Taylah turned an early love of horses and rural life into an award-winning student experience at CDU, followed by a dream career she never saw coming. She’s turned a passion for the agricultural industry into a fulfilling career sharing her knowledge and skills with other young people.
Taylah started riding horses at 14, the same year she started the VET for Secondary Students (VSS) program at the Katherine Rural Campus.
The program helps students gain accredited skills and training in their field of interest while still completing high school.
Taylah had no idea how much of an impact the VSS program would have on her future.
“It opened doors to many different potential career pathways after graduating school,” she says.
Not only did I learn so much, but I also made great friends, learnt many skills that can be used in any industry, and got a Certificate III in Rural Operations.
Despite having completed all her units, Taylah loved the experience so much she found herself returning to the campus to lend a hand.
“I was out there helping my lecturer with some VSS students who were completing their walk, trot and canter unit,” she says.
“One girl really struggled getting to canter, so I jumped on a horse beside her and eventually she cantered. Just that smile of achievement from her and myself… I was like, this is what I want to do! I want to be a lecturer in this industry.”
Following her new path Taylah’s passion for learning—and knack for teaching—didn’t go unnoticed. She was awarded the VSS Student of the Year Award at the NT Training Awards and was offered a year-long contract as a trainer’s assistant in Tennant Creek.
“I had a really good opportunity to go down to Juno Centre, an agricultural training centre offering nationally accredited units in horticulture, cattle, horses – all that farming stuff – for the Tennant Creek high school kids and surrounding communities. I really enjoyed that.”
Here she got a taste for a career as a trainer, helping other high school students gain certifications in agriculture and rural operations all the while gaining her own Certificate IV Training and Assessment.
“It definitely got the ball rolling on a really good start to my career,” she says.
Seeing the outcomes of students who came in with no experience leaving with great knowledge on a certain subject lit up the light bulb and drove me to want to be an employee for CDU.
Despite loving her experience in Tennant Creek, Taylah was offered a junior TAFE trainer role at CDU’s Katherine Rural Campus. She jumped at the opportunity to move back to her hometown and to the campus where her journey began.
“The CDU Katherine Rural Campus is an environment I really enjoyed being in as a VSS student. I also loved working as a trainer’s assistant, so I thought why not take the plunge and become a lecturer there?”
“Best decision I have ever made,” says Taylah.
Saddling up for the future
Taylah is clearly passionate about what she does, and even more so about sharing her interests with others.
I love horses, I love the rural industry, I love watching to see how it all goes down, how much is actually involved in operating a station because there is a lot!
In the future, Taylah hopes to help more kids just like herself feel that connection to Australia’s dynamic agricultural industry.
Beyond working with her beloved horses and students, Taylah wants to focus on growing her career as a lecturer.
“I’d like to expand my knowledge on training and do a bit more on teaching kids about tractors, maintenance, cattle and more.”
Wild horses couldn’t drag her away from reaching her goals!
Whether you’re in high school or want to retrain later in life, find the TAFE agriculture and rural operations training course you need at Charles Darwin University.