As communities take the first steps towards recovery from the devastating New Year bushfires, TAFE Digital has offered a unique fee-free course to locals to help them rehabilitate scorched bushland.
The fires tore through millions of hectares of land across NSW, leaving landholders, authorities and community groups with the painstaking job of helping manage an explosion of noxious weeds during the rapid regrowth phase.
TAFE Digital, the largest online education provider in Australia, is offering the fee-free Statement of Attainment in Bush Regeneration to communities in a bid to assist them in helping revitalise impacted land.
TAFE Digital Conservation and Land Management teacher Kelly Upton, who has worked in bush regeneration for more than 25 years, said managing the changing landscape was a critical part of the bushfire recovery process.
“After the recent rainfall in bushfire-affected areas, the bushland is starting to regenerate and with that comes seed germination and a lot of weeds and new species, which can have a profound impact on biodiversity,” Ms Upton said. “It’s imperative landholders and volunteers are empowered to know how to manage the situation. This course is really about giving residents hands-on skills and an underlying knowledge about bush regeneration.”
The TAFE Digital course offers three units – how to identify different plants; bush regeneration and controlling weeds. The bush regeneration unit is hands-on and project-based, allowing students to go out on an impacted property and document basic bush regeneration practices.
Ms Upton said the bush regeneration industry was booming and the course was also an ideal “taster” for those pursuing a career in bush regeneration. TAFE Digital also offers a Certificate II, Certificate III and Diploma in Bush Regeneration.
“This is an employment growth area and will continue to be, with plenty of jobs in local councils, NSW Government agencies like NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, and private enterprise ,” she said. “The course is also a great opportunity for those wanting to volunteer with organisations like Landcare.”
Tammy Montgomery has recently completed the Statement of Attainment and was so inspired that she immediately enrolled in the Diploma, with the hope of using it as a platform to secure work in her dream job of park ranger.
“The course was great: all the information was online, the teacher was hugely knowledgeable and helpful, and the practical assessment gave me a chance to put my learning into practice,” Ms Montgomery said.
TAFE Digital students can study anywhere, anytime, with easy online access to a wealth of courses and expert teachers. For more information about studying bush regeneration, phone 13 16 01 or visit www.tafensw.edu.au.
Above: BOUNCING BACK: Bushfire-impacted land on the NSW South Coast teems with life just months after the devastating fires. TAFE Digital has launched a free bush regeneration course to help landholders manage an explosion of noxious weeds on properties.