“Life is always going to throw obstacles at you. Things in life happen for a reason and they are the drastic events or even tiny events that shape you as a human. Obstacles don’t block the path; they are the path.”
Cert III in Agriculture (Online) & Cert IV in Wool Classing (TAFE)
Heather is one inspiring young lady who won’t let life’s challenges get in the way of her goals. Growing up on a hobby farm in Central West NSW, Heather developed a passion for agriculture. Heavily influenced by her dad and neighbours, she hopes to pursue a career as an agricultural teacher.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT PATH
Despite gaining early entry into a Bachelor of Teaching after completing her HSC in 2019, Heather decided to take a year ‘off’ and undertake two certificate courses. Studying a Cert III in Agriculture (online) and a Cert IV in Wool Classing at Cowra TAFE, Heather loves being part of an industry that she believes will always bring new challenges and obstacles. She hopes to one day inspire the next generation of farmers.
“Now that I have finished school, I have been able to use 2020 as a way of grasping knowledge from those around me. With little experience of large-scale farming, I have enrolled in courses to build on this. Not only will they allow me to develop my knowledge, but also to gain employment.”
Heather certainly has been keeping busy. As well as study and working on the home farm, she is employed at the local high school as a learning support teacher, works at the local gas station and volunteers as a scout leader. “It has been a busy time taking on these opportunities within the community but is an amazing experience to work closely with locals and generate strong relationships.”
THE CHALLENGES OF 2020
On top of the COVID-19 disruption, Heather’s father became very sick. Being the eldest of three, she has taken on the responsibility of the farm and caring for her younger siblings. Between hospital and nursing home visits, Heather has stepped up to being a role model but says “at least Dad taught me well!”
She says that continuing with TAFE helped her grow and develop knowledge but was also useful as a distraction from the uncontrollable events going on around her.
“TAFE has strengthened my knowledge and introduced me to new concepts within the agricultural industry. So far 2020 has challenged me with the commitment of work and study in a constantly changing environment.”
Being around sheep and wool always cracks a smile on my dial!
However, Heather takes it all in her stride and sees it as a learning experience, “this series of unexpected events are training me to roll with life’s punches. Whether it be financial stability, study schedules, committing to work, family or friends.”
SUPPORT TAKES A VILLAGE
Heather is supported by CEF Grenfell and used the funds to purchase a reliable laptop to help with her studies. “With both my courses relying heavily on online study, I have been able to adapt to change without hesitation or financial stress. As I progress through my courses, this grant will further support me in achieving my goals. I would not have been able to do this without the generous support of my local CEF funds.”
TAFE Digital students generally don’t get to meet their teacher and get to know them on a personal level. Heather has had the best of both worlds with her online and face to face courses being taught by the same teacher. “I have been able to get to know my teacher more and am able to receive a great deal of support for both courses. That has been the greatest thing about studying through TAFE so far, along with using 2020 as a year of practice and self-strength.”