Certificate IV in Guiding

River Crossings

The Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation students recently facilitated an exciting River Crossings day for the Certificate IV Adventure Guiding students.  Recent heavy snow falls and the following snow-melt provided us with exciting river levels and very cold water at Plenty on the Derwent River.  We spent the day teaching the Adventure Guides all about river features and how to choose where to safely cross a river in a bushwalking context, as well as practical river crossing techniques – all valuable skills they are likely to need to use at some stage in their career as remote bushwalking guides in Tasmania and beyond!

The Outdoor Recreation students made the most of the opportunity to practice their practical teaching skills, as well as their swift water safety and rescue skills they learnt in a short course they attended a few weeks earlier.  We loved seeing the excitement on the faces of the Adventure Guides, many of whom were entering into the white-water environment for the first time!

For the Adventure Guides, many fears were overcome in the challenging swimming scenarios (swimming with a pack on and swimming over an artificial log) especially by the less confident swimmers who eventually succeeded in all the challenges set for them and they ended their day on a real high!  Some of the Adventure Guides were so inspired by the experience that they wanted to come back next year and do the whole Outdoor Recreation course!

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Sea Kayaking

Over the past month our Certificate IV Adventure Guiding students have been focusing on their Sea Kayaking skills and spending time on the water.  The students spent time learning the basic skills of sea kayaking from the experienced Guides from Roaring 40’s Kayaking.  The lessons included learning skills such as forward and back paddle and quickly moving to more technical skills such as the draw stroke and self rescues.  The students also learnt the importance of how to guide and manage groups on the water in a range of conditions.

The students were able to experience some beautiful surrounding areas of Hobart including the Iron Pot Lighthouse and Cape Hauy on the Tasman Peninsula.  They also spent a wet and windy week on the water in the mouth of the Huon River.  It was their first overnight expedition paddling from Franklin to Dover over a four-day period.  Highlights of the week included watching sea eagles land in lofty nests, seals pose on sunny rocks, and chasing rainbows through sun showers.  It was also great to learn about marine mammals from Emma’s interpretation.

Graduate Profile : Hannah Ling

Where are you currently working?  The Sea Kayak Company in the Abel Tasman National Park, and Awarua Guides in Fiordland, New ZealandBut actually right now, I’m sea kayaking the west coast of Scotland with my partner and a great friend!!  Both of whom have done the TasTAFE Adventure Courses too!

What do you love most about your job?  Helping people reconnect with and appreciate the natural world around us, and seeing or at least knowing the positive flow on effects they experience from such interactions.  Also, I just love fresh air – I can’t spend too long in four-walled surroundings!

What training did you undertake with TasTAFE?  Certificate III  & Certificate IV in Adventure Guiding  in 2010 and Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation in 2012.

What did you value about your training at TasTAFE?  Having the privilege to be taught and trained by the most experienced and passionate people in their fields!  Not to mention the fellow classmate legends, where amazing lifetime friendships were formed.

How has your training helped you with your Guiding career?  It really gave me a solid knowledge and experience base to build on and opened numerous doors of possibilities both locally and overseas!  Although, from my experiences and observations elsewhere, there really is no place like home!  For an enjoyable, safe and respectful workplace, where the company takes pride in caring for our greatest asset – the natural environment … Tasmanian guiding is where it’s at!

What is your most memorable moment you have experienced on a trip?  Too many to name!  But sharing the love of water with people and seeing them embrace our refreshing Tasmanian coastlines, rivers and lakes for the first time is always a favourite!  The joy that is brought to them and also to myself, is very satisfying.

If you could invite anyone on a trip, who would it be?  Anyone needing a breath of fresh air, to re-energise, redirect and/or excite them about life and the possibilities out there!

If you could give one piece of advice for someone contemplating a career in the outdoors, what would it be?  Say YES! Start living the dream!

 RTO Code: 60142

Graduate Profile : Steve Wilks

Where are you currently working?  I have just finished a season with Senna and Stan Ellerm at Tasmanian Hikes.  Most of my work was guiding on their three night camping tour of Maria Island.

What do you love most about your job?  I love talking to the guests about their travel experiences and future travel plans.  A lot of our guests are well-travelled and it is the out-of-the-way and off the beaten track experiences I love to hear about.  Also I love helping the guests see and experience the Tasmanian environment and ecology.  No matter how many times you walk along the same track – we always see something different and something unexpected.

What training did you undertake with TasTAFE?  I completed the Certificate III & IV in Guiding and Certificate III in Outdoor Recreation during a very busy 2015.

What did you value about your training at TasTAFE?  The hands on experience and the opportunity to push myself outside my comfort zone.  Also the close involvement with the experienced and passionate teachers.  I also enjoyed the diverse group of fellow students from so many varied backgrounds and life experiences.

How has your training helped you with your Guiding career?  In so many ways – hard skills like using MSR stoves, catering, learning to find that quirky, intriguing set of facts about the plant or bird or rock that people encounter.  Then there was all the focus on the soft skills – people management in a nutshell.

What is your most memorable moment you have experienced on a trip?  I worked on an Overland Trip last January with a group of seven guests including a lady from Cardiff in Wales.  She was absolutely astounded and thrilled to see Wombats, Echidnas and Pademelons in the wild.  It was really rewarding to see her enjoy her trip so much.

If you could invite anyone on a trip, who would it be?  I think it would be someone who has spent their entire life in a large city.  Someone who has never seen a rainbow, a Scarlet Robin perching in the sunshine or an Echidna foraging for insects. Someone who has never seen a crystal clear wave breaking on a deserted beach, someone who has never seen a hundred Scoparia in full flower, or someone who has never seen thousands of stars on a dark cool night.

If you could give one piece of advice for someone contemplating a career in the outdoors, what would it be?  Send an email to the great staff at TasTAFE and organise to have a chat to one of them.  You will know in your heart whether you want to be a Guide or an Outdoor Instructor, so don’t die wondering.  Give it a go.  You will find your niche in the outdoors and when you do you will “never go to work again” – you will just do what you love and help others experience it too.

 RTO Code: 60142

Graduate Profile : Sara Freeland

Where are you currently working?  The Maria Island Walk and The Freycinet Experience Walk.

What do you love most about your job?  Connecting people to the land!  It’s the history of a place, the links between flora and fauna, the subtle changes in vegetation; all these little elements add up to make a place really special and the best thing about being a Guide is sharing this knowledge with people and connecting them to the place they are in.

What training did you undertake with TasTAFE?  Certificate III  and Certificate IV in Adventure Guiding  in 2016.

What did you value about your training at TasTAFE?  The knowledge!  My training really was one of the best years of my life and it completely opened up my eyes to the world around me.  From the training I have developed a real passion for the environment and I know my life will now take a completely new course because of my year at TasTAFE.

How has your training helped you with your Guiding career?  Again, the knowledge.  As I said before, understanding a place really brings it to life and I couldn’t do that without the amazing learning I received at TasTAFE.

What is your most memorable moment you have experienced on a trip?  Getting guests to the summit of Bishop and Clarke. It’s a stereotypical moment, but people underestimate their abilities and it’s always amazing coaching people to the top.  It’s a really rewarding part of the job, to see people’s faces on the summit and the pride they have for themselves.

If you could invite anyone on a trip, who would it be?  A Tasmanian Aboriginal Elder from before the arrival of the British.  It would be an incredible insight into the traditional customs of the Tasmanian Aboriginals.  How amazing would it be to learn from an elder the stories of the people and to develop a better understanding of the intricate connection they had to the land.

If you could give one piece of advice for someone contemplating a career in the outdoors, what would it be?  Stay passionate!  The guiding course can give anyone an amazing foundation of knowledge, but those that keep learning and continue to question what’s around them are the best guides.

 RTO Code: 60142

Graduate Profile : Karl Villanueva

Where are you currently working?  I am currently working at Freycinet Experience Walk and Tarkine Trails but in April, I start with World Expeditions on the Larapinta Trail in the Northern Territory.

What do you love most about your job?  There are so many things, I honestly can’t choose one.  Firstly, there are the people I get to meet.  Every single person has got an interesting story to tell and they are just waiting for someone to listen.

Next are the people I work with – they become your best friends and family and you miss them when you finish a trip and you look forward to the next one with them.

Finally, but not least, are the ever-changing destinations.  I have been asked a few times ‘Doesn’t it get boring?’ but my response remains the same.  I love the detail – I love the smallest things that make it so changeable and so beautiful – the little things that without a guide, you would miss.  I have had the chance to see every flowering plant from late Autumn through Summer to Autumn again, but most of my guests will only see one part of that process – but I’ve experienced the whole cycle.

What training did you undertake with TasTAFE?  I studied the Certificate III in Guiding and the Certificate IV in Adventure Guiding and also the Certificate III in Outdoor Recreation in 2016.

What did you value about your training at TasTAFE?  Where to start!  The trainers for one!  They were amazing –  they have had first-hand experience and pass on first-hand knowledge of the industry which is invaluable.  Also the opportunity to network and meet people and future employers in the industry.  They really give you the chance to jump into your career with both feet!

How has your training helped you with your Guiding career?  In so many ways!  I came from a background that couldn’t tell the difference between an introduced weed and an endemic plant, or even what endemic was, but now I know them both!  The biggest thing was just how much I had to learn and just how much appreciation and love I could have, for what I was doing.  It’s so awesome to imagine where I could be in five or ten years.

What is your most memorable moment you have experienced on a trip?  I have had a few but on two occasions, guests have told me that I made the right decision to change careers and to keep it up and never doubt my decision – that was really humbling to hear.

If you could invite anyone on a trip, who would it be?  David Attenborough without question.  It sounds clichéd, but he is my hero.  That being said, I’ve recently been reading a book by the Dalai Lama and he would be an extremely close second!

If you could give one piece of advice for someone contemplating a career in the outdoors, what would it be?  Stop thinking about it and do it!  You will never regret it, but you will always envy the person you know that actually did!

 RTO Code: 60142

Graduate Profile : Mackenzie Reekie

Where are you currently working?  I am currently working for the Tasmanian Walking Co. guiding on the Overland Track (Cradle Mountain, Lake St Clair Wilderness World Heritage area) and at the Bay of Fires (Mt King William National Park).

What do you love most about your job?  So many aspects of the job I absolutely adore!  Being in environments that are aesthetically beautiful, ecologically diverse and quiet.  It’s great introducing guests to these areas and seeing their passion and confidence grow!

What training did you undertake with TasTAFE?  I undertook Certificate III in Guiding in 2016. When I passed this, I went on to the Certificate IV in Adventure Guiding and Certificate III in Outdoor Recreation.

What did you value about your training at TasTAFE?  The knowledge and experience that the teachers have to offer is a significant highlight.  Having all been Guides before (back in the good ol’ days!) they were able to not only teach us interpretation and area specific information but ‘secret guide’ tricks that accumulate over a Guiding career.  Furthermore it’s a great avenue to develop yourself and make friends!

How has your training helped you with your Guiding career?  It has helped in many ways but predominantly interpretation, group management and hospitality.  The first few trips I wasn’t overly confident but I had the knowledge.  Now my confidence has developed and things are going well.

What is your most memorable moment you have experienced on a trip?  I have been fortunate and had many great, memorable trips!  Sitting on top of Hartnett Falls on a 26°C day (warm for the Overland Track) swimming with guests and my Co-Guide.  I remember feeling super happy and thinking “It doesn’t get any better!”

If you could invite anyone on a trip, who would it be?  David Tennant – he would be lots of fun and it would be great playing charades with him!

If you could give one piece of advice for someone contemplating a career in the outdoors, what would it be?  Find a place you love and share it with others.  In doing so you will fall more and more in love with it.  As the saying goes:

“If you find a job you love, you will never have to work another day in your life”.

 RTO Code: 60142