Outdoor Training

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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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

Abseiling with Project Booyah

Several weeks ago the Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation climbing and abseiling students headed to Launceston Police HQ to observe and assist in the running of a commercial style abseil operation for a youth group involved in the Booyah Program.

After inspecting and critiquing the abseiling rig on the roof of Police HQ, students had the opportunity to practice dispatching and abseiling from the roof.  After a night at Launceston PCYC (Police & Community Youth Club) which included some indoor climbing and a nachos feast, the group returned to Police HQ next morning in readiness for the Booyah group.

TasTAFE students conducted briefings, gear fitting and dispatching activities for the Booyah group under the supervision of Police and TasTAFE instructors while others in the TasTAFE group cooked up a BBQ lunch for all involved.

In addition to consolidating their abseiling, rigging and dispatching skills the TasTAFE students had the opportunity to work with young clients in a “real environment”.  Thanks to Richard Youd (TasTAFE instructor) for his guidance and to Ross McIvor (Project Booyah) for the opportunity to work with his group.

Maria Island

Two weeks ago, our Adventure Guiding students departed Drysdale Campus and drove up the Tasman Highway towards Triabunna, where we would catch the new and refurbished ‘Encounter Maria‘ ferry to Maria Island.

It was wonderful to have ex-student Daniel Fisher, who now works as a Guide for The Maria Island Walk join us on this trip, providing beneficial information regarding the industry and other Tasmanian knowledge.

Lucky enough for Dan, he was able to relive some of his own Guide training memories by  listening to the student Leaders’ bus commentaries on the way up – which provided an interesting insight into the surrounding area.

On the ferry, we were lucky to admire plenty of sea birds and after we arrived on the Island, we set up camp and got underway with the day’s activities!

Splitting into two separate groups – Nicholas Baudin and Bara-Ourou, we parted ways with one group heading on a half day walk up Bishop and Clerk, whilst the other group enjoyed a circuit walk to the Painted Cliffs and Oust House via The Maria Island Walk accommodation.

Returning to the campsite, it wasn’t long until our student Caterers dished up mouth-watering meals that were soon devoured.

The next morning, we enjoyed some ice breakers which was a nice way to start the day.  We split into small groups and practiced our Interpretive tours and presenting our information to our fellow students.  We received feedback and were then given a chance to amend the tours.  Everyone found this constructive feedback really helped us improve our tours the second time we delivered them.

After dinner we went for a night walk to see if we could find a Tasmanian Devil.  We saw a lot of different animals but no Devils – but it was a great way to finish the day.

For our last day, we left camp as a whole group and walked to the Fossil Cliffs where Bruce and Daniel gave us a real insight into the geological events that happened to create the Fossil Cliffs.  We then split into our two groups again, mimicking the first day’s events in reverse with Bara-Ourou summiting Bishop and Clerk and the Nicholas Baudin group completing the circuit walk with Dan.

Returning back to camp, the Certificate III in Guiding students were quick to pack up before departing Maria Island to get stuck into their weekend ahead!

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