guiding career?  I had never imagined how prepared and qualified for the job I had become through the course, until running my first hike with The Maria Island Walk.  I felt as if I had done it all before, constantly reminiscing on different aspects of my training that really did cover all bases, from interpretive knowledge regarding flora, fauna, Aboriginal history, logistics and group management, strapping blister covered toes and fishing sunglasses out of self-composting toilets.

What is your most memorable moment you have experienced on a trip?  To highlight one particular memorable moment from a trip is almost impossible, but something I have always enjoyed is our last day on Maria Island, convincing the group of generally (but not always) very sensible and respectable guests, to jump off the jetty, as Ben the boat man snaps a few group photos.  Even though it can take days of convincing, I have never seen a guest regret the decision to make that plunge, soaring through the air like a well fed Gannet in hot pursuit with an Eagle, coming into crash-land in the cool Tasmanian ocean.

If you could invite anyone on a trip, who would it be?  Something I most enjoy about running multi-day trips is not knowing who may be attending, and the diverse mix of contrasting personalities that would never cross paths in any other circumstance.  Coming together and creating bonds that could only occur over many days in the wilderness, with the subtle encouragement of their most responsible and trustworthy guides.  But if I was to choose, it would probably be Mannalargenna, a historical Tasmanian Aboriginal man, as I am so intrigued by these people and their forgotten culture.

If you could give one piece of advice for someone contemplating a career in the outdoors, what would it be?  Don’t hesitate, just do it.  I was led to guiding in a time of directional confusion and sought it out as a change of lifestyle, and over the years I have uncovered so many underlying passions and interests through this job, through the knowledge I have gained and through the people I have met and worked with.  It teaches you so many skills, from social, to cooking, to shovelling humanure.  It is the most fulfilling job, fit to such a diverse range of nature loving people, people of all different personality types and ages.  I definitely recommend being initiated through TasTAFE as it gives you the confidence to get the most out of this amazing lifestyle, and it gives you the connections within the industry.  If you commit to the course, and try your hardest, the opportunities are never-ending.  It’s never too late, and it’s never too soon…

Sam Thorp

RTO Code: 60142

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