GOTAFE at Seymour Alternative Farming Expo (SAFE)

GOTAFE’s stand at this month’s Seymour Alternative Farming Expo was very popular, with many inquiries received about courses across all study areas.
The Expo had more than 22,000 visitors and 500 exhibitors, and provided a terrific opportunity for GOTAFE to promote the quality and breadth of training available at our campuses.
Thanks from the marketing team to everyone who helped make our involvement in the Expo such a success. Please see below some photos from the three-day event.
Our name the pig competition was extremely popular so check our Facebook page to see the shortlist and vote for your favourite name GOTAFE Facebook

Horticulture students create garden for Milawa P.S

GOTAFE Horticulture students have designed, created and planted a custom space for Milawa Primary School that will become a space for students to congregate, to hold meetings and even host school performances.

GOTAFE Horticulture Trainer, Andrew ‘Tommy’ Taylor said the students have created something to be proud of.

“Four Horticulture students have created an amazing space the Milawa Primary School students will fall in love with,” said Tommy.

Tommy talks about how the video came about about and the design elements. Watch the video

“This particular group of Horticulture students are real goers, I was so lucky with these students, they have been committed to this project, working on it for 14 weeks, two days a week with only a few days missed due to bad weather.

“Milawa Primary School approached us to complete the work, we have done some work with the Principal, Ash Campbell before so he knew our work and knew that it is a cost effective way to get a custom designed space because they don’t have to pay for labour.

Andrew taylor and Horticulture students helping Milawa P.S students finish off their garden

“They gave us a budget and off we went.

“We toured previous garden design projects completed by previous GOTAFE hort students including Wang West P.S, Gateway Health and the rehab section of the Hospital in Clarke Street, they assessed what worked and what needs redesigning. For example in this project we used steel edging instead of aluminium as it needs to be up to the challenge of withstanding lots of wear and tear from busy students.

“The GOTAFE students have designed and implemented a really creative space with unique paving designs and the plan is that it will be a space that flows on from the classrooms, students and staff will gather here and with it has double tiered seating and deck where we envisage lots of school performances will be held.

“We enjoy taking on projects like this because our clients love their new space and they look after it, they get so excited by the new garden.”

Tommy went on to say that he will be looking for another project in 2018 for the students to work on.

Ash Campbell, Principal at Milawa P.S talks about the new garden created by GOTAFE horticulture students. Watch here

Dr Angela Decker Follows Her Passion For Training

Dr Angela Decker joined Veterinary Technology Team at GOTAFE after completing her Bachelor of Veterinary Biology/Bachelor Veterinary Science in 2012.

“In July 2016 I decided to follow my passion for teaching, and accepted a position with GOTAFE, in collaboration with Charles Sturt University. My role was to assist with the development of the rapidly expanding Bachelor degree in Veterinary Technology.

“Training the Bachelor of Veterinary Technology at GOTAFE is a new set of challenges compared to industry, but I really enjoy working with the students and watching them grow, improve their knowledge and skills, and fulfil their goals.”

An average day for Angela involves preparing for and delivering a two hour video conference lecture to the internal students at the Wagga Wagga Campus as well as fielding student enquiries and providing one-on-one tutorials via email or video conference.
“Training the Bachelor of Veterinary Technology at GOTAFE is a new set of challenges compared to the industry, but I really enjoy working with the students and watching them grow, improve their knowledge and skills and fulfil their goals.”

Masterclass with Melanie Newman

Gotafe were fortunate to have Professional Dog Groomer, Melanie Newman, facilitate a masterclass at the Werribee Campus in September.
Well known and highly respected within the industry, Melanie’s passion for dog grooming began in the late 1990’s.
Today, Melanie has a rewarding career with 15 years’ experience as a Professional Dog Groomer.
In 2004, Melanie opened her own professional dog grooming salon, Spa Bark Dog Grooming & Spa, in Moonee Ponds, Victoria and has since created her own collection of natural premium canine grooming products.
In 2008 she was formally recognised as an Internationally Certified Master Groomer.

Melanie has competed in grooming competitions across Australia, New Zealand, Holland, Germany, Spain, Italy and the USA and in 2013 she was crowned the Australian Royal Supreme Grooming Champion. In 2015 Melanie represented Groom Team Australia in Milan, Italy at the World Team Championships, where the team were placed 12th overall.
She is a Victorian Assessor for Certificate III and IV as well as an Instructor and has been a keynote speaker at several industry events.
One Gotafe student said about her experience after the Masterclass-
“We were lucky enough to have a four day, hands on, workshop with the amazing Melanie Newman and handsome Dash the Bichon. Melanie guided us through breed clips and passed on handy grooming hints. We all left on Friday feeling inspired and motivated to try out our new skills and keep developing and growing as groomers.”

Gotafe provides training in Certificate III in Pet Grooming (ACM30612) and
Certificate IV in Pet Styling (ACM40612).
For more information visit

Horticulture trainer wins second PCA award

Leigh Taig is a Horticulture trainer at William Orr, who facilitates GOTAFE’s Greenhouse Technical Management Course. According to Leigh, “The course is essentially a masterclass in Protected Cropping and is derived from Certificate IV in Production Horticulture (AHC40416).”

Leigh attended the Protected Cropping Australia (PCA) National Conference recently in Adelaide, where he was presented with the Industry Training Award for Greenhouse Technical Management Course. The PCA is the industries national peak body, of which it’s members include hydroponic farmers and allied trades dealing specifically with the hydroponic and greenhouse industry throughout Australia.

This is the second award Leigh has won, his first award was presented in 2009 for his early involvement in promoting training pathways within the industry.

Leigh’s award relates specifically to the GOTAFE short accredited course, Greenhouse Technical Management, a technical training course in greenhouse and hydroponic production. Since its inception in 2008, the Masterclass has been delivered in conjunction with industry to over 300 participants, in more than 15 locations throughout Australia.

GOTAFE is often invited by companies to deliver the course on-farm or the course is scheduled in regions of intensive horticulture such as Coffs Harbour, Bundaberg and Perth. The model of bringing the training to the regions, enables growers and allied trades the opportunity to easily participate in the course and also provides the opportunity to customise the course to meet local needs.

Recently the Masterclass was delivered to a cohort of 15 in Devonport Tasmania, with the next course scheduled at the Hawkesbury Campus at Western Sydney University (WSU). WSU have a recently completed training and research greenhouse and GOTAFE were invited by the University to deliver the course on site. This will mean access to a high tech facility for practical and instructional activities during the course.

Leigh says, “It’s through personal involvement with the industry, and creating essential contacts that has enabled this course to be driven by industry, delivered to industry, facilitated by GOTAFE and remain relevant.”

He continues, “There is a lot of new technology and information emerging, and one of the things we do is explore these changes in the growing environment and help participants to upgrade their thinking.”

The next Greenhouse Technical Management Course is being run at Western University Sydney (WSU) Hawkesbury campus 31 July to 4 August. GOTAFE is excited to be accessing the WSU’s brand new training and research greenhouse and to present one of the largest cohorts to date, with several participants travelling from South Africa and New Zealand.

See our website for more information about GOTAFE Horticulture or contact 1300 GOTAFE.

Dairy & Agriculture industry celebrates students achievements

GOTAFE’s National Centre for Dairy Education (NCDE), in partnership with Dairy Australia (DA) will host an Industry Celebration on Wednesday 10 May 2017 at the GV Hotel Shepparton.

The evening celebrates the successful completion of qualifications by students along with announcing the 2016 Outstanding Student of the Year.  Local, regional and national industry representatives, including representatives from Dairy Australia and Murray Dairy will also be in attendance.

GOTAFE NCDE Trainer, James Goulding taught Student of the Year, Rory Shepherd from Nathalia who completed Certificate III in Agriculture – Dairy Production (AHC30210).

“Rory is a very committed and diligent student who shows maturity beyond his years. He works on a Bio Dynamic accredited farm where he is actively applying the skills, knowledge and techniques, he has learnt on and off the job. Rory is only too happy to share with the class his experiences and only last week hosted a farm walk where he and his father gave a very in-depth presentation on how the Bio Dynamic principles work.

“We know from our industry contacts and continuing relationships with the students that Rory’s story is not unique and many of our students are furthering their careers in the dairy industry and broader agriculture.”

HW Greenham & Sons Pty Ltd, a multi-million dollar meat export business has teamed up with GOTAFE to offer a scholarship designed to encourage and support young people wanting to explore a career and training in the dairy industry but who are facing financial hardships.

For the first time, the 2017 Greenham GOTAFE Dairy Scholarship will be awarded as part of the event, explained GOTAFE’s NCDE Commercial Manager, Luke Prime.

“2012 Winner Katherine Snell will showcase what she has been able to achieve with the assistance of the Scholarship and the brand new Scholarship recipient will be announced.”

The evening will also feature a panel session with four industry representatives looking at the future opportunities of the food and fibre industry.

GOTAFE award recipients:

Award Course Student Home Town
Encouragement Award Certificate II in Agriculture
Leah Orton Gapsted
Outstanding Student Award Certificate II in Agriculture  AHC20110 Jack Leahy


Encouragement Award Certificate III in Agriculture (Dairy Production)
Josh Turvey Koondrook
Outstanding Student Award Certificate III in Agriculture (Dairy Production)
Rory Shepherd Nathalia
Encouragement Award Certificate IV in Agriculture (AHC40116)


Madeleine Monk Kyabram
Outstanding Student Award Certificate IV in Agriculture (AHC40116)


Meeka Wigg Lockington
Outstanding Student Award Diploma in Agriculture (AHC50110)


James Whatman Muckatah
Overall Student of the Year Award 2016 Certificate III in Agriculture (Dairy Production)
Rory Shepherd Nathalia

A dairy story: Rachael Barnes

Rachael Barnes was one of the fortunate young dairy enthusiasts given the opportunity to attend the National All Breeds Dairy Youth Camp in Tatura, Victoria earlier this year.

The five day camp allowed participants to develop their knowledge in handling dairy heifers, discuss breeding and discover new technologies. Each participant learnt key skills to care for cattle, including daily feeding, watering, washing, grooming, clipping and monitoring.

Rachael came to the camp with an interest in learning more about dairy cattle and making new friends. Fortunately for Rachael that’s exactly what she got out of the camp. “The National All Breeds Youth Camp has been the best camp I have ever been to! I enjoyed my time there very much and gained heaps of new skills I didn’t know. Meeting so many new people was good and engaging in people’s previous experiences was really intriguing as each one was different.”

After Rachael left school she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do. She’d always had an interest in children and making them smile so decided to enrol in Certificate III in Early Childhood Education. “This allowed me to keep studying and gain a qualification whilst not losing my writing skills or my ability to learn new things.”

Rachael now has a full time job in the childhood industry and really enjoys it, but she can’t escape her love for cows. Growing up on a family dairy farm was what sparked Rachael’s interest in cows.  “I loved helping with the calves each morning and night”.

When Rachael was at school she joined the Dairy Show Team. In the team she showed Dairy cattle at local and other big shows. “I am still showing with them and thoroughly enjoy it as I can educate the younger students of what I have learnt, whilst still being able to interact with the cattle. Our team is purely run by volunteers using their own money and we are forever grateful for the opportunity they give to us.”

Rachael is happy where her life is heading. “My advice to others is if you are considering a career or have an interest in the dairy industry, I highly suggest you attend the Youth Dairy Camp. Also if you love Dairy cows and want to learn how to care for them, then this is the camp to go to. Not many people are given these opportunities and you can gain so much in just five days. You can develop networks with people in different jobs and meet so many new people.”

Click here to learn more about GOTAFE’s Dairy courses.

Greenham GOTAFE Dairy Scholarship 2017

$12,000 Scholarship now open!

Young people starting out in the dairy industry – and those already under way in their farming careers will be offered the chance of a lifetime to give a major boost to their knowledge and skills.

Sounds interesting doesn’t it?

Applications are open for the $12,000 Greenham GOTAFE Dairy Scholarship for 2017.  A scheme which seeks to encourage enthusiastic students between the ages of 17 and 45 as they undertake further education related to any sector of the dairy industry.

The Greenham Dairy Scholarship is awarded on a range of criteria including:

  • How the applicant will use the money to improve their skills and knowledge
  • How important the scholarship is to them being able to realise their ambitions
  • Potential benefits to the dairy industry or farm enterprise
  • Previous academic, industry and/or personal achievements


Applications close 31 January 2017.

So much to celebrate

Join us to celebrate 20 years as Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE in Shepparton

To mark this special milestone, we have developed a wall display timelining the provision of education on our Fryers Street Campus since the 1800’s.

We are also taking this opportunity to celebrate the achievements of our Horticultural students in developing stage two of our garden upgrade plus showcase the work produced by our Cultural Arts students this year and work developed by our students at the recent World Skills Competition in Melbourne.

You might have noticed a hive of activity at GOTAFE’s Fryers Street Campus as stage two of the garden facelift transforms our Campus thanks to Horticulture and Conversation Land Management students.

The works are being completed under the watchful eye of GOTAFE Horticulture Trainer Robyn Saunders. “The students have designed a concept which offers a more open and welcoming space in front of the campus and Restaurant,” said Ms Saunders. Each stage of the facelift relates to a required unit of competency the students must complete, including ‘Set out site for construction works’, ‘Operate machinery’, ‘Install irrigation systems’ and ‘Implement a plant establishment program’. “As a Trainer it is hugely satisfying to see our students develop such a wide range of skills and knowledge while building this new landscape. It is great to be working on a site which is highly visible, as it gives our students an opportunity to demonstrate what they are capable of firstly designing, then constructing.”

Indigenous students from the GOTAFE Shepparton Campus have been involved in a number of programs throughout the year, many of which are a contemporary twist on the traditional. “Indigenous art is evolving and this year’s cultural arts group wanted to reflect that in their pieces. While they displayed a deep respect for traditional forms of indigenous art, they were happy to explore new ways in which to express their cultural heritage and used items such as skateboards and mannequins to create works of art,” said Trainer Robyn Thompson.

The public exhibition will run from 21 November to 25 November at GOTAFE Shepparton Campus, Fryers Street, with a range of student work available for sale.

It’s All Coming Together For The National Dairy Youth Camp

Young people from across the country are preparing to venture to Tatura Park in early January for the National Dairy All Breeds Youth Camp 2017.

With places filling fast, Event Organiser, Industry Trainer for GOTAFE National Centre for Dairy Education (NCDE), Lucy Galt said the Camp is set to be the best yet.

During the five day Camp, participants will develop their knowledge in handling dairy heifers, discuss breeding and discover new technology. Each participant will learn how to care for cattle, including daily feeding, watering, washing, grooming, clipping and monitoring.

Each year the event focusses on a particular theme. The theme for this camp has just been announced, Animal Health and Welfare, a follow on from last year’s theme Nutrition.

“Participants also learn judging, showing and clipping skills, take part in team activities and also peer judging of each other’s showmanship,” explained Ms Galt.

“Participants will develop their confidence in handling dairy Heifers, discuss breeding and new technology. Each participant is supplied with a Heifer and will learn how to care for the animal in the lead up to competition day”.

Holstein Australia is having a classifier attend the event who will be teaching the participants the structure of a cow and advise them on what judges are looking for when they are in the ring.

As the event is running in Tatura, Tatura Milk has organised a private factory tour for the camp. This is a great opportunity for participates to see a fully functioning Dairy factory operate.

“We would like to thank International Dairy Week and Dairy Australia for their support and significant contribution to the event, the supporters, volunteers and John Maher for donating his time to discuss show ethics. Our Major Sponsor, the Dairy Beef Alliance, Team Sponsors ABS Australia, Genetics Australia, Alta Genetics, Profit-a-bull and SEMEX. We would like to thank each of these organisations for their very generous sponsorships because without Sponsors the Camp can’t run.”

To register your interest in attending visit or call Lucy Galt on 0488 144 999. Register before October 30 to be in the draw to win a GOPRO.